French chef who inspired ‘Ratatouille’ character is named as world’s best

Hélène Darroze is voted best female chef 2015

Hélène Darroze, who commutes between her restaurants in Paris and London, has been voted best female chef in the world 2015.

Hélène Darroze, who commutes between her restaurants in Paris and London, has been voted best female chef in the world 2015.

 

Hélène Darroze, the French chef with restaurants in Paris and at the Connaught hotel in London, has been named as the Veuve Clicquot world’s best female chef 2015. Previous winners of the accolade include Elena Arzak of Spain’s Arzak, Anne-Sophie Pic of Maison Pic in France, Nadia Santini of Dal Pescatore in Italy, and last year’s winner, Helena Rizzo of Brazilian restaurant Mani.

When informed of the decision today, Darroze paid tribute to her kitchen teams in Paris and London and said: “ I am honoured to win the award because there are talented female chefs all over the world and I imagine choosing only one is challenging. I think it is important to celebrate women and their achievements.

“My hope is that the recipients of this award inspire young women, including my daughters, to follow their passion and work hard to hone their skill regardless of profession. I greatly admire all of the previous winners of this prestigious award and I am thrilled to now be in their company.”

Darroze, who with her children Charlotte and Quiterie commutes between London and Paris, is a fourth generation chef. She worked with Alain Ducasse at his Louis XV restaurant in Monaco before returning home to run her family’s restaurant in the Landes. After four years there, she closed the business and at the age of 32 opened the Left bank restaurant that carries her name.

The chef is described as having a “likeable and even-handed personality”, which is said to have inspired the character, Chef Colette, in the 2007 movie, Ratatouille.

“The award is inspired by the life and achievements of Madame Clicquot who nearly 200 years ago set the standard for women in business. The winner reflects Madame Clicquot’s attributes of innovation, creativity and determination,” say the sponsors.

The awards is voted for by by almost 1,000 restaurant industry experts and international gourmets who are members of the Diners’ Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. The Academy comprises 27 regions around the world, each of which has 36 members.

The accolade will be presented at the S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards, in London on June 1st.

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