Ariel Contreras-Fox is a chef and an author and someone who has no problem speaking her mind. Aside from her delicious meals and achievements, Fox is known for speaking up about the cooking industry and the hardships that women face in these settings.
“The things that would happen in the kitchens, and the things that people would say [weren’t okay], and you would laugh and giggle because you wanted to fit in and be part of the cool restaurant crew,” Fox said in an interview with Mashed. “You might have been tired, but you still went out after work, even though you knew you shouldn’t go out, because that’s what everyone was doing.”
Fox is one of the most recognizable faces for Latinos wanting to get involved in the cooking industry, and was born in Northern California of Mexican heritage. While she’s appeared in beloved shows like “Beat Bobby Flay” and won the cooking show “Hell’s Kitchen,” it took Fox some time to reach the top of the food chain, working her way up through kitchens and holding a variety of unglamorous positions.
Fox is now the VP of Dos Caminos and Del Frisco’s, two big restaurants with locations in New York, Florida, and more. She’s also the author of “Spice Kitchen,” a cookbook that highlights healthy Latin and Caribbean cuisine.
“It’s important to tell a young woman that it’s okay to say, “No,” and to say, “That bothers me,” or whatever you need to say and not to be afraid for your job,” said Fox. “ We’ve gotten to a place now where there’s a little bit more support. I hope that people don’t have to put up with as much as we put up with, because it was wild, looking back on it.”