The number of women in the cooking profession is low: is it just because of gender discrimination? Although kitchens have traditionally been the domain of women, it is seen that the number of female cooks in industrial kitchens is very few compared to male cooks today. In various studies, it is stated that female cooks face gender discrimination and career barriers. The aim of this study is to determine whether the barrier to women working in restaurant kitchens is discrimination or their reluctance towards the profession due to the difficulties of the culinary profession. An online questionnaire was applied to 227 both male and female cooks who are members of various culinary associations in Turkey. The results of the research indicate that cooks in Turkey think that female applicants and workers are subjected to gender discrimination during the recruitment process. Pregnancy is perceived as the most significant reason for gender discrimination against women. In addition to believing that they are exposed to discrimination, there are other reasons why women do not choose this profession. One reason is that women consider that they do not have the physical and mental competencies required to be able to do the cooking profession as much as men. The second, and most striking, reason is that women do not fit the image of the cooking profession to themselves. While the literature confirms that women are exposed to gender discrimination in business life and do not participate in the workforce due to discrimination, there are few scientific studies that mention that there may be factors that have as much effect as, or even more than, discrimination. In addition to gender discrimination, which is an obstacle for women to enter the culinary profession, this study also discusses the image of the profession and the physical and mental competencies required by the profession.