Updated: Mar 8
When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are. Turn your words into wisdom" - Oprah Winfrey.
Leonor Espinosa (Colombia), Niki Nakayama (Japan), Anne-Sophie Pic (France), Helene Darroze (France), Clare Smyth (Ireland), Mashama Bailey (USA), Angela Hartnett (UK), Nancy Silverton (USA), Dominique Crenn (France), Ana Roš (Slovenia), Elena Arzak (Spain), Pichaya Soontornyanakij (Thaïland), Kimsan Twins (Cambodia), these are the stars of world cuisine, and it is time to pay them tribute.
Starred women, self-taught women or women who want to be nominated for a Michelin guide, we trace the path of several inspiring women managers. Their professionalism and perseverance enabled them to impose themselves in a male-dominated world.
Is there gender equality in the hotel and restaurant sector?
Worldwide, statistics show that gender equality is a myth in the hotel and restaurant industry. Hélène Darroze is a Michelin-awarded female chef. She first started her career in her family's restaurant in the southwest of France. A few years later, she opened a restaurant in the centre of Paris. This opportunity allowed her to pass on her family know-how with the best products. In 2015, she won the "World's Best Female Chef" award from "The World's 50 Best Restaurants" and her reputation continues to grow year after year. Recently, she participated in a TV cooking show on one of the most watched channels in France. She is very involved in associations and is the patron of a word association that supports the respect of the rights of Afghan women and girls, "Afghanistan libre".
A self-taught chef rewarded by Michelin
Anne-Sophie Pic shows us that cooking is above all a talent. She did not study cooking.
To create her dishes, she mainly uses the smells and tastes of the food. Each recipe is developed with her intuition, her sensitivity and her know-how. Her modern cuisine was awarded 3 stars in the Michelin guide in 2007 and reach now a total of 10 Michelin stars in 6 restaurants over the world!
It is important to her to create a real experience for her customers. She creates a universe between the dishes and the drinks to give her customers an emotional experience.
Talented women in Cambodia, the next stars of the kitchen?
Asia has many renowned women chefs, notably in Thailand with the famous Chef Pam or the no less famous Madame Jay Fai. In Cambodia, it is the Kimsan sisters who are preparing for a bright future.
Pol Kimsan and Sok Kimsan offer gourmet cuisine at the Sombok restaurant in Phnom Penh. They first started in the Embassy restaurant in Siem Reap, which will soon be reborn from its ashes.
Twins at heart, one was born in Kampot, the other in Siem Reap, one studied at the Paul Dubrule school, the other at the Sala Baï school. They have been a duo for 20 years now!
They have formed an all-female team in their restaurant to showcase their cooking talents. These two women want to show the world Khmer cuisine and all its specificities. By participating in numerous competitions, they want to conquer the Cambodian and international scene. They participated in the World Economic Forum in Davos to present their culinary creation. This event contributes to their growing reputation.
This international women's day reminds us that equality and access to management positions, even in a kitchen, must be a priority.
Like the ten or so women chefs who are recognised throughout the world, let's hope that Cambodia can find its stars in the coming years.
Our consulting firm attaches particular importance to promoting the place of women in the business. b. Consulting supports women in the food & beverage industry.