25TH MARCH 2014
ImageThe Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef 2014 will be announced on the 25th March, with the winner honoured at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony on 28th April at the Guildhall, in central London.
The winner will join an exclusive group of chefs, whose cooking excellence has put them at the forefront of worldwide gastronomy. Beginning in 2011, with a celebration of the achievements of French chef Anne-Sophie Pic of Maison Pic, the annual award has subsequently honoured Elena Arzak of Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain and last year, Italian chef Nadia Santini, of Dal Pescatore in the Mantova countryside.
2013 saw the introduction of two new lists; Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. With them came two new Best Female Chef awards.  The Veuve Clicquot Asia’s Best Female Chef 2013 was Thailand’s Duangporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava of Bo.lan, Bangkok with Brazilian Helena Rizzo of Mani restaurant in São Paulo scooping the Latin America title. Lanshu Chen of Le Moûtrestaurant, Taiwan has just been announced as the Veuve Clicquot Asia’s Best Female Chef for 2014.
Since its creation questions have been raised as to the necessity of an award focusing on female chefs. Although there are women in top kitchens, the culinary world continues to be dominated by men. Proof of this was recently illustrated by TIME magazine’s ‘Gods of Food’ issue, in which the lack of reference to female chefs caused controversy. TIME magazine responded by saying that the issue reflected a harsh reality.
Whilst it seems an unfortunate fact that there is a gender gap in popularly perceived excellence within the gastronomic world, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, along with Veuve Clicquot, aims to address this by shining a light on some extraordinary female chefs. The champagne house in particular has a strong history of empowering innovative and audacious women. Beginning with Madame Clicquot, who took over the helm of the business, making it into the successful brand it is today, extending to the forty year old annual Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award.
The affect of the award has been overwhelmingly positive for past winners as Elena Arzak explains, ‘Being named The Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef in 2012 was a great honour and source of joy for my family and I, as well as for the team at Restaurant Arzak, bringing with it a lot of exposure and professional impact.’
Awarded to a woman by a champagne house created by a woman, it is the choices made by this person, their art, innovation and influence, which are being recognised and rewarded.
About the chefs…….

The Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chefs

Anne-Sophie Pic – 2011


Anne-Sophie Pic, the inaugural winner of The Veuve Clicquot’s Best Female Chef Award, is the only woman in France ever to have held three Michelin stars. 2014 marks the 125th year of her restaurant Maison Pic and also of the Pic family gastronomic dynasty, which began with great-grandmother Sophie. Pic’s cooking is described as frank, distinct tastes paired with a feminine simplicity, which reflects her gentle but determined personality.

     Elena Arzak- 2012


Elena Arzak cooks alongside her father, the formidable master of Basque cuisine, Juan Mari Arzak. Elena Arzak’s cooking has received critical acclaim because of her ability to bring out the best in local ingredients and food culture by using modern techniques. She began working in the restaurant at age 11 and studied in Switzerland. Stints at Le Gavroche and Pierre Gagnaire followed, before she became the 4th generation of the Arzak family to take up the head chef position. The 2012 award gave her a chance to reflect on how much of an inspiration her grandmother, who had also been head chef, was to her and how she had helped shape Arzak into the restaurant it is today.

Nadia Santini-2013


Nadia Santini had never cooked professionally before she entered the restaurant kitchen at Dal Pescatore. She was trained by her husband Antonio’s grandmother, Teresa the original matriarch of the restaurant. Now at the helm of the Santini family, her expertise has taken Dal Pescatore to the top of the industry with the values installed in her by Teresa Santini a constant. Nadia Santini was the first Italian woman to win three Michelin stars. The charming restaurant has appeared regularly on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Her cooking aims to provide each diner with an enriching culinary experience and has excited the world’s toughest critics.

The Veuve Clicquot Asia’s Best Female Chefs

Duangporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava – 2013


Bo Songvisava runs one of Thailand’s most exciting and innovative Thai restaurants Bo.lan with her partner and husband Dylan Jones. They’ve received critical acclaim for their progressive and ethical Thai cooking. Songvisava grew up in Bangkok and spent time in Australia working in restaurants before a chance encounter with David Thompson took her to London to train at Nahm, the first Thai restaurant in Europe to receive a Michelin star. Here she met Jones and in 2009 they left London to test their gastronomic prowess in Bangkok. This test has been a resounding success.

Lanshu Chen- 2014


Lanshu Chen studied languages and literature at the National University of Taiwan before deciding to follow her passion for French gastronomy. She trained at the prestigious Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts in Paris and in pastry at Le Cordon Bleu before undertaking stints with names like Pierre Hermé and Thomas Keller. It was at The French Laundry where her love for cooking with precision flourished. In her current position at Le Moût in Taiwan, Chen is pushing the boundaries of haute French cuisine, discovering its place in the local gastronomic scene.

The Veuve Clicquot Latin America’s Best Female Chef

Helena Rizzo- 2013


Helena Rizzo considered careers both as a model and an architect before deciding to follow her love of food. After dropping out of her architecture course at 18, she left for São Paulo, eager to foster her passion and apprenticed in some of the city’s top kitchens. She spent two years running the kitchen at Na Mata Café, and then took off on a culinary adventure. During time spent in Girona at El Celler de Can Roca, she met her future husband, chef Daniel Redondo. The pair returned to São Paulo where they opened the now acclaimed restaurant Mani (currently #46 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurant list.)

The selection process

The Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef award is voted for by the 900-plus members of The Diners Club® World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, who are selected for their knowledge of the international restaurant scene. The world is divided into 26 regions, each of which has a chairperson and a voting panel of 35 others, a balanced selection of chefs, restaurateurs, food journalists and gourmands. None of the sponsors associated with any of the awards at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards has any influence over the results.

To view last year’s The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, all awards and events, log on to

For more information on Veuve Clicquot, please visit

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