The Culinary Arts has Finally Produced Top Asian Female Chefs after Decades-Long of Waiting
The last 3,000 years or so featured the rise and fall of western civilizations and their culture is well known throughout the world. Sometimes we even see western culture being adopted by other countries to create a unique blend of modern cultures. Up until recently Asian culture is rarely recognized by the mainstream press; however, that has changed just after the first decade of the 21st century with the world giving a nod to Asian female chefs. Chinese food, in particular, has also been a long-time favorite to Americans since the 1960s or probably even way way back in time, but no one has ever mentioned how good the cook was let alone took notice of the chef in the house.
Whatever the circumstances may have been that led to this one thin is certain – we now have icons from Asia. Ranging from Jackie Chan, Fan Bin Bing, Jack Ma, Manny Pacquiao, Zhang Ziyi and many others have reached a celebrity status equivalent to that of famous US celebrities, wealthy elites and political figures.
And now it’s time to meet our flourishing Asian female chefs!
The Number 1 on the List of Best Asian Female Chefs is May Chow!
Chef: May Chow
Country of Origin: Hong Kong, China
Awards: Asia’s Best Female Chef 2017
Having been voted the region’s best chef by over 300 industry experts from across Asia, May Chow ranks as the number 1 chef in our list of best Asian female chefs of today. She owns a restaurant called, “Little Bao” which is located in Hong Kong, and she also recently opened another branch of Little Bao in Thailand. According to William Drew, Asia’s 50 Best.com’s group editor, she has given a fresh perspective to traditional cuisine and this is why they think she is the most deserving to become the recipient of this year’s best chef award. Feminists and pro-women groups will certainly lavish this news as it adds fuel to the fire which is the women power trend that they’ve started. But none will be prouder than her homeland and her people for bringing this honor to their country – even other Asian nations will rejoice at this news!
Chow is expected to formally accept her prize at the fifth Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony in Bangkok next February.
Coming in Second Place in our List of Incredible Asian Female Chefs is Margarita Forés
Chef: Margarita Forés
Country of Origin: Philippines
Awards: Asia’s Best Female Chef 2016
Just a year earlier Chef Margarita Forés stole the spot as Asia’s Best Female Chef in 2016 and she has every right to earn it based on what she’s shown to the world. The one thing that separates Forés from the other chefs in this list is that she has no formal culinary studies. She merely had 4 months of cooking training under 3 different chefs in Italy, namely Masha Innoscenti in Florence, Jo Bettoja in Rome, and Ada Parasiliti in Milan. This plus her first hand experience in watching her friends cook palatable Italian dishes motivated her to eagerly start her own chefting career! She didn’t care about reviews at first as all she wanted to do was to cook delicious food in her own restaurant, the Lusso. Believe it or not, despite having been the recipient of the Asia’s Best Female Chef 2016 award her restaurant still doesn’t have a website and only has a Facebook page. And yet she caught the eye of the industry experts with her passion for cooking in spite of all that! Her restaurant, the Lusso showcases a variety of appetizers, sandwiches, pasta, salads and main dishes such as the Shepherd’s Pie Braised Lamb, Salade d’ Agneau, Sans Rival Au Chocolat, Item, Gnocco Prosciutto San Daniele are just a few to mention.
Third Time is the Charm when Hong Kong’s Own Vicky Lau became One of the Best Asian Female Chefs back in 2015
Chef: Vicky Lau
Country of Origin: Hong Kong, China
Awards: Asia’s Best Female Chef 2015, 1 Michelin Star Rating
Chef Vicky might just be the most awarded chef on this list as she not only became the recipient of the 2015 Asia’s Best Female Chef award, but also got on the radar of Michelin Guide, which is the equivalent of an Oscar in Hollywood! Chef Vicky started her education in the United States at the tender age of 15 where she was always involved in creative design, but later on in her life she moved back to Hong Kong and went to Le Cordon Bleu in Bangkok, Thailand for a 9-month study in culinary arts which launched her career as a chef. She first worked at Cépage in Hong Kong as a chef de cuisine under head chef Sebastien Lepinoy for 18 months, but with the experience she gained there plus her prior experience as a creative director, she opened her own restaurant called, the Tate Dining Room in 2012. One year later she was given a Michelin star which was a great honor for chefs and after 2 years had passed, she was also awarded as Asia’s Best Female Chef in 2015.
It’s amazing how far she went considering her humble beginnings, but talent is talent and people who can see it acknowledges it. Simple as that!
The Fourth Placer on our List of Best Asian Female Chefs also has more than One Award under Her Belt
Chef: Lanshu Chen
Country of Origin: Taiwan
Awards: Asia’s Best Female Chef 2014, Veuve Clicquot Best Female Chef, 2014
This lady with finesse completed her training at the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts in Paris, France and she is as sharp and astute as her school trained her to be. It’s no wonder why she is the recipient of 2 world class awards which chefs would definitely envy! She is considered an inspiration to other female chefs, pushing boundaries and showing how passion and dedication can create flawless culinary practices. She has worked in restaurants that have received the sought-after Michelin star and indeed her reputation precedes her wherever she goes. Her restaurant, the Le Mout is famous in Taiwan and all over Asia, although it has yet to receive a Michelin star itself; however, with Chef Chen’s ever-evolving and dynamic nature, I am certain that her work will be the one that will become persistent on Michelin’s doors and they will give her that star sooner than later as it is well-deserved.
Last on our List of Awesome Asian Female Chefs is Bo Songvisava
Chef: Bo Songvisava
Country of Origin: Thailand
Awards: Asia’s Best Female Chef 2013
Okay, this unassuming girl from Thailand may have just coerced Michelin to visit her country and look out for some worthy restaurants (hers including most probably) to include in their restaurant reviews, but no confirmation on that rumor yet. That’s probably because Michelin is very secretive that media outlets find it very difficult to know about their dealings unless they proactively announce it. Bo Songvisava is the first ever nominated Asian chef for the prestigious Asia’s Best Female Chef, which was the first time S. Pellegrino & Acqua Panna’s Asia’s 50 Best.com created the award for this specific category. So that means there have only been 5 best Asian female chefs since the award’s inception! What an honor it is to be the first recipient of this award indeed! Her restaurant, Bo.lan is committed to support the UNICEF Children’s Ball to raise a fund for the benefit of children in need throughout the world. Bo’s first job, which was also her lucky break, was in the Metropolitan Hotel in Bangkok and as unbelievable as it may seem, she was not hired for her skills or experience – as she didn’t have any yet – it was because she could speak English well and help Ausie Chef Amanda Gale translate English to Thai.
What’s great about Chef Gale is that she lets her staff work hands on in the kitchen and she wants to create an environment where there’s always room to learn. It wasn’t long before Bo became an expert chef on her own accord and became self-made. I’m pretty sure Amanda Gale is very proud of her protégé with what she has accomplished lately.