Women that Made History in the Culinary World

Women that Made History in the Culinary World | Chef Sac

On International Women's Day, we are celebrating and sharing stories about the lives of women who made history in the culinary world. They were revolutionary and paved the way for many women after them.

Chef Sac knows the importance of women in society, and we can see how the industry is constantly evolving. We know that men and women should occupy the same space and that's why our products are designed keeping in mind every chef's need be it male or female. Our knife bags and backpacks are available in wide variety of neutral colors. One of them is sure to please your taste!  

Chef Sac Vintage Chef Knife Backpack in Heather Grey

Here is a list of some iconic women who changed the culinary industry and built a legacy for the next generation of female cooks.

Amelia Simmons

The First Cookbook Published by an American - American Cookery by Amelia Simmons

Amelia Simmons is the author of American Cookery, the first known cookbook written by an American, published in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1796. Its full title is American Cookery - The art of dressing viands, fish, poultry, and vegetables, and the best modes of making pastes, puffs, pies, tarts, puddings, custards, and preserves, and all kinds of cakes, from the imperial plum to plain cake: Adapted to this country, and all grades of life. 

Simmons' American cuisine used familiar terms to Americans and readily available ingredients to American cooks. It was the first book to include New England traditional dishes such as Indian pudding, Johnnycake, and the famous pumpkin pie. The book was the first to suggest serving cranberry with turkey and the first to use the Dutch Hudson River Valley word cookey. It introduced pearlash, a precursor to baking soda, as a sourdough starter, starting a revolution in American cake making. 

The cookbook was very popular and was printed, reprinted, and pirated for 30 years after its first edition. Only four copies of the first book are known. The Library of Congress considers it one of the "Books that Shaped America." The only biographical information is from her cookbook's cover and title pages that list her as "Amelia Simmons, An American Orphan". American Cookery is the author's only known published work. The description in the book may indicate that she probably lacked formal education. However, she was most likely a domestic laborer based on other quotes from her book. 

Julia Child

The Culinary Legend - Julia Child, Best Known for Popularizing French Cuisine

Julia Child was a culinary legend. A famous American chef, she is best known for popularizing French cuisine among America's traditional families and making gourmet cuisine accessible to all. 

She had a wonderfully irreverent and confident attitude, experimenting with food, accepting mistakes, and putting passion before perfection. Julia started her career relatively late, at age 37, but her imposing personality and 6'2 physique have positioned her as a unique and much-loved female chef. 

After becoming a successful cookbook author with bestselling French cookbooks, she broke into the television world in 1963. Her French Chef series was her first experience with a "cooking show" on TV. 

She was a female chef who changed the way we view women in the culinary world – not to mention she laid the groundwork for all the many TV cooking shows that followed in the decades since. Julia Child was a beloved TV personality and culinary icon who was looked up to by generations of chefs – male and female. 

The movie Julie and Julia tells the story of Julie, a reporter who decided to cook all the recipes from Julia Child's cookbook and shows the main moments of Julia Child's life. It's a great movie where you can see many recipes and understand how this Chef revolutionized American cuisine. 

Helena Rizzo 

Helena Rizzo - The Chef and Co-Owner of Mani in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Helena Rizzo is the Chef and co-owner of Maní in São Paulo, Brazil. Her work earned her recognition when she was elected the "Best Female Chef" by the World's 50 Best organization in 2014. In the same year, Maní was ranked 36th in the publication's list of the best restaurants in the world and second-best restaurant in South America. 

Her trajectory is historic because in the year she received the awards, women's nomination was even rarer than it is today. Not to mention that most of the restaurants that win the award are from Europe or North America. 

Born in 1978 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Helena Rizzo didn't always dream of becoming a culinary superstar. In college, she had a degree in architecture before dropping out to work as a model. Then, in 1997, she decided to work as a cook, working with great French chefs such as Claude Troisgros and Emmanuel Bassoleil at Roanne, in São Paulo. Helena Rizzo furthered her new career with internships at two Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe: Sadler in Milan, Italy, and El Cellar de Can Roca in Girona, Spain. 

She returned to São Paulo in 2006, and with some financial support from investors, she opened Maní with her then-husband. The restaurant has had a star in the Michelin Brazil guide since it was first published in 2015. Currently, she is one of the chefs who hosts the TV show, Masterchef Brasil. 

Eugénie Brazier  

Eugenie Brazier - The First Person Awarded Six Michelin Stars

Eugénie Brazier, known as "La Mère Brazier", was born in France in 1933, and she became the first person awarded six Michelin stars, three each at two restaurants and the first woman to win a three Michelin Stars. This achievement was unbeaten until Alain Ducasse was awarded six stars with the publication of the 1998 Michelin Guide. 

Born in France, Eugénie Brazier was raised on a small farm and entered domestic service when she was a teenager. So she learned how to cook for her employers and was taken on as a junior cook by a famous restaurant owner in Lyon. In 1921 she opened her own restaurant there. Having built the place into a nationally famous restaurant by the end of the decade, she opened a second in a converted chalet. 

She followed the traditions of Lyon's cooks in avoiding overelaborated dishes, preferring to offer reasonably simple food of the highest quality. She influenced the next generations of French cooks, including Paul Bocuse and Bernard Pacaud, who trained at her restaurant. She is celebrated in scholarships and annual prizes for cookery writing awarded in her name. Her recipes were collected and published in 1977 and were translated to English in 2014. They offered her, but she declined the Légion d'honneur, the highest French order of merit. The original restaurant in Lyon, run by her family for years after her death, was acquired by chef Mathieu Viannay in 2007, who keeps her classics on the menu. 

Dominique Crenn 

The French Chef Dominique Crenn - The Only Female Chef in the United States to Obtain Three Michelin Stars

Dominique Crenn is a French chef that lives in the USA. Currently, she's the only female chef in the United States to obtain three Michelin stars, for her restaurant Atelier Crenn, in San Francisco, California. 

She moved from France to San Francisco, California, in the late 80s and worked in some renowned restaurants. After some years, she spent some time in Indonesia and was the first-ever female head chef there. In 2011, she inaugurated her restaurant Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, California. Soon, the Michelin Guide awarded the restaurant a two-star ranking, making Crenn the first-ever female chef to receive two Michelin stars in the United States. Atelier Crenn was awarded two stars again in 2014. And in 2016, she was awarded the Best Female Chef by the world's 50 Best Restaurant awards. In addition, Crenn was on Season 2 of Chef's Table, a documentary film series on Netflix. In 2018, Crenn earned her third Michelin star. 

She opened Petit Crenn in 2015, inspired by the food of her childhood in Brittany. In 2016, Crenn announced plans to open Bar Crenn, a wine bar featuring small plates, next door to Atelier Crenn. In March 2018, Bar Crenn opened, earning one Michelin star in its first year, which means Crenn currently holds four Michelin stars. 

These are some stories of inspiring women who changed the culinary world. If their journey inspired you, go to our website and check out our products that will help you be more successful and help you in your everyday life in this very challenging industry! 


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