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Girl Power: Female Chefs Unite For Book Launch and Breast Cancer Awareness

(Photo courtesy of Hatfield's)
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A common question asked by anyone who walks into a commercial kitchen might be, "Where the ladies at?" And with good reason. Until recently, women haven't held as many high-powered positions in the professional kitchens, even though they historically have been the ones cooking at home. That's all changing, of course, and many women are finally making names for themselves in some of the country's best restaurants.

But it's not an easy path. Books like Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton and the forthcoming Skirt Steak divulge the trials of being a female in the industry, attempting to balance femininity while not being steamrolled by the male chefs' bravado.

Taking a similar approach to that of "The Help," journalist Charlette Druckman's behind-the-scenes tell-all Skirt Steak is spoken through the voices of more than 100 of the best and brightest women cooking today. "These are female chefs performing culinary and domestic high wire acts: juggling sharp knives, battering heat, bruising male egos, and working endless hours, often while raising small children and living from paycheck to paycheck," says the book's teaser.

On October 8, Hatfield's restaurant -- home to one of L.A.'s very own female powerhouses, Karen Hatfield -- will host a sort of culinary book tour for Druckman, inviting an all-female brigade too cook a dinner in honor of the book's launch. Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill), Sherry Yard (Spago Beverly Hills), Suzanne Tracht (Jar), Dakota Weiss (NINETHIRTY at W Los Angeles), Nyesha Arrington (Wilshire Restaurant), and Hatfield will prepare a five-course prix fixe menu complemented by a unique selection of wines highlighting notable female winemakers. Druckman will be on hand to sign copies of Skirt Steak, which will be available for purchase that evening.

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Seatings for the dinner on the 8th begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are $100, and all proceeds will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Call 323-935-2977 for reservations. The book will be offically released on October 24.