An introduction to the leading ladies of food

dorah sitole

We all know the names of history’s most remarkable women: Joan of Arc, who was declared a martyr for her involvement during the Hundred Year War between France and England, Marie Curie known for her groundbreaking work in the fields of physics and chemistry and Mrs Rosa Parks who challenged America’s race law in 1955 by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus. However, the list truly is endless. So in celebration of Women’s Month at The Roundhouse, we also want to tip our hats to those who made (and are still making) big waves in the culinary world.  

The most interesting story we came across during our search for remarkable women in culinary history, is that of a certain Mrs Hattie Burr. Mrs Burr was the editor of The Woman Suffrage Cookbook (1886), a cookbook that was used as a fundraising tool for suffragists in Massachusetts. Using the common language of food, The Woman Suffrage Cookbook shared recipes, household tips and “eminent opinions on woman suffrage” with the women of nineteenth-century America.

And it’s impossible to write about women in the food industry without mentioning the great and fearless Julia Child – celebrated chef, award-winning author and television personality, who introduced the American public to French cuisine with her popular television show The French Chef.

On home ground chef, author and food stylist Dorah Sithole has been dubbed South Africa’s first lady of cooking. In addition to her award-winning writing, Sithole was awarded the very first South African Chefs President’s Award for her contribution to South Africa’s hospitality industry.

Remember that we’re also honouring our female winemakers, Elize Coetzee from Zonnebloem and Andrea Freeborough from Fleur du Cap, with a special food and wine pairing at The Roundhouse from 8 – 13 August.