Dominique Crenn doesn’t have far to fly when she leaves her kitchen in San Francisco to receive her award for the world’s best chef 2016 in New York. Because this is the first time since 2002 that the annual ceremony to celebrate the world’s 50 best restaurants is not taking place in London.
Born in France, Dominique Crenn runs the Atelier Crenn and the Petit Crenn in San Francisco, where she creates her dishes as if they were poetry. “Poetic culinaria” is the name she gives to her culinary philosophy. Art and cuisine are in her blood: the daughter of a French politician and painter who, during his short life, could always be found near gourmet temples, she grew up surrounded by choreographed arrays of courses – which she eagerly observed and which held a fascination for her.
She first started cooking after moving to the US in the late 1980s. Amongst the minimalistic design of her restaurants, she serves poetic creations between her father’s artworks: Crenn prefers to serve her tasting menus as self-penned poems – every course is a line, the entire menu a poem. On the plates she arranges still lifes.
Only opened in 2011, Crenn’s Atelier catapulted her just one year later to Michelin heaven, when she was awarded two stars. At the Petit Crenn she dedicates her efforts to rustic, down-to-earth cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere.
The first place in the 2016 list of the world’s 50 best restaurants is held by the Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy (whose head chef Massimo Buttara is pictured giving Dominique Crenn a high five). Heinz Reitbauer’s Steirereck made 9th place.
Just who wins the World’s Best Female Chef award is decided by the 1,000 jury members of the World’s 50 Best Academy. Those members include renowned gourmet critics as well as top chefs and gastronomes.