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Women's Day: A day to recall and to honor all female chefs in culinary world

Wednesday, 03/08/2017 09:46
On the way to success, there is no trace of lazy WOMEN. Everyone needs to work hard to succeed and in some special fields, women just need to work harder.

Cooking is traditionally entitled to women and is considered to be one of the fundamental qualities and skills associated with womenfolk. Ironically, the cooking world is also dominated by a large number of male chefs. But, like anything there are exceptions that some women that have worked against this socially accepted standard and all for good reasons.

Helena Rizzo

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Helena Rizzo is the Brazilian-born chef, the owner and manager of Mani Restaurant opened in 2006 and the current winner of Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef 2014.

Helena Rizzo worked as a model and studied architecture before discovering her true calling in food. She's worked in kitchens in Brazil, Italy, and Spain, and, today, is in charge of the menu of Mani in Sao Paulo.

Helena’s cooking has the blending of traditional Brazilian cooking techniques and ingredients infused with Spanish cooking and modern gastronomic practices. Rizzo published her cookbook and opened her second restaurant in 2014.

Lanshu Chen

Photo Source: Eater

Lanshu Chen is the Taiwan based chef and the winner of The Veuve Clicquot Asia’s Best Female Chef 2014 award. She is the head chef at Le Mout Restaurant Taiwan and is trained in French cuisine.

Lanshu Chen has her gastronomic training from the famous Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts in Paris and the art of pastry from Le Cordon Bleu. She has worked with a number of culinary geniuses and a good amount of famous hotels. Trained in French cuisine, Lanshu has a passion for ‘Haute French’ and is obsessed with the idea of creating authentic dishes with the amalgamation of French and her hometown, Taiwanese, ingredients.

Clare Smith

Photo Source: Eater

Clare Smith is the chef patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. She currently holds the position as the only female chef in Britain to have three Michelin stars and one of the six female chefs globally to have the prestigious accolade.

Smith’s journey of being a chef started at the age of fifteen when she worked as a chef in her summer job, subsequently there was no looking back. She moved to England to study catering. Since then she has worked at Terrance Conran’s Bibendum, as a sous chef at the St. Enodoc Hotel, Per Se in New York, The French Laundry and the Kitchen of Alain Ducass at the Louis XV.

She stated that being a woman had exerted extra pressure on her as she was not ready to let people think of her as a weakling or just because she was a woman. She worked harder each time she stepped in the kitchen and did not allow herself to be tired, have bad days or back off from any task.

Catherine Ann “Cat” Cora

Photo Source: Winnipeg Free Press

Known as the very first female chef to appear on ‘Iron Chef America’, Cat Cora has earned the fame by being the only woman chef, till now, ever featured as an Iron Chef in the franchise history of the show.

Cora holds Bachelor’s in Exercise Physiology and Biology and acquired her culinary training from the Culinary Institute of America and is the executive chef of Bon Appetit magazine.

She is also the founding President of the Chefs for Humanity organisation working towards food and education related issues and has joined First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign of Chefs Move to Schools to give nutritional guidance. Cat Cora opened restaurants at Macy’s South Coast Place, Houston’s airports, Walt Disney World and the Ocean Restaurant in Singapore, which is the very first to have built inside the S.E.A aquarium.

Cristeta Comerford

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Cristeta Comerford is the very first woman White House executive chef and the very first belonging to a minority group.

Comeford is a Filipino-American professional chef majoring in food technology at the time of immigration due to which she was not able to complete her degree program. She started working as a chef at Chicago’s Sheraton and Hyatt Regency restaurants, Le Grande Bistro, Westin Hotel and at Le Ciel as a revolving chef. Later in 1995, she was appointed as an assistant chef by the then White House executive chef Walter Scheib and was elevated to the executive chef position by the First Lady Laura Bush.

Nadia Santini

Photo Source: Four Magazine

Nadia Santini is the winner of the Best Female Chef award 2013 at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. She is not officially trained as a chef, which makes her even more praiseworthy.

She is married to a restaurateur family, which owns a three Michelin-starred Del Pescotore restaurant and Santini serves them as a head chef. Nadia Santini learnt cooking from her husband’s grandmother. Nadia Santini’s gastronomic expertise and creativity have preserved and heightened the family bistro’s name and reputation.

Santini is Italy’s very first female chef to earn three Michelin stars, which makes her a member of a very small elite group of female chefs to have attained the honor.

Bui Thi Suong

She is not at the same page as seven female chefs above but she is one of Viet Nam’s prides in culinary field. Graduated from University of Pedagogical Techniques in 1978, a Culinary Arts teacher for over 35 years, she has retired as Head of the SHTC (Ho Chi Minh City Tourism College), and Head of its Culinary Department.

As Vice Chairman of the Saigon Professional Chefs Guild, Chef Suong has immense judging experience with Vietnamese culinary competitions of all levels. She has organized and participated in many Vietnamese culinary promotions to introduce and promote Vietnam culinary art overseas, such as in Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Hong Kong, China, Sri Lanka and the USA.

Since 2013 she has joined the judge panel of the Golden Spoon Awards, a competition that helps nurture young cooking talents from all hospitality institutions nationwide. Thanks to her tireless contribution and initiatives, Chef Suong was honored the National Culinary Artisan in 2009 and is author of several Vietnamese cookbooks.

On International Women’s Day, once again we’ve honored the incredible work and achievements of those female chefs. They have been inspired the whole young generation to seek what they love, to try and to fight for what have meant to them, and to thrive.

By Thu Pham

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