A topic we’ve hinted at in earlier conversations on the show is what it feels like to be a women working within the restaurant industry, but it’s one of those conversations that deserves a much deeper exploration, and today we’re doing just that. My guest this week is Katy Osuna, the co-creator and host of the James Beard Award-winning podcast, Copper & Heat. The podcast explores the unspoken rules and traditions of restaurant kitchens, and challenges exclusionary systems that have traditionally gone unquestioned.
Katy herself is formally trained as both a cook and an anthropologist, with a Bachelors in anthropology and sociology. She then worked at a non-profit training refugees and others with barriers to employment in the food industry and helped them find jobs in Boise, Idaho. She left Boise for San Francisco to pursue the culinary arts and has been working in the restaurant industry for seven years, 2 of which were spent as a chef de parti at Manresa, a three Michelin star restaurant. In 2018, she left Manresa to start her podcast.
This podcast quickly became one of my absolute favourites to listen to on commutes in 2019. Copper & Heat launched their first season, Be A Girl, in July 2018, which was a serialized narrative of Katy’s story about being a woman working in Michelin-star fine dining restaurants around the San Francisco Bay. In the series, she has conversations with friends, family, coworkers, line cooks, prep cooks, and other kitchen employees about the challenges of being a woman in the industry and the pressures that traditionally masculine kitchen spaces create for the people that work in them.
We speak today on how she takes an anthropological approach to telling these stories of women in the kitchen on her podcast, and discuss her super awesome win at the James Beard awards this past year, exploring whether or not that’s changed her connection to the show and the stories she wants to tell in the future.
Get Social with Katy!