Female Chefs Featured on Exhibit-Inspired Menu at the Met

Portraits of Caroline Schiff, Claudia Flemming, Dominique Crenn, Carla Hall, Asha Gomez, Joanne Chang, Traci Des Jardins, and Nancy Silverton.

Just some of the many chefs featured on the New Woman Behind the Camera menu. From top left to bottom right: Caroline Schiff, Claudia Flemming, Dominique Crenn, Carla Hall, Asha Gomez, Joanne Chang, Traci Des Jardins, and Nancy Silverton.

This summer, as guests lined up outside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, eager to traipse around the museum, Bon Appétit Executive Chef Bill Telepan was in the Met’s kitchen below the labyrinthine floors of priceless artifacts, hatching a plan.

A new exhibit was about to go on display at the Met: The New Woman Behind the Camera, which showcased the work of female photographers from the 1920s through the 1950s. An exhibit, the Met’s website states, that represents “a powerful expression of modernity” featuring innovative photography from 120 women hailing from over 20 countries. It was this exhibit that led to Bill scheming away on an afternoon in early summer. He was inspired and wanted to create a menu for the Met’s Eatery that complemented the innovative women who were highlighted in the exhibit. His ambitious idea? A menu that featured dishes from renowned, trailblazing women chefs. With the exhibit opening in only a few weeks, Bill needed to act quickly.

Chef Caroline Schiff eats her coconut cake with raspberry glaze on the front steps of the Met

Calling on 21 female chefs, including personal friends like James Beard award winners Traci Des Jardins and Nancy Silverton as well as celebrated Brooklyn-based pastry chef Caroline Schiff, Bill sourced an array of scrumptious recipes to be made in the Met’s Eatery, featuring new recipes each week for 10 weeks. The process wasn’t always easy. “Creating these dishes at the Met meant that we had to work with our featured chefs to adapt each recipe accordingly,” says Bill. “We had to make sure the dish could be held in a hot box, or wrapped up for grab and go, while still ensuring that guests would be surprised and delighted by it.”

The special dishes were a hit with guests and even drew the attention of the New York Times, receiving a mention in Florence Fabricant’s Off the Menu column. For Bill, the creation of the New Woman Behind the Camera menu is not the first or last time the Met’s culinary program will mold itself to reflect the museum’s art exhibitions. “There’s so much pent-up energy here around every corner,” he says. “Part of my job is reflecting that energy in the food we offer.” In the future, Bill and his team are working with The Met’s curatorial staff to plan a wide variety of menus to complement exhibits from Afro-futurism to Surrealism. So, the next time you’re in the Upper East Side, pay the Bon Appétit at the Met team a visit and get a taste of inspiration.

More information about the New Woman Behind the Camera menu can be found on Instagram at @metdining and a full list of the chefs and dishes featured on the New Woman Behind the Camera menu can be found below:

Chef Nancy Silverton | Saturday night chicken thighs with Italian sausage and spicy pickled peppers

Chef Traci Des Jardins | baby back ribs with tomatillo barbecue sauce

Chef Ashley Christensen | cornmeal crab cakes with charred summer vegetables salad, basil-cider mayo, and roasted heirloom tomato relish

Chef Anita Lo | salmon with salmon roe and buckwheat noodles

Chef Andrea Reusing | summertime charred short ribs with heirloom tomatoes and hot pepper relish

Chef Mary Sue Miliken and Susan Feniger | chicken poblano enchiladas

Chef Emma Bengtsson | Swedish meatballs with potato purée, lingonberries, pickled cucumber and cream sauce

Chef Asha Gomez | banana leaf wrapped Kerala beef curry with coconut rice

Chef Carla Hall | buffalo chicken sliders with celery and bleu cheese

Chef Dominque Crenn | cabbage farci

Chef Sherry Yard | chocolate financier

Chef Amy Scherber | carrot cake donuts with walnut cream cheese glaze

Chef Agatha Kulaga | tipsy fig and currant blondies

Chef Melissa Weller | s’mores cookie

Chef Joanne Chang | lamingtons

Chef Bobbie Lloyd | banana pudding

Chef Belinda Leong | banana chocolate and coconut cake

Chef Emily Luchetti | cornmeal cocoa nib cookies

Chef Claudia Fleming | blueberry financier

Chef Caroline Schiff | coconut cake with raspberry glaze