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 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 www.theworlds50bestrestaurants.com
For more information on Veuve Clicquot, please visit http://www.veuve-clicquot.com/.