Top Females Chefs Who Made Their Name In Food Industry

Sheena Joseph | Sep 02 2019

While giving an interview to Irish Independent, the British chef Marco Pierre White made some sexist remarks. According to his opinion, women are not physically and emotionally equipped to be chefs. 

Coming from a former three Michelin star chef who trained notable chefs of the industry including Mario Batali, Curtis Stone, Shannon Bennett, and Gordon Ramsay, his remarks considered to be highly objectionable. 

This is not the first time White has made controversial remarks. But he managed to up his game this time around. 

The former Michelin star chef said that the real positive working with men is that they can absorb pressure better. Men are not as emotional as women and do not take things personally, he says. 

He was not done. The youngest chef to have ever awarded three Michelin stars went on to say, “Can you imagine a lady in the kitchen saying: “Will you carry that pan for me?”. His suggestion that women aren’t strong enough to carry pan did receive a lot of backlash from the industry. 

Marco Pierre White has conveniently forgotten that many of the top chefs across the world are women. While there are female celebrity chefs like Julia Child, Nigella Lawson, and Maggie Beer, who have been in similar limelight where White has been, the world is full of female chefs who are on the top of their game with an endless waiting list at their restaurants. 

Here are 10 such top female chefs who are running stellar restaurants in the world.

1. Dominique Crenn



Chef Dominique Crenn is a French Chef who runs a restaurant called Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, California. Her restaurant is known for the artistic presentation of food than for gaining three Michelin stars. Crenn calls herself an artist and refers to her dishes as 'poetic culinaria'. She worked as a head chef for a restaurant in Intercontinental Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia and became the country's first-ever female head chef. World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards noted her as the Best Female Chef in 2016. Chef Crenn is known for breaking the tradition yelling in the kitchen and treating her staff well.

2. Clare Smyth



Chef Clare Smyth grew up on a farm in County Antrim, Northern Ireland and won the Chef Of the Year Award in 2013 while working as head chef in Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. She was handpicked by Chef Gordon Ramsay to run his three Michelin star restaurant which made her the first woman to do so. She opened her own restaurant, Core in 2017 and it was awarded two Michelin stars in 2019. smyth's Core was named as the Best Restaurant at the GQ Food and Drink Awards in 2018. 

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3. Garima Arora



Chef Garima Arora has been in the news in recent times for becoming the first Indian woman to win a Michelin star. She opened her modern Indian restaurant Gaa in Bangkok, in 2017. The restaurant quickly rose to fame, and Arora found her place among the best female chefs in the world. Chef Arora grew up in Mumbai, and her Indian heritage is celebrated at Gaa. She was named as Asia's Best Female Chef by World's 50 Best Restaurants.

4. Niki Nakayama



Niki Nakayama is known for her Michelin starred restaurant in Los Angeles - n/naka. The restaurant specialises in modern Japanese Kaiseki cuisine. Kaiseki is a traditional multi-cuisine Japanese dinner which demands a bunch of skills and techniques. Nakayama grew up in Koreatown in Los Angeles with her parents who worked as fish distributors. She picked up her love for Kaiseki in the three years she spent in Japan. Before opening n/naka, Nakayama opened Azami Sushi Cafe in LA that is popular for its all-female staff. Che Nakayama runs n/naka with her wife and sous chef Carole Iida.

5. Sarah Grueneberg



Texas-brought up Sarah Grueneberg inherited her love for cooking from her German grandparents. She is the head chef and owner of Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio in Chicago. The Italian restaurant was opened in 2016. Chef Grueneberg has one of the fastest moving careers in the industry and is one of the top female chefs in the world. She became the sous chef at Brennan’s of Houston within three years of beginning her career. She joined Spiaggia under Chef Tony Mantuano in 2005. She became an executive chef in 2010, and the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star for three years in a row during her time.

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6. Vicky Lau



Chef Vicky Lau, a Hong-Kong native is the head chef of the one Michelin star restaurant Tate Dining Room and Bar. Lau serves a combination of French and Japanese cuisine. The Michelin guide called her dishes an ‘eclectic mix’. Her restaurant which opened in 2012 was awarded the star in 2013 and retained its status till now. She became one of the top female chefs in the world in a quest to combine her two great loves - design and food. Lau was named the Best Female Chef in Asia in 2015 at the announcement of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.  

7. Anna Polyviou


Chef Anna Polyviou is an Australian pastry chef known for her dramatic and delicious desserts. Her popular edgy appearance of equally complex dishes have made her one of the top female chefs. Her desserts are as interesting and memorable as her pink mohawk. She is a consultant at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney at the moment. Hailed as the dessert queen of the country, her sell-out Dessert Degustation is the talk of the town. She is a globetrotter who never misses adding a wow factor in her desserts.

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8. Amanda Cohen



Chef Cohen is known for her vegetarian restaurant - Dirt Candy in Manhattan. Dirt Candy is popular for creative dishes that focus on a single vegetable. Cohen has been consistently praised as a top female chef for the quality, creativity, and presentation of her dishes. Her success has been hailed as a way to fight the vegetable-hating mindset with clever, fun ways while she is not a vegetarian. Amanda Cohen is known for fighting industry issues as well. She called out Time magazine's "The Gods of Food" feature that included only male chefs.   

9. Hélène Darroze


French chef Hélène Darroze is a fourth-generation chef. She became one among the top female chefs in the world by starting her own restaurant while the three previous generations run a family restaurant in Villeneuve-de-Marsan  She has three restaurants across London, Paris, and Moscow. She won her first Michelin star in 2001 for Restaurant Hélène Darroze in Rue d'Assas, Paris. The restaurant earned the second star in 2003. She was also admitted into the French Legion of Honour as a Chevalier (Knight) by President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012. The badass chef Colette in the movie Ratatouille was inspired by Hélène Darroze.

10. Ana Roš



Ana Roš’ journey to the top started from a waitress’ apron. She is a self-taught cook who currently runs the kitchen of Hiša Franko restaurant in Kobarid, Slovenia. Hiša Franko belonged to her husband's family and already had an established chef when she joined the business. When Ana took over the kitchen, she experimented with the innovative remaking of traditional recipes and local ingredients of upper Soča valley region. Hiša Franko found its place in Travel + Leisure magazine's world's 30 best restaurants in 2019. Chef Ana Roš was named among world's top female chefs by  The World's 50 Best Restaurants academy.