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Why are there so few women chefs?

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It is believed that the kitchen is a woman’s place and as girls grow up cooking with their grandmothers and mothers, they carve their culinary career path from an early age.
But being amazing home cooks rarely elevates them to professional chefs.

At most high-end restaurants in Nairobi and Mombasa, there are no female executive chefs.

The InterContinental Hotel, for instance, has a male executive chef and one woman sous chef. Out of the 50 chefs at the hotel, just 18 are women. The Nairobi Serena and Tamarind Tree hotels which both have male executive chefs also have female sous chefs, who are a step below the executive chefs.

At Utalii Hotel, which has a college that trains hospitality workers, the ratio of women chefs to men is one to three, says Catherine Sidi of the food production department at the college.

This is the reality in the rest of the top hotels. Even globally, the number of male chefs awarded Michelin stars, the ultimate accolade of fine dining, outnumbers those given to women.

An executive chef leads the kitchen teams and also participates in cooking, planning menus and creating new dishes. Whereas a sous chef plans and directs food preparation in a kitchen.

So why don’t women rise to executive chef posts?

The pressure on women to juggle work and home life is nothing new but executive chef John Getanda of the Nairobi Serena says that a top chef’s job mostly involves running through 12 to 14 hour shifts and this could be the reason why more men take up the jobs as opposed to women.

“It is not easy and most women have given up along the way despite being capable chefs. Some want to start families and do something else after a short stint in the career,” he says.

Long hours

Sous Chef Corretta Akinyi of the Hotel InterContinental says that the hours are really what makes the job tough.

“For a woman to rise, she has to work long hours and be willing to stay even after work to perfect and learn new culinary skills that is just not easy for everyone,” she says.

Chef Corretta says while there are almost as many women as men when starting out in hotels, but most female chefs either divert to other ventures or stagnant on junior levels.

“Some prefer to be pastry chefs which is a flexible job in the sense that you can prepare the pastries a day before as opposed to working in the ‘hot kitchen’ where everything is done on the same day and with so much pressure,” she says.

When I ask Chef Getanda whether the restaurant kitchen is like what we see in famed TV series Hell’s Kitchen and if that could be the reason why the job could is tough for women, he laughed.

“No, that is not how kitchens are, and if they were, it would be a bad environment for anyone to work in, not just the women,” he says.

He adds that the industry needs to work on its representation, conditions and image to achieve a truly diverse workforce.

source:businessdaily

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Business

KWITU Founder Lilly Richards Launches New Shoe Line in the US

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Kenya Women in the United States (KWITU) founder and president Lilly Richards has launched a new shoe line dubbed “Lavish by Lilly.”

The shoes, intended for the high-end market, are handmade by a master Italian craftsman from pristine Italian leather and are available on order.

Ms. Lilly has taken to social media to express her joy even as she thanked her customers who have made orders for the shoes.

LL

“Yesterday I woke up to hundreds of tags on the Internet. I did not see it coming but the love and support was unbelievable,” she says.

“How did I get to be so lucky as to have your love and support. You have encouraged me and reassured me of God’s love and promises to us. I am beyond grateful. I am overwhelmed with joy. My heart is full and at this point I can say I am truly happy and always blessed. Thank you for standing with me as I take a chance. Thanks to all that have put in orders. Nashukuru.”

Lilly is an advocate for women and children and currently partners with results.org to help influence political decisions and bring to end preventable maternal and child deaths.

She founded KWITU, one of the largest and most active Kenyan women network in the diaspora.

SOURCE: Mwakilishi.com

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City detectives turn probe on G4S to unravel bank’s Sh14m ATM robbery

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No bullet was fired, no machines were broken into but Sh14 million was gone. As the puzzle of the Barclays Bank ATM theft deepens investigators have narrowed the analysis on two probabilities.

