CNIEL, the French Dairy Board, and the European Commission are celebrating International Women’s Day by highlighting the journey of six of the most prominent contemporary women pastry chefs, from the Middle East and abroad, in their new magazine, Cream Chapter

This first edition of the magazine centres around six chefs with varying levels of experience, who gathered around a table to discuss what it means to be a woman in pastry. Their mission: to create six desserts using European dairy cream. Their journeys, thoughts, challenges, and recipes are exclusively revealed for the first edition of Cream Chapter.

The magazine features chefs from some of Dubai’s leading hotels and bakeries including the QE2’s Ida Martin; Hind Al Mulla, Founder and Director of Home Bakery; and Aaliya Randeree, Head Chef and Founder of Butterworks Bakery. The group also included UAE-based consultant chef Liz Stevenson and Saudi Arabia’s Najla Shamiri, while Nina Métayer, France’s 2016 Pastry Chef of the Year, rounded out the group.

Marie-Laure Martin, International Project Manager at CNIEL said, “This first edition of Cream Chapter is all about showcasing the depth in quality and taste of infused French cream and the recipes created with it, as well as the talent of those incredible women chefs from Middle East and France. The flair and passion that went into this project was incredible, and we hope their stories will inspire the next generation of chefs.”

For these six women, the fact remains the same: achieving gender parity in an industry that is known for significant struggles in this area still seems like a distant dream. There is a lack of women’s representation in magazines, at conferences, as well as in the F&B industry in general. “In this field, women don’t receive their fair share of recognition and visibility,” says consultant Chef Liz Stevenson.

Being a woman in pastry is not always easy, but it is worth the struggle. “Don’t give up. If you believe in your dream, just go for it. Overcome the obstacles. It works. You just have to believe,” encourages Emirati chef Hind Al Mulla, addressing young women beginning their careers.

Across the GCC and beyond, women can be found creating, developing, consulting, and running successful culinary businesses.

Women are definitely leading the baking (r)evolution.

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