Stosie Madi: Awards should recognise more women

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Influential women: Stosie Madi claims awards should take more notice of female talent
Influential women: Stosie Madi claims awards should take more notice of female talent

Related tags Gastropub Food Gender Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards Lancashire

The award-winning chef-patron of the Parkers Arms, Newton-in-Bowland called for better representation of female chefs in top restaurant awards.

Stosie Madi said she was “delighted” to be a role model for women in the pub sector, after the 2020/21 Gender Pay Gap report revealed most senior positions in the hospitality sector to still be filled by men.

Her Lancashire pub has won a host of awards, including number four on the Estrella Damm Top Gastropub list and 23rd​ top restaurant this year in the National Restaurant Awards.

Talking of the awards, she said: “More women should be on the list. More women should be discovered.

Recognising female talent

“I am delighted to be a role model for people out there, for women, because there’s not many women in the pub sector as much as there is in the restaurant industry.

“So, being a woman, running and owning a pub, and driving a pub forward all the time, for me, is a big thing.

Madi said it means a lot when women are nominated in award lists. She said: “Women should be noted in this industry, because we sacrifice just as much, if not even more, to do what we do and work in a kitchen.”

Madi continued: “It is very important we feature in lists. It’s very important our work is recognised, for me, as a woman, to be recognised.

“Doing this in the industry is very special, and long may it continue.”

Global inspiration

Madi opened her own restaurant aged 23, and took over the Parkers Arms in 2007 with business partner Kathy Smith and her brother AJ, who has been part of the team since the 1990s.

The French-born, West-Africa-raised, UK-based chef takes inspiration from around the world for her menus, which nonetheless are rooted in traditional Lancashire recipes.

In a 2019 interview, Madi told The Morning Advertiser​:​ “I have been very lucky. I have always founded and owned the restaurants and pubs I cook in so I have not had to deal with much sexism in the work place, however, as a female business owner I feel I have to knock harder to get my business voice heard.

“The media needs to take more account of hard-working women and reward accordingly.”

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