Sally Abe launches debut book, A Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen

Sally's authorial debut doesn't pull any punches, as she lays bare the truth about restaurant kitchens.

Updated on • Written By Pete Dreyer

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Sally Abe launches debut book, A Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen

Chef Sally Abe - chef patron of The Pem in Westminster and SquareMeal’s Female Chef of the Year in 2021 - can now add ‘author’ to her list of titles, as she released her debut book on Thursday 6 June.

A Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen is no ordinary cookbook, in fact, it isn’t a cookbook at all. Sally’s authorial debut is a no-holds-barred account of her own journey through kitchens, as she uncovers the good, bad, and ugly sides of restaurant kitchens, and the misogyny that plagues parts of the industry.


The memoir charts her course from growing up in Sheffield, working in a call centre at PC World and cooking herself Smash, to her time on TV recording Great British Menu, cooking at The Ledbury, winning a Michelin star at The Harwood Arms and opening her own restaurant - The Pem at Conrad London St James.

A large swathe of that account involves time cooking in kitchens and Sally lifts the lid on the reality of kitchen culture. Not only are her stories eye-opening, but the book is a manifesto for change, written in the hope that a new generation of chefs can, and will, do better.

Aside from the book, Abe has already been a big force for change within the industry. In 2023, Sally also set up a WhatsApp group for female chefs, where the chefs can go to each other for advice, moral support or just to create friendships.

A previous winner of the SquareMeal AYALA Female Chef of the Year Award in 2021, Sally is now part of the judging panel for the award, which also aims to share the inspiring stories of female chefs and encourage young chefs to follow a career in the kitchen.

You can buy A Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen here, and click here to read more about more brilliant female chefs working in the UK today, including Roberta Hall-McCarron, Lisa Goodwin-Allen, Adriana Cavita and Harriet Mansell.

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