Lifestyle & Belief

Top chefs join call for gender-neutral Easy-Bake Oven


Top chefs including Bobby Flay and Manuel Trevino of TV's "Top Chef" are backing 13-year-old McKenna Pope's campaign to encourage Hasbro to make a gender-neutral Easy Bake Oven.


Easy Bake Oven commercial 2011

Some of the country's top male chefs are backing a New Jersey girl's campaign to encourage toy-maker Hasbro to make a gender-neutral Easy-Bake Oven. 

Bobby Flay, Manuel Trevino of TV's "Top Chef", and Michael Lomonaco of New York's Porterhouse have lent their support to 13-year-old McKenna Pope, whose online petition has reached more than 40,000 signatures, reports CBS News. 

Pope told AP that she started the campaign after she wanted to buy her 4-year-old brother, Gavyn Boscio, an Easy-Bake Oven as a gift but could only find them in pink and purple. 

"I want my brother to know that it's not "wrong" for him to want to be a chef, that it's okay to go against what society believes to be appropriate," Pope wrote in her petition.

"Unfortunately, Hasbro has made going against the societal norm that girls are the ones in the kitchen even more difficult." 

She even added a video of an adorable, cooking-obsessed Gavyn to make her point. 



Chef Bobby Flay made a 3-minute video in support of Pope's campaign where chefs from around the country joined in. 

Lomonaco, who was executive chef at Windows on the World atop the north tower of the World Trade Center, said: "We signed your petition McKenna! You get Hasbro to change that packaging! Little boys and little girls can all be chefs."

"I can understand not wanting to cook on a pink oven," added Joshua Whigham, of The Bazaar by Jose Andres in Los Angeles. "Ask Hasbro for a steel, or a black or a something really cool oven."

Hasbro's Julie Duffy told AP that the company invited Pope and her family to meet with the Easy-Bake team Monday at its headquarters in Pawtucket, RI to listen to her thoughts and ideas. 

Duffy said Hasbro has made the oven in gender-neutral colors in the past and believes it's great for girls and boys.