Back of the House

Chef Bridget Batson: Humble, Driven, Hates ‘Macho Stuff’ in Her Kitchen

Photo: Laura Morton/Chron

“I won’t put up with the macho stuff,” says Bridget Batson to writer/chef Sophie Brickman in another of the Chron’s ‘Behind the Stove’ pieces about Gitane (we thought they were done with these, but no!). This is perhaps the most glowing and complimentary portrait of a chef so far in this series, describing Batson as simultaneous tough, humble, generous — she often lets her line cooks create dishes and remarks, “It’s great to see them light up when their food goes out.” — driven, and well loved by her staff. As she tries to perfect a paella one night, Brickman writes that Batson’s staff is “pulling for her,” and charmingly, when she’s done, she takes an iPhone photo of the finished dish to send to Frank LeClerc, the restaurant’s owner.

Also of note, only ten percent of the Bay Area’s women chefs head Chron three-star rated restaurants — or is it that ten percent of three-star restaurants are headed by women? It’s unclear from Brickman’s phrasing, but it’s probably the latter.

Gitane chef brings humility to the helm [Chron]
Earlier: Swedish-Born Master of Italian Cuisine, Staffan Terje, Once Consulted for The Olive Garden [Grub Street]
A Look ‘Behind the Stove’ at The French Laundry [Grub Street]

Chef Bridget Batson: Humble, Driven, Hates ‘Macho Stuff’ in Her