Women leading Michelin star restaurants

Its 2015, we are not going to call chefs who are women as “female-chef” out of sheer respect and admiration towards these professionals. We think its a tiny step towards the ongoing gender equality passive aggressive battle, but we’d rather focus on the cuisine par excellence these five chefs offer at their reputed restaurants. If you are celebrating womanhood on International Women’s Day what better way to do so, than dine at one of the restaurants lauded for their culinary affaire extraordinaire.
Stars –  Three Michelin Star
The Chef – Clare Smyth MBE

The Restaurant –  Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
The Cuisine – French
Clare Smyth gained respect and popularity in 2007 when she became the only female in Great Britain to earn and hold three Michelin star for Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. At the time there were only seven women in the world who headed three Michelin star restaurants. The restaurant but of course needs no introduction thanks to its magnetic chef and owner who lends his name to one of Britain’s finest places to dine. She is a renowned chef patron in Great Britain as well as USA who is not only respected by her contemporaries but has gained a steady reputation for being exceptional in her craft and execution by industry stalwarts. She chose to do a stint with Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV in Monaco before reclaiming her rightful place as the head chef back with Gordon Ramsay. Clare has been appointed with the  Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2013 for her service and contribution to the hospitality industry. Offering an exquisite French menu in an intimate setting of 45 seats this restaurant in Chelsea is an experience worthy of its praise.
Highlights – An opportunity to learn from the chef herself, skills and recipes of a Michelin Star restaurant during a masterclass. Masterclass scheduled on 28 March, 2015. Please visit Restaurant Gordon Ramsay for further details.

Stars – Three Michelin Stars
The Chef – Anne-Sophie Pic

The Restaurant – Restaurant Anne-Sophie Pic
The Cuisine – French
To the Michelin star born, Anne-Sophie Pic is the epitome of gastronomy royalty. Being awarded a three Michelin star is as normal to her family as wearing a crown to a monarch. In 1889, her great grandparents opened the five-star hotel and restaurant La Maison Pic, 62 miles south of Lyon in Valence, France. It went on to receive its first three Michelin star in 1939 owing to her grandfather Andre’s dedication to exemplary service. The stars weren’t shining on the restaurant in the 1950s when it received one Michelin star, something the family wasn’t accustomed to nor pleased with. It wasn’t until 1973 when Anne-Sophie Pic’s father Jacques Pic who reluctantly trained to be a chef brought back the lost glory of three Michelin star and held it with authority for two decades. Anne-Sophie wasn’t trained to be a chef but overlooked the front of the house at Maison Pic while her brother was the chef. After her father’s death in 1995 Maison Pic lost its three star glory which pushed her to take over the kitchen reign in her hands and strive to get her father’s star back even though she was not a chef. In 2007 she followed her father’s footsteps and restored Maison Pic’s well deserving three Michelin star to be known as stellar culinary artisan. A testimonial to her passion and devotion towards the family business is Restaurant Anne-Sophie Pic in Valence.  In 2014 she was voted as the Woman of The Year by Le Tribune Awards. Upon arrival at La Maison Pic you can revisit history of Michelin Guide which are placed under a glass table dating back to 1939 each mentioning the victor La Maison Pic.
Highlights – Vintage Evening on March 26, 2015. It will host the Domaine du Vieux Telegraph in Châteauneuf-du-Pape .  Please visit Restaurant Anne-Sophie Pic for further details 

Stars – Two Michelin Stars
The Chef – Hélène Darroze

The Restaurant – Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
The Cuisine – French
Hélène Darroze is yet another Alain Ducasse protégé who rose to fame while working at Le Louis XV restaurant in Monaco. It is said she is the inspiration for the character of Colette in Pixar’s animated film ‘Ratatouille’. In 2012 the French government admitted her into the Legion of Honour as ‘Chevalier’ for her contribution to the culinary world. French in origin, Hélène had her DNA aligned for the culinary world being the fourth generation of chefs in her family. She did a stint in her father’s Michelin star restaurant, which closed for operation in 1999. The closure fueled a life long ambition to open her own Restaurant Hélène Darroze in Paris offering the finest produce and contemporary style french cuisine. The restaurant flourished to earn its two Michelin stars in 2003. Hélène sailed the English channel after the £70 million restoration of The Connaught in London to replace Angela Hartnett with her own restaurant, Hélène Darroze at The Connaught in 2008. In the heart of Mayfair village’s plush locales sits this quaint yet stylish restaurant. During weekdays lunch is the favored time of patrons while weekend Brunch on Saturday is something families look forward to for a leisurely morning.
Highlights – Gift products from the inspiration menu by Hélène Darroze. Please visit Hélène Darroze at The Connaught for further details.

Stars – Two Michelin Stars
The Chef – Emma Bengtsson,

The Restaurant – Aquavit
The Cuisine – Swedish
Executive Chef of Aquavit, Emma Bengtsson is only the second woman in USA and the only Swedish to hold two Michelin star, a position she had declined not so long ago as she was merrily enjoying her job being the pastry chef and more over she felt most unprepared to don the hat. Today she is New York’s most celebrated chef let alone their bastion of pride in the culinary world. Located in Park Avenue Tower on 55th street, Aquavit has enjoyed popularity in midtown Manhattan among urbane epicureans for over two decades. Unlike most European restaurants with versions of French cuisine on the menu, Aquavit stands alone on the dining scene in America serving modern Nordic cuisine. Inspiration of the menu stems from the traditional Swedish cuisine that dates back 500 years. Emma Bengtsson grew up in a small town on the west coast of Sweden while learning the home grown culinary skill from her grandmother. She has been trained through a variety of Swedish restaurants beginning with Edsbacka Krog – a two Michelin star restaurant and Operakällaren, the award-winning historical restaurant both in Sweden. Her style of cuisine brings forth Sweden’s emphasis on fresh local produce and techniques. Within six months of heading the restaurant Emma rose to the ranks culminating in two Michelin star for Aquavit.
Hightlights – Two private dining spaces that are well appointed to hold business and social events. Please visit Aquavit for further details.

Stars – Two Michelin Stars
The Chef – Suzette Gresham-Tognetti

The Restaurant – Acquerello
The CuisineItalian
Michelin Guide 2015 has given the city of San Francisco many reasons to be proud of and one of them is its new entrant into the two Michelin star league – Acquerello’s Suzette Gresham-Tognetti. She is now the third woman in USA and second in San Francisco to wear the honor. Suzette Gresham-Tognetti’s style is a contemporary version of traditional recipes from all regions of Italy while delivering an unrivaled dining experience.  Celebrating it’s 25 years in business, Acquerello is no stranger to accolades  and has been awarded its first Michelin star back in 2007 until 2014. With its rustic ambiance to mirror the cultural nuances of Italy,  Acquerello is quick to embrace its patrons with warmth and delight.

Highlights – Two private dining rooms welcome social gatherings with a selective menu and wine list. Please visit Acquerello for further details.


Author: Editorial

Travel and Luxury insider offering insightful perspective and experiences.

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