HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Best female chefs around the globe?

Hi Chowhounds,

Last night, my supposedly well informed foodie friends last night and I got into a heated debate. We were talking about the rarity of well known American female chefs. And then, we were all hard pressed to name INTERNATIONALLY well known female chefs. We all seem to know Heston Blumenthal of Fat Duck, and so on....is it just a sad state of affairs that our little group last night couldn't name ONE internationally respected female chef?

Please inform this ignorant bunch and share your favorite female chefs - US and abroad!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Angela Hartnett is pretty well known.

    1. Helene Darroze (French)

      Skye Gyngell (Australian)

      Anne-Sophie Pic (French)

      Carme Ruscadella (Spain)

      Nadia Santini (Italy)

      Clare Smith (British)

      Lisa Allen (British)

      Angela Hartnett (British)

      All holders of Michelin stars.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        Whoops. Forgot my favourite woman chef - Lisa Allen (Head Chef at Michelin 1*, Northcote) - British,

        And, also, Ruth Rogers (American) and the late Rose Grey (British) - founder chefs at the 1* River Cafe, London.

        1. Definitely the arepa lady in Queens.

          I suppose some might count (or discount) Alice Waters.

          See also: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/509764

          1. Elena Arzak (Spain)

            Elizabeth Falkner (US; since you mentioned US as well)

            3 Replies
            1. re: wattacetti

              and I forgot Tina Nordström (Sweden), who can cook but is better know for winning the Swedish version of Dancing with the Stars

              1. re: wattacetti

                I just looked TIna up on wikipedia and sadly, she seems to be better known as a spokesperson for kitchen gadgets. Curious where adn what you read up on Tina? Im interested in learning more, thanks!

                1. re: Lynndsey Rigberg

                  She used to be a serious chef and was one of the showcase hosts for New Scandinavian Cooking (there are episodes and a cookbook). Then she went to dance and now shills, so I guess the cooking part of her life is past her.

            2. In Manhattan, there's Gabrielle Hamilton (who just published her memoir), Anita Lo and April Bloomfield. I'm not sure they're internationally known, but they're certainly famous locally.


              1. You are so lucky to have foodie friends. My friends' and family's eyes glaze over on such talk. She may not claim to be a chef, but Madhur Jaffrey is my addition.

                1. I can't believe nobody mentioned Cat Cora.

                  1. L.A.'s Nancy Silverton may not be famous around the world, but she sure is to other chefs. She knows bread, she knows meat …

                    1. In the US, female chefs that I think are well known and regarded:
                      Cindy Pawycln
                      Joyce Goldstein
                      Barbara Lynch
                      Lidia Bastianich
                      Marcella Hazan (maybe more Italy - not sure where she is based now)

                      1. Alicia Gironella d'Angelis, Martha Ortiz Chapa, both in Mexico City