Chef Shanna O’Hea in National Culinary Review

The Kennebunk Inn and Academe Maine Brasserie & Tavern in Kennebunk, Maine, is a busy, popular vacation spot owned and operated by Shanna O’Hea and husband Brian.

O’Hea cites Ann Cooper’s A Woman’s Place Is in the Kitchen as presenting a model for the kind of chef she wanted to be.
“I remember aspiring to be like these executive women chefs and not being afraid to lead or stand up for myself,” she says.
“We run a culinary internship program at the inn and have mentored many students, with an equal division of men and women. But I still believe that as women, we have a long way to go in the industry.” At The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, N.Y., in 1996, O’Hea was one of two women in a class of 20. She singles out former faculty member Ryan Baxter as the only faculty member she remembers who used inclusive language, speaking with she/he pronouns. She also remembers another chef who had more of the “break you down” mentality. “He liked to yell a lot, and one time, after he had yelled at me and I began to get upset, he told me it was OK if I cried. It was like he expected it.” Today, she observes male and female differences in her kitchen. “As a woman, I think differently about menu specials and design. I also find myself more concerned with the presence of vegetables and the appearance of the plate,” she says. “In general, I am probably more observant of how the staff interacts, as well as the conversations and communication that takes place between workers and those running the line. If things get too ‘locker room,’ I step in and steer the conversation to a more professional manner.”

Read the Full Article  (PDF Download)

See the Article on The National Culinary Review Website.

Pages: 1 2

About The Kennebunk Inn

The Chefs/Owners of The Kennebunk Inn and its restaurant, Academe Maine Brasserie & Tavern met when they were students at The Culinary Institute of America. They have appeared on "Best Thing I Ever Ate," "Chopped," "Rewrapped," and "Beat Bobby Flay" on the Food Network and on the Travel Channel's "Food Paradise." They have also appeared in Oprah Winfrey's "O" The Magazine. The O'Heas have been guest chefs at Walt Disney World's Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Houston's "Sugar Land Food & Wine Affair, Boca Raton's "Boca Bacchanal" Food & Wine Festival, and on Holland America Cruise Line.