New Female Chef Award Announced

April 4, 2011

S.Pellegrino Worlds 50 Best Awards, along with Restaurant magazine, announced a new annual award that will be given to the best female chef in the world.

Among the favorites are Elena Arzak from Arzak in Spain, Anne-Sophie Pic from Maison Pic in France, and Nadia Santini from Dal Pescatore in Italy.

The award honors the life and achievements of Madame Cliquot. When her husband died at the age of 27, under mysterious circumstances, she took over the family's business and transformed a fledgling wine business into a highly successful champagne empire. A pioneer of early champagne techniques, the name Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin still bears her name.

Though a laudable mission to honor the best chefs in the world, why separate the women from the men? Chefs have too often been considered just men, but that trend appears to be changing (slowly). Without question some of the biggest names in cooking (think Alice Waters, Julia Child, Cat Cora, Lidia Bastianich) could not only compete, but beat, their male counterparts. It seems silly to create a separate award that would just create another barrier.

What do you think of this new award? Which chefs would you add to the list?

Photo by Tavallai