I would be willing to bet that the number of female chefs in professional kitchens is in inverse proportion to the number in domestic kitchens. And when it comes to top-rated restaurants, I fear the situation would be even worse.
That certainly seems to be the case for Michelin-starred restaurants. In 2012, just ten out of the 2,500 eateries with a Michelin star had women heading up the cooking.
I should perhaps count myself lucky, then, to have had the opportunity to eat at Marie Rougier Salvat’s La Tour des Vents. The restaurant sits high up in the hills in Monbazillac, just south of Bergerac, in the Dordogne. Not only is the food terrific, but the view (pictured) is outstanding.
I went there with Damon and four friends for lunch last month. We’d organised it as the last big outing of our stay in the south west of France.
After champagne to start, I had mackerel tartare, served with wasabi and a gazpacho of black Crimean tomatoes, which came with a cone of raspberry and red pepper sorbet.
That was followed by a delicious crunchy cod with prawns, tomatoes and basil, served with a harissa-flavoured pineapple condiment.
The dessert – a hot Grand Marnier soufflé served with a boule of ice cream to place on top and soak in – was the perfect end to a truly delicious meal.
As I ate it, Marie Rougier Salvat came to the table to ask what we thought of the meal. We told her it was one in a million – much like her, it seems.