As you may or may not know, Republica & Co. is co-owned by myself (Angel Medina) and the incredible Chef Olivia
Bartruff, who is also our Culinary Director. What exactly does a Culinary Director do, you ask? Well, it depends on the size of the restaurant group and their focus. For us, Chef Olivia is the person with the most responsibilities in this organization, you can say that she is the one that makes sure the trains run on time. Her duties go beyond being the brilliant mind behind Republica’s incredible desserts, nightly. Rent, payroll,
taxes, management, mentoring, leading, planning, even the cocktails in our restaurants have a bit of her signature all over them. She is an incredibly talented human being that makes everything around us work like it is supposed to. I bring this up because very often in this industry like many others, women are overlooked in their roles. There are countless examples of publications who I’ve shared the information with very much upfront, yet somehow after the piece is written and pressed I find myself asking them to please make corrections on the names and the titles. To some this might sound like an exaggeration but for me it's a constant frustration. It is the same frustration that I felt when I noticed the men in the kitchen addressing the other male owner as Chef and Chef Olivia simply as “Oli”. The same frustration I feel when I’m being introduced by people to their friends, very often even addressing me as “Chef” and addressing Olivia as simply just my “partner”, often crediting me for my “brilliance” and asking how do I make it all work?
“This is Chef Angel and his partner Oliva. Chef Angel is the owner of República and a few other wonderful establishments in Portland”. You think I am exaggerating? Not really, this happens more often than you think, sometimes by mistake and other times by sheer ignorance. Let me just be clear, they are more likely to refer to me as Chef (despite not being one) than to refer to her as such, even though I make it clear by addressing her as Chef Olivia, in public. No this isn’t a stab at any publication in particular, this is more than anything an observation, one that happens more often than you would think. Believe it or not, the more time we spend around other Women owners, Chefs, and General Managers the more common these stories are. We are grateful for all of the press, truly. But we are more grateful for those who take the time to understand the importance of women in our kitchens, in our management roles, and in the role of ownership. For us, having one person who happens to be great at all 3 is simply the standard of what our little ownership group strives for. Saludos,