It's been a week of honors for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's Top Toque, Cristeta Comerford. On Wednesday, the Executive Chef became the 2010 Chicago Chef of the Year. She's also just been named one of the top ten women in the US who are working in traditionally male-dominated professions. Comerford joins a list of glass ceiling-busters that includes Academy Award winning filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow, superstar race car driver Danica Patrick, and 4-Star General Ann Dunwoody, the Army's highest ranking woman.
The nod comes from Big Think, a "global forum connecting people and ideas," which created the list to laud pathbreakers. Comerford is the first female Executive Chef at the White House, and marked her five-year anniversary in the post in August. (Comerford, above)
"Comerford has managed to land arguably the most important position for any chef," Big Think notes, highlighting the fact that although women are usually the ones who cook at home, they are "seriously underrepresented in top kitchens around the world." That's more than true for Comerford: She is the only woman member of the Club des Chefs des Chefs, the elite fraternity of chefs who cook for world leaders and royal families.
"Enrollment in culinary schools is equal for men and women, yet, according to the Bureau of Labor, just 20% of chefs and head cooks are women," Big Think adds.
The rest of the Top Ten list includes Washington, DC's own chief of police, Cathy Lanier; chess master Irina Crush; computer programmer Frances Allen; Minister Joyce Meyer; poker champion Annie Duke, and feminist pornographer Allison Vivas.
*Related White House listage: Mrs. Obama was recently named the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. Senior Policy Adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass was just named to Food & Wine magazine's 40 Big Thinkers 40 & Under list.