The Office of National Statistics has revealed that the number of female chefs in the UK has grown by 34% over the past 12 months, despite the fact that less than one in four is still female.

Analysis of the last five years of employment data found that the total number of chefs in the UK has risen by 11.3% in the last year, of which male chefs rose by 5.9% and women by 34% – making it the biggest single rise in the past five years. Whilst the number of female chefs is outpacing the rise in the number of chefs working in hospitality, still less than one in four (23.5%) is female, and only a third of women work full-time compared to only a third of men who work part-time.

Craig Allen, founder and director of hospitality recruiter The Change Group, who provided ONS employment data from the past 12 months, said: “It is great to see that there are more female chefs and that this figure has leapt up in the past year. “This is certainly a trend that we are seeing in the people that we are placing at London’s top establishments. The hospitality sector wants more female chefs and we are delighted to see so many of London’s top establishments taking steps to recruit more women into their kitchens.”