The robbers who stole millions of shillings from four ATMs belonging to Barclays Bank during the Easter holiday were so clever that they chose off-site machines, which would have taken time for the bank to discover that money had been stolen.

This comes as an initial forensic analysis of the four affected ATMs on Tuesday raised the amount of money stolen to Sh14 million from the initial Sh11 million.

This is after it emerged that the Kenya Cinema ATM lost Sh3 million during the heist. The other three ATMs lost a total of Sh11 million.

HIGH TRAFFIC AREAS

Offsite ATMs are not hosted next to or inside banking halls. They are located in high traffic areas where banks think they have a clientele base that would make financial sense.

On Tuesday, police turned their attention to G4S, the security group contracted to man the four ATMs, in order to understand how the money disappeared.

It is said the bank’s internal security unit, on being questioned by the police, attempted to absolve themselves from blame by saying all the ATMs that were robbed were under the jurisdiction and management of G4S.

They were, however, hard pressed to explain why the bank had not installed CCTV cameras at the Mutindwa ATM, an oversight that is likely to place the financial institution in trouble with its customers.

By Tuesday, detectives from the Cyber Crimes Unit at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), who have taken over the investigations, had narrowed down to two theories on how the cash was stolen within three days.

“I can’t comment on an ongoing investigation, which has been taken over by another unit. All I can say is, investigations are ongoing,” Nairobi police boss Rueben Ndolo told the Nation.

However, a physical investigation on the ATMs showed that apart from the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) ATM, the rest had not been tampered with.

PHYSICAL TAMPERING

The ATMs at Mutindwa, Mater Hospital and Kenya Cinema were found to be in good condition with no evidence whatsoever of any physical tampering.

This has led detectives to believe that the ATMs might have been hacked into, by a cyber-crime ring that has become a headache to banking systems of late.

In order to evade detection, the robbers chose to strike during a holiday when there was very little movement of people.

Additionally, they chose to strike just after two of the ATMs had been reloaded with cash. This has heightened suspicion that someone on the inside must have tipped them off. On-site ATMs, which are located at banking halls, are loaded directly by the bank.

MONITORS CASH LEVEL

However, off-site ATMs, like the ones that were robbed, are loaded by the security company contracted to man them. The security company monitors the cash level inside the machine on a daily basis and then requests for money or technical assistance from the bank whenever required.

In case an off-site ATM needs to be reloaded, all the security company does is to make a requisition and then go pick the money. Like a day before the ATM at Mutindwa was robbed, G4S personnel had just loaded it with Sh7 million. Out of this, Sh6.2 million was discovered missing 24 hours later.

The bank has, however, declined to say how much money was in the four ATMs at the time of the robbery.

source:nairobinews

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Kenya Airports Authority responds to Sonko’s JKIA toilet rant

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The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), has explained why toilet facilities at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) are in a poor condition.

This after Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, who arrived in Nairobi on Thursday morning from London, ranted on social media about the pathetic state of the facility’s washroom.

A statement shared on their Twitter handle, KAA said that the washrooms at the airport are the way they are due to vandalism which is currently being experienced at the airport.

VANDALISM

They also said they have commissioned a contractor who is on the ground and is systematically repairing and replacing the faulty equipment.

“Our attention has been drawn to concerns on social media relating the washrooms at JKIA. These cases are as a result of vandalism which we are unfortunately experiencing at the airport,” KAA’s statement read.

“We currently have a contractor on the ground who is systematically repairing and replacing the defective equipment. We apologize for any inconvenience caused but assure all airport users that we strive for customer satisfaction,” the statement further read.

HARSH CRITICISM 

KAA came under harsh criticism from Kenyans after Mr Sonko shared a video capturing the urinal in the men’s washroom with exposed cables with no appropriate water flashing mechanism.

Mr Sonko vented on how he had to connect two wires that were visible from the area that is supposed to have the flush button, for water to come out.

He also claimed that he was electrocuted while answering a short call in the toilets.

source:nairobinews

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