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When asked why not a single female chef appeared in the documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi", sushi master Jiro Ono’s son Yoshikazur responded: “The reason is because women menstruate. To be a professional means to have a steady taste in your food, but because of the menstrual cycle women have an imbalance in their taste, and that’s why women can’t be sushi chefs.”
The reasoning behind it: Menstruating women can't taste food properly. Any research or study proving this claim? Zero! But of course, who needs scientific proof when we have patriarchy telling us who can or can not be a chef. Unfortunately,Yoshikazur is not alone in his belief. Some other food professionals claim women's warm hands would make rice too warm. Others say that women’s makeup and perfume might interfere with olfactory senses when preparing food or that the long hours in the kitchen is too difficult for them to handle.
Of course, critically acclaimed sushi chef Niki Nakayama is shattering these stereotypes and stigmas about period and sushi making. Still, even she has to work in closed kitchens so that diners would not take her gender into consideration while ordering and judging their food.
Photo Credit: Four-magazine.com. One of Niki's creations.