International Women's Day has been occurring for more than a century and is continuing to grow from strength to strength. A collective day for global celebration, on the 8th of March we celebrate the social, economic, and cultural achievements for women all around the world.
Here at Deliveroo, we're kicking off the week with an inspiration series from women in the F&B industry who deserve a standing ovation for being kick-ass and of course being a part of some of the greatest restaurant names in Singapore.
It's been two years since Grain Traders opened and we haven't looked at a grain bowl the same way since. As their hashtag suggests #FEEDINGPEOPLERIGHT, is their Executive Chef Gisela Salazar Golding is an inspiration female chef who can brighten up your day, not only with her food but her stunning smile!
Explore everything to find out your passion….
Gisela's introduction into cooking began at a young age, and you could say with an unconventional start. At 13-years-old, Gisela's father instilled in her the importance of buying things you wanted through hard work.
"I wanted a new tennis racquet and my Dad told me I had to work to get it. He suggested I sell Quesillos (Venezuelan dessert) during Christmas with my grandmother's recipe."
Not only did she manage to buy the racquet she wanted but it ignited an interest in the kitchen particularly for pastry. Gisela got her first experience at 17 years old where a friend helped her get an internship at a restaurant in Caracas. From there, she knew she was destined to be a chef.
"When I decided to work in the kitchen, a chef friend of my brother's told me, "I will find you an internship and if you decide you enjoy it you can decide if you want to go to culinary school". This is the best advice I've ever received and I advise everyone who thinks they want to be a chef to do the same. Being in a culinary school and working in the restaurant are completely different; not everyone can handle the pressure of being in chef whites."
Gender should never be an issue
Despite the talks outside of the kitchen of how brutal and male-dominated the culinary industry is, Gisela has never been one to let that argument faze her, instead it seems to have brought her more confidence to believe in herself more, and in return she hopes to inspire other aspiring female chefs.
"I understand it's a male-dominated industry but the way my parents have raised my brothers and myself, I always feel I am capable to be whoever I want to be. My mum used to tell me all the time, "no matter what you want, the important thing to remember is give your best effort.""
Having worked in the industry for more than sixteen years amongst different chefs and people, Gisela has never felt inferior based on being a female chef.
"Having a strong mentality and confidence in yourself are the key to any career path, especially this one. There is a huge demand mentally and physically; man or woman; Monday to Friday; ten to twelve hours a day. Today, more and more women are gaining confidence in themselves and in the last years there has definitely been an increase in female chefs."
Strong women, strong self
Having grown up with a big family, Gisela thinks of herself as fortunate to have been surrounded by strong women, from her grandmothers to her mother, aunts and cousins.
"All the women in my family have been a huge role model. My two grandmothers especially, they raised their families by themselves - sixty years ago that was an incredible hardship."
Having to choose one role model albeit extremely difficult, she picks her mother who has been a big inspiration in her life.
"She has without a doubt been a pillar for myself, my brothers, Dad, the whole family! It's because of her integrity, work ethic, respect for others, and overall happiness for life - the way she embraces it."
Having moved away from home 15 years ago, Gisela is a true example of being able to conquer your dreams no matter where you are; as long as you believe in yourself.