Leah Garcia-Purves is a technical writer and chef from Auckland, New Zealand. Filipino-Kiwi, her years spent working in the hospitality industry have led her to experience and witness racism and sexism in kitchens on a regular basis, and she wants to see an end to the notion that cheffing and commercial kitchens are a straight white male’s domain. She talks to Sarah about her experience, and why it’s time for the industry to change.
On Sunday I reached a milestone in my career. I was on the closing panel at the European Society for Oceanists conference in Munich, and I spoke alongside the much-admired Māori academic Associate Professor Mānuka Hēnare and emerging Micronesian scholar Myjolynne Marie Kim. Before speaking I was proud, worried, excited, and shaken. I had a sense of academic “arriving” and I was shit-scared.