Chef Dominque Crenn has been announced as the recipient of the World’s 50 Best Icon Award 2021.
The French chef and owner of three-Michelin-star Atelier Crenn, Petit Crenn and Bar Crenn in San Francisco was recognised as a ‘true culinary