Canada well represented in world’s best female chefs list

May 16 2017

Female Canadian talent has been recognised after a list of the world’s best female chefs included seven Canadians.

In a rundown of the 20 finest female chefs published by food and lifestyle channel Gusto were names such as:

  • Emma Cardarelli of Montreal-based Nora Gray,
  • Connie Desousa of Charcut Roast House in Calgary,
  • Cindy Duby of DC Duby in Richmond,
  • and Michele Genest of the Boreal Gourmet in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Three Toronto-based chefs appeared in the list too, namely:

  • Los Colibris’ Elia Herrera,
  • Amanda Ray of Biff’s Bistro [pictured],
  • and Scaramouche’s Carolyn Reid.

Ottawa-born Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy in New York, who is set to feature in social media campaigns for Clubhouse For Chef, also appeared in the list.

The list was compiled after various Canadian female chefs were approached by Gusto for their suggestions.

Chefs who contributed included Top Chef Canada All-Stars competitor Trista Sheen, Chopped Canada competitor Janice MacKay, Shelley Robinson (regional executive chef of Coast Hotels in Vancouver) and Alison Iannarelli (executive chef for restaurants and events at Centennial College).

What they had to say

Nora Gray’s Emma Cardarelli was praised for the intricacy of her food with every bite being ‘absolute magic’, while Charcut Roast House’s Connie Desousa was considered ‘very inspirational’, due to her success balancing being a mother, a young chef and running three restaurants.

Ms Desousa’s menu are capable of ‘[satisfying] the most decadent and nostalgic of cravings’ too.

Missy Hui, executive chef of Fabrica, hailed Cindy Duby of DC Duby as ‘a pioneer who takes an almost scientific approach to food - very precise and detail oriented’.

Ms Hui added that Mrs Duby’s pastry book is ‘one of the best ever written, [changing] the way I thought about flavours and the notion of what a dessert could be’.

The Boreal Gourmet’s Michele Genest was also praised for being ahead of the curve, compiling ‘northern and indigenous recipes long before it was hip’.

The list heaped compliments on Mexico-born co-owner and head chef of Los Colibris Elia Herrera, highlighting her as ‘a great example for up-and-coming culinary students and an example of where this industry can take you with the right amount passion, talent and drive’.

Elsewhere, the list claimed that ‘even hardcore carnivores would happily devour’ the ‘solid and tasty’ animal-free recipes of Mollie Katzen of Ithaca’s The Moosewood Cookbook.

Amanda Ray of Biff’s Bistro in Toronto was included partly due to bagging the top prize at Gold Medal Plates in 2016 but also her creative and technical abilities.

Finally, Trista Sheen, a Top Chef Canada All-Stars competitor, hailed Carolyn Reid of Scaramouche in Toronto for ‘[taking] me under her wing and taught me so much. For that, she is number one in my eyes’.

Other non-Canadian names in the list included:

  • April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig in New York,
  • Elise Kornack - formerly of the Root in Brooklyn,
  • and two entries from San Francisco: Dominique Creen of Atelier Crenn and Traci Des Jardins or Jardiniere.

European culinary talent was represented with the appearance of Clare Smyth from Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London and Nadia Santini of Italy’s Del Pescatore in Sull’oglio MN.

Completing the list was Jeong Kwan of South Korea’s The Philosopher Chef and Pia Leon of Central Restaurante in Peru.