Nov 10, 2017 | Shona If you’re ever in the mood for an omelette, and you live in the Galway area, Aisling Rock is your only woman. The 21 year old Culinary Arts student at GMIT has just returned home from Barcelona with the title of European Chef Young Chef 2017. Aisling was the only female Chef in the final. Cheffing (thats a word, right? is a traditionally male vocation, and in the UK, only 18.5% are women. Earlier this week we had a chat with Aisling, and asked her why she thinks this is. She said “I think more women don’t become chefs because as any female chef would tell you it’s a man world. This career for women is difficult because of the hours and if you wanted a family it would be even more difficult. There is a lot of cons but if you were passionate about the food and what you can do with the ingredients, which is what drives me other women to prove people of this industry wrong.” We also asked Aisling what advice she would give any young girls who might be interested in following in her footsteps. She said “Well the first advice I would give is to never give up. I was told not to go into this industry because of the lack of respect you get and a lot of other things. I initially took their advice and went to do something I absolutely hated and I said to myself ‘why am I going through the motions of getting a degree and a 9-5 hour job in a business sitting in front of a computer a job which I don’t even like just because someone told me I wouldn’t be able to be a chef.’ So if you think you cant do it just ask yourself, ‘if it actually worked out of me wouldn’t it be fanstatic!’ I think that has got me here today, and if you don’t try you will never know.” Aisling is one to watch, not just she is clearly very talented, but also because, she has focus, drive, and a smart head on her shoulders.