The Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef for 2015 will be announced on 22nd April
The winner of the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef Award 2015 will be announced on the 22nd April, and will be honoured at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony on the 1st June at the Guildhall in central London.
The presentation of this achievement, in partnership with Veuve Clicquot, at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards, will celebrate the work of a woman whose culinary prowess impresses the world’s toughest critics and most venerated chefs, almost 1,000 of whom voted in this category.
This year’s winner will join a group of exceptionally talented female chefs whose cooking excellence has put them at the forefront of gastronomy. The 2015 recipient of the award and past winners, who include Anne-Sophie Pic, Elena Arzak, Nadia Santini and Helena Rizzo, follow in the footsteps of Madame Clicquot, a woman whose innovation and determination created the pillars of the successful global brand, which aims to empower exceptional females that embody her ethos, resolve and individuality.
The Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef Award shines a light on the extraordinary work of these female chefs, and those still to come, in an industry still predominately led by men. While it might seem unfortunate that a gender gap still exists even today within the world of gastronomy, this award aims to address it by bringing to the fore exceptional female chefs.
Honouring women through the award celebrates their breakthrough in the industry, and acts as a sign of their growing empowerment not just within the world of food, but also within business in general. The Veuve Clicquot Champagne house has long been known for empowering innovative and audacious women – beginning with Madame Clicquot, who came to the helm of the business in 1805 and extending to the 41-year-old annual Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award.
Last year’s winner, Helena Rizzo, commented on what the award meant to her, “Winning this award was a great recognition of my work and the work of my entire team. It is a difficult judgement to make and difficult to award to just one person, given that there are so many talented female chefs in the industry, so I was honoured to have been chosen. For me, it has meant a step forward, with the gastronomic world opening its eyes to the work of female chefs and their exceptional kitchens all over the world, including Brazil.”
The award recognises and rewards the choices made by its winner, their art, innovation and influence, so it is only fitting that it is awarded to a woman by a champagne house created by a woman, highlighting the continued advocacy of the empowerment of women through the years.
A short biography of each of the Veuve Clicquot Best Female Chef Winners follows.
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 11and 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.
Helena Rizzo- 2014
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.)