And in the end the winner of The Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef Award (in collaboration with Restaurant magazine) went to France’s Anne-Sophie Pic, the chef of Maison Pic. Along with the other nominees, Nadia Santini (Dal Pescatore, Italy) and Elena Arzak (Arzak, Spain), she was a member of the short-list, which, as Stephane Gerschel, Director of International Communications for Veuve Clicquot affirms, «absolutely reflects Madame Clicquot’s attributes of innovation, creativity and determination». The prize, inspired by the successes of Madame Clicquot, who, in 1805, took over the her husband’s business when she found herself a widow at the age of 27, is an important recognition in a sector still dominated by men.
Juan Mari Arzak will receive the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award: an appropriate tribute to “the Godfather of Basque coking”, and a chef who’s become a reference point for worldwide gastronomy. Juan Mari is the third generation to command the kitchen in his family’s San Sebastian restaurant, Arzak, which was founded in 1897. Now with his daughter Elena as co-chef, over the last two decades Juan Mari has skillfully managed to reinterpret his native cuisine according to a signature formula that he himself defines as “research-based, evolving and cutting edge”. His work has resulted in many international awards and three Michelin stars that Arzak has boasted since 1989.
As always, this edition – the tenth – of the most prestigious and highly sought-after award, is preceded by rumours and speculation.
But this year, you can follow the event as it unfolds, thanks to a Live Stream that will broadcast the ceremony straight from London (register now!).
As always, the evening’s attendees will be restricted to an invitation-only list, but this year, for the first time in the award’s history, “online” guests will be able to join the 550 expected in the audience.
Follow the excitement and emotion of the evening, along with the Top 50 ranked chefs, VIP guests, as well as the members of The Electrolux World’s 50 Best Restaurant Academy, which, each year, selects the jury of more than 800 experts among all the 27 eligible worldwide regions.
Finedininglovers.com will be there as well, following along with live blogging and allowing those curious foodies who weren’t able to register in time for a Live Streaming pass, to keep updated in real time on all the events taking place beneath the historical arches of the Great Hall.