Like most industries, the culinary world is commonly dominated by men which is why it is impressive that female chefs are fighting stereotypical norms and have been persistent to achieve success. They are winning accolades and are being recognized for their hard work and talent.
It is hard to think that women were once not allowed to dine in restaurants less than a century ago, much alone manage them. Now, female chefs are in charge of some of the successful kitchens all over the world.
Michelin Stars are awarded to restaurants who achieve the ultimate culinary excellence. Earning a Michelin Star for their restaurant is every chef’s hardwork embodied in the form of global recognition. If you do not have one already, you will want one, and if you have, you will continue to fight to maintain it. When a restaurant receives a Michelin Star, it means that the chef has reached the epitome of success. Globally, six women so far have been awarded the three Michelin stars which is the highest honor given to any restaurant and chef.
The cornerstones of success have been their enthusiasm for cooking and talent. They keep inspiring everyone all over the world. These female chefs continue to astonish and inspire by bringing food to life and overcoming all odds to excel.
Many of these well-known female chefs have distinct viewpoints and have either trained from the top culinary schools or have taught themselves. By relying on their instincts, these women are establishing legacies ranging from the farm-to-table movement to promoting native cuisines and winning awards to creating new milestones. They are paving the way for more women to follow in their footsteps.
Here’s throwing a spotlight on the Top 10 world famous female chefs who are inspiring a whole generation of culinary aspirants!
1. Chef Julia Child
As a legend in the industry, Julia Child is a star both in the kitchen and on television. She and her husband lived in Paris for a while. She fell in love with the French dishes while living there. "Mastering The Art Of French Cooking," her debut cookbook, was instantly popular in America because it included a detailed guide on how to make some of the most intricate French meals.
Photo by Jim Scherer - Smithsonian Magazine
She schooled at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school and became a household celebrity after appearing on television. She has hosted a lot of TV cooking series like Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, Baking With Julia, and Master Chefs. Julia has won a Peabody Award, a James Beard Award as well as several Emmy Awards.
Child's life was so fascinating that it was adapted into a film called Julie and Julia, which recounted the actual events of an aspiring chef who blogged her year-long mission to prepare all of Child's dishes.
2. Chef Alice Waters
Talk about the pioneer of solid American dishes; Alice is at the forefront. Most culinary enthusiasts know Alice as an advocate for locally produced materials. As a chef, Alice encouraged other chefs to use locally produced raw materials in preparing their dishes. She is known as the "farmer's sweetheart." She is a trained chef who has learned French cooking techniques in France. Her love for fresh ingredients made her launch the "Garden Project Program."
Photo by Amanda Marsalis
3. Chef April Bloomfield
An interesting fact about April is that she badly wanted to go to the police force, but she missed out on the cadet scheme. Because of this, she switched professions to being a caterer. Her switch to the culinary industry is par excellence because she has become a household name to reckon with. Her cooking style is unique which made her stand out amongst her peers.
Photo by Evan Sung - The New York Times
4. Chef Elizabeth Falkner
Just like April Bloomfield, Elizabeth also switched her career from something unrelated to the culinary world - filmmaking to cooking. Elizabeth is known for using rare ingredients you would never think of in making a dish. She is well known for blurring lines between sweet and savory while creating iconic dishes with creative flair.
Photo by Cresta Kruger - Food and Wine
5. Chef Clare Smyth
She is the woman with three Michelin stars. Three! Very few restaurants globally can boast about this award. She is one of the two female chefs to be awarded the maximum three stars in Great Britain and Ireland’s Michelin Guide. She started her career when she was 15, and it has been forward ever since.
Photo by Linda Nylind - the Guardian
6. Chef Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart is a successful entrepreneur, author, reality star, and, above all, a cook. Her mother taught her how to cook at a young age. She has been a popular TV personality for many years now and has authored many best-selling books.
7. Chef Paula Deen
Paula learned the basics of cooking from her grandmother. She later relocated to Georgia to start a catering business called The Bag Lady which was a huge hit. The company expanded and became The Lady & Sons, which received a lot of positive press. Today, Paula is an owner of chain of restaurants, a TV show, and her line of cooking utensils.
8. Chef Cat Cora
Cora was brought up in Jackson, Mississippi, where she learnt how to cook from her father, who was a restaurateur. She completed her education at the Culinary Institute of America and opened Cat Cora's Que, her restaurant.
Cora is also a co-founder of Chefs For Humanity, a non-profit foundation dedicated to raising funds to combat world hunger. She's also a co-host on Around the World in 80 Plates and Iron Chef on the Food Network. Cora's cookbook, Cat Cora's Classics with a Twist: Fresh Takes on Favorite Dishes, was a huge success, and she continues to work on a variety of media shows.
9. Chef Nigella Lawson
Nigella was once a book critic and reviewer. She garnered her experiences and skills into writing her cookbook and hosting her television show. She claims that her mother taught her the fundamentals of cooking. She is an idol to many young culinary students, and she has appeared as a judge on many cooking competitions.
Photo by Francesca Yorke - Food and Wine
10. Chef Cristeta Comerford
Cristeta Comerford is the first female executive chef at the White House. She is a Filipino-American trained chef who majors in food technology. Cristeta Comerford began her career as a rotating chef at Chicago's Sheraton, and she has moved up the ladder ever since.
Photo by Andrew Cutraro - The Wall Street Journal
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Martha Stewart is NOT a chef! She has never been classically trained as a chef! She is a cookbook author. Ina Garten has never claimed to be a chef, yet she is much more knowledgeable on cooking than Martha Stewart.
You failed to list some “real” chefs like Alex Guarnaschelli, Antonia Lafosno, Brooke Williamson, Tiffani Faison, Amanda Frietag…..women that are true chefs!