International Women's Day 2018: How London's food and drink scene is celebrating

David Ellis, BEN NORUM, Ailis Brennan
Feed the revolution: Maja Jaworska at Super Lyan

Throughout March, the Evening Standard is running a special series to mark Women’s History Month, covering everything from forgotten female heroes to the brilliant women of today.

Already, 2018 is being hailed as the year of the woman.

Sexual harassment accusations have shaken Hollywood and more industries realise there aren’t enough women in top jobs.

The food and drink world is no exception: only three restaurants with female head chefs made the World’s 50 Best List last year.

Women are making their voices heard in London’s kitchens, though, so celebrate them tomorrow, on International Women’s Day.

Mind the gap: Rascals will be highlighting the pay gap with 18.4 per cent being knocked off the bill

Equal portions

Shoreditch restaurant Rascals is offering customers 18.4 per cent off the bill (and free entry to next door Ballie Ballerson) if they support #pressforprogress on social media.

If you like to get stuck into a debate, The Ladies of Restaurants collective is hosting a day of talks at Old Spitalfields Market, discussing patriarchal industries and the pressures of “having it all”, followed by an afterparty at Blixen.

Tredwells’ Chantelle Nicholson and TV chef Sophie Michell are cooking up special burger recipes for Carl Clarke’s Chick ’n’ Sours and CHIK’N respectively, with Nicholson presenting the “Lady High Grade” and Michell the “California Baja”.

Rossopomodoro will plate up chocolate pannacotta made with marmalade from CasaLorena, which supports women and sexual harassment.

On March 12, Aster executive chef Helen Puolakka invites Sally Clarke and Angela Hartnett into her kitchen. Half of all ticket-sale revenue goes to Women’s Aid.

At Holborn burger joint Hache, ES’s Frankie McCoy chairs a panel including Oklava’s Selin Kiazim, BBC Good Food’s Lulu Grimes, Mazí Mas founder Niki Kopcke and Wine Car Boots‘s Ruth Spivey, who’ll discuss the challenges facing women in food. Afterwards, there’s dinner and cocktails.

Sip in support: in Seven Dials, the Hawksmoor are serving up a suffragette cocktail

Raise a glass

Head to the Savoy and ask for Pippa Guy, who last year suited up in the American Bar’s white jackets to break a century of male-only bartending. If you want to drink like Pippa, ask for a Negroni, a cocktail she says "epitomises beauty in simplicity, a perfect bitter harmony". For wine, head to Old Street to Irish bistro Nuala, where the head sommelier is Honey Spencer.

At Ryan Chetiyawardana’s Super Lyan, Maja Jaworska is joined by new teammate Rachelle Hair (once of the Baxter Inn), alongside Anita O’Connell of Cub. Also serving are whisky ambassadors Andrea Montague, Georgie Bell and Abigail Clephane, alongside Mixxit’s Terri Brotherston.

Top chef Martha Ortiz and her Ella Canta team are donating a whopping £5 from every Talavera Purpura cocktail sold to Mazí Mas, a social enterprise which supports migrant women.

In Soho and on Brick Lane, Blanchette is serving a vodka, strawberry liqueur and prosecco cocktail with a discretionary £1 on the bill going towards Women’s Aid.

The Seven Dials Hawksmoor is pouring out a Sister Suffragette all week for £6, based on Appleton rum, who’s Joy Spence is the spirit's only female master distiller. Around the corner on the day itself, the Mercer St Radisson Blu is hosting an In Conversation With panel on the theme of Press for Progress, which can be watched live from 7pm here.

If you like to drink in a view, try the Radio Rooftop bar at ME London, where designer Sara Pope has an IWD-themed exhibition.

If you like taking part, “get it off your breasts” at a Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen round-table, where plain-talking is very much encouraged – have a drink for courage. Or head to the Queen of Hoxton’s hip hop karaoke night, where anyone performing a female track gets free shots.

Grill menu: Nieves Barragan Mohacho (Chris Terry)

Leading ladies

At Selin Kiazim’s Turkish restaurant Oklava in Shoreditch, gorge on medjool date butter, chilli-roast cauliflower and pide topped with marinated octopus created by an almost all-female kitchen team, washed down with a Turkish wine list curated by Laura Christie.

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, is London’s only female chef to hold two Michelin stars. In addition to her modern French tasting menus, she has a Sunday menu dedicated to roast chicken including chicken soup, roast chicken and egg-themed desserts.

Nearby, former Barrafina chef Nieves Barragán Mohacho (wo)mans the stoves at her newly opened Spanish restaurant Sabor in Mayfair, which incorporates an Adalucian tapas bar with vermouth on tap and an upstairs Asador serving suckling pig.

Other female-run powerhouses include Anna Hansen’s The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell, Margot Henderson’s Rochelle Canteen in Shoreditch, Jane Alty’s Thai sensation Begging Bowl in Peckham and Mere in Fitzrovia, run by MasterChef: The Professionals judge Monica Galetti.