When was the last time you saw a picture of Alton Brown sensually licking an ice cream cone? Or how about a photo of Bobby Flay biting into a piece of pie?
Despite the fact that most celebrity women chefs are just as talented and knowledgeable as the men, it seems the only way anyone can think to market the women is by selling sex. Hannah Smith-Drelich, from Serious Eats, writes
: "There seems to be a universal code that dictates female food personalities should always be photographed eating something."
This isn't just a case of taking a few photos out of context. A quick once-over of some of the Food Network's most famous chefs shows that almost all the women have been photographed in open-mouthed, provocative poses: Nigella Lawson, Rachael Ray -- not even Paula Deen is above being sexed up to sell. (Then there's Padma Lakshmi, cookbook author and, uh, intellectual.)
The men, on the other hand, are marketed as food warriors. Bobby Flay holds his spatula like a weapon, and Gordon Ramsey's shtick is simply to play the angriest chef on television.
OK, so maybe we don't want to see Mario Batali licking leftovers off his fingers. But it might be time for the women to be the warriors rather than the objects.