This week we’re shouting out about the amazing female talent in our industry, with an overview of some of the hottest openings (recent and upcoming) and the inspirational women leading the brigade…
Helena Puolakka, Aster
Opening on the 1st February at Nova Food in Victoria is the latest restaurant from D&D London, Aster. Executive chef, Helena Puolakka will oversee the kitchen serving Nordic cuisine of her Finnish heritage complemented by classic French dishes and techniques refined over her career. Aster marks a return to D&D for Helena, who originally joined the group as executive chef to launch Skylon, where she stayed for six years until 2013. Hailing from the south-west coast of Finland, Helena’s upbringing has shaped her style of cooking, which focuses on uncomplicated, homemade food and distinctive flavours. Her French culinary training adds a completely different dimension to dishes, departing from Scandinavia’s wind-swept landscape of endless forests to the tranquil vistas of Southern France. The menus throughout Aster will be built upon this exciting combination.
Anne-Sophie Pic, Le Dame de Pic
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will be bringing an exciting new dining venue to the heart of the City of London late 2016 through a partnership with renowned French Chef Anne-Sophie Pic. Le Dame de Pic is set to be a vibrant new destination for gourmands in the capital, and will showcase Chef Pic’s creative French cuisine in a classic English environment. Famed for being the only current French female chef to be awarded three Michelin stars, Chef Anne-Sophie Pic began her culinary career in her family’s restaurant Maison Pic in Valence in southeastern France. Since then she has gone to open restaurants in Lausanne and Paris, gathering awards and accolades along the way. La Dame de Pic at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square will be her first restaurant in the United Kingdom.
Martha Ortiz, Ella Canta
This spring renowned chef Martha Ortiz will launch Ella Canta, a new restaurant that promises to deliver the beauty, vibrant and spirit of modern Mexico to London. The restaurant, located at InterContinental London Park Lane, takes its name from the Spanish for “she sings”, a phrase that symbolises the expressiveness, passion, pride, and femininity communicated through Martha’s cooking. Ella Canta is also the perfect embodiment of Martha herself, who champions the culture and the food of Mexico and wants to tell the world about it. At Ella Canta, Martha will showcase her celebrated style, which blends long-established cooking traditions with contemporary techniques and artistry. Drawing inspiration from her world-renowned restaurant in Mexico city, Dulce Patria, the new London menu will feature several of the famed dishes that have made her one of Latin America’s most exciting chefs.
Emma Bengtsson, Aquavit London
On 28 November 2016, Aquavit London opened in the stunning new St. James’s Market redevelopment, on 1 Carlton Street. Taking inspiration from the renowned Aquavit New York, but with a more relaxed dining concept and setting, the restaurant showcases the very best of Nordic cuisine and design.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, dishes at Aquavit London honour fresh, seasonal ingredients and deliver a contemporary take on authentic Nordic cuisine, with menus developed by Emma Bengtsson, Executive Chef of the two Michelin-starred Aquavit New York and Henrik Ritzén, Executive Chef of Aquavit London.
Ana Roš, The Worlds Best Female Chef – 2017
Slovenian chef Ana Roš has recently been given the annual title of the worlds best female chef. After taking on a role in her local restaurant Hiša Franko, Ana transformed the restaurant into a place that deserved international attention. Hiša Franko saw Ana as a free-thinking chef who turned its menu around, introducing creative dishes based on local ingredients. Part of this change came from Roš’s curiosity and desire to play around with the region’s produce. Despite there being no Michelin stars awarded in Slovenia, the work Ana has done at Hiša Franko has propelled herself amongst the world’s top chefs.