Project: Redefine Twenty
Episode One: Redefining “woman in the kitchen”
In a male-dominated industry, Hayley Bauerlein, Sous Chef at The French Hamilton, continues to show her passion and dedication every night. The countless hours and hard work ethic she puts in, is empowering. For young females pursuing a career in Culinary Arts, Hayley is a prime example of a boss babe as she redefines “woman in the kitchen.” Here is both a written and recorded interview of Hayley Bauerlein. Get to know what she recommends for food, where she eats, and how she got started.
This is not the full recording or full written-interview, due to editing reasons, part of the interview is written and part of it is in the audio clip. (Give me some slack, it’s my first interview! aha) Also, apologize for the loud background noise, mulberry was not ideal.
The Art of Hayley Bauerlein
Jessica Mae: Hi, welcome to The Art of Jessica Mae. This is Project: Redefine Twenty Episode One: Redefining “Woman in the kitchen.”Today I have Hayley Bauerlein with me and her friend, Belinda Brown. Out of curiosity, I know you are super busy so what is your daily schedule like?
Hayley Bauerlein: Everyday is different for a Sous Chef. I come in and get ready for service and make sure everyone else is okay. I deal with all the crazies like hey, the dishwasher’s not working or hey, this didn’t come in today. I deal with all the little things and clean up. A big part of my day is organizing, features, and making sure everyone is ready for the night.
Jessica Mae: As a server that works at The French, I’m just curious, how do you come up with features?
Hayley Bauerlein: I watch a lot of cooking shows like Master Chef, Iron Chef, I read cookbooks and magazines like Bon Appetite. I go out for dinner, which is a big thing. There’s collaboration and forced creativity at The French with our daily fixed feature specials like lamb. We also use whatever is in the kitchen; I like to call this “black box style.” I also think about what’s in season right now like CORN.
Jessica Mae: How did you get into Culinary Arts?
Hayley Bauerlein: I also spent a lot of time in the kitchen when I was younger. I helped my mom make dinner. I never thought about it as a career until I was in university and then I got a summer job in a kitchen and I really, really loved it. I went back to university for one year after that and couldn’t really think of what I could do and I kept thinking about food. I went to culinary school and loved it!
Jessica Mae: What was that summer job?
Hayley Bauerlein: It was at a camp, Camp Tanamakoon at Algonquin Park. As far as kitchens I’ve worked in, well I mean like, it’s camp food right. It wasn’t amazing I just loved that the day would just like fly by.
Jessica Mae: What advice would you give a young female pursuing a career in culinary arts?
Hayley Bauerlein: Probably just, try not to let your profession get the best of you. I don’t want to just say like, work hard, but it’s kind of true. It’s the worst when a girl comes into work in a kitchen and she’s like “I can’t lift that” or “I need help with this.” You can’t be that person. You have to be better than the boys and work even harder than them too.
Jessica Mae: I’m not very familiar with culinary arts but I know the industry is male-oriented, how did you deal with that?
Hayley Bauerlein: I never really noticed it. It didn’t really bother me because I grew up with two brothers. But like, when I think about it. Yeah, a lot of kitchens I’ve worked in, I was the only girl. You can’t focus on it because they might focus on it, but you’re just like one of the guys. I’ve had guys say, “oh I forgot you were a girl.” And I find that so weird.
Jessica Mae: Has that intimidated you?
Hayley Bauerlein: Not really, unless I’m working with like, a cute guy.
Jessica Mae: If you could have a giant billboard that millions of people could see, what would it say? (A question from one of Tim Ferriss’ interviews)
Hayley Bauerlein: I don’t want to sound preachy but “taste everything, always.” Because it’s important. People forget to taste food. Even when you step into a new kitchen, I notice the difference between people who have a spoon asking, “ou can I taste this? or this? or this?” It sounds so simple but what if I guest says, oh this tastes so salty, you need to know that before they know that. And try new things. I tried snails for the first time and I couldn’t get over the psychological fact it’s snail but if I didn’t taste it, I wouldn’t know if I liked it or not.
Jessica Mae: What are the three books that have influenced your life? or you would give as a gift?
Hayley Bauerlein: It’s usually, or almost always, cookbooks geared towards that person and their lifestyle. The three most influential books for me would be:
- The Joy of Cooking
- The French Laundry by Thomas Keller
- Life on the Line by Grant Achatz
Achatz is like a crazy chef that got tongue cancer. So he lost the ability to taste. That’s what I read back in culinary school. It goes on about what it’s like to work in the kitchen and that kind of lifestyle.
Joy of Cooking is the one my mom always had in the kitchen and it was the go-to recipe guide. And French Laundry is just, The French Laundry. It’s clean, California cooking. You’ll hear me call Tom, T-K, that’s almost like Thomas Keller and also his initials and that’s a giant compliment because Thomas Keller is such an inspirational chef, a tall beacon that’s just clean and perfect and that’s French Laundry. Clean and simple.
Jessica Mae: What was the biggest challenge in your career? And how did you manage that?
Hayley Bauerlein: I think every new kitchen is a challenge because it’s super intimidating and everyone’s watching. I study the menu and like John taught me, “fake it till you make it.” I was like, I don’t know how to be a sous chef, I don’t have the answers and he was like, “just do what I do, fake it till you make it.” Like you know, fix the dishwasher with tape.
Jessica Mae: What is the timeline from culinary school up until now?
Hayley Bauerlein: I went to culinary school when I was 20 or 21 and now I’m 29. Which is like 9 years ago, which for some people, that’s pretty short. Some people start when they are like fourteen.
Jessica Mae: Where did you go?
Hayley Bauerlein: I went to PEI, Culinary Institute of Canada, Holland College. It’s right on the ocean, it’s really cute. It’s a two-year program. Between the first and second year, you do 640-hour internship. I did mine in Dublin, Ireland. I worked for free for 2-3 months. It took a lot less time to get my hours than I thought it would because I worked 9am-11pm, with a little hour-long break in between lunch and dinner. I was tired all the time. But that was the best kitchen that I’ve worked in that has set me up with good habits. Then I came back to Ontario, I was in Collingwood then moved to Toronto then Australia then back to Toronto for a year and then Hamilton. That’s the cool thing about working in a kitchen. You can go anywhere. Language can be a barrier but you would just learn the calls and what you need to listen for.
I have attached the rest of the interview as a podcast.
As my first project post, I want to thank Hayley for taking the time to share her story, for being honest, and in fact, vulnerable. I believe sharing and listening to stories are important for human connection and building a sense of community. Hayley challenges the male-dominated industry and the “two-dimensional woman.” Looking at the depiction of female-leaders, our society either presents them as “too soft or too stern (aka, a bitch) demonstrating the “two-dimensional woman.” Project Redefine Twenty is to help encourage and support young, female millennials who want to redefine this “two-dimensional woman.” By sharing Hayley’s story, I hope that she will inspire a young female pursuing a career in Culinary Arts. Her hard work, passion, and determination do not go unnoticed. Thank you for being an inspiration Hayley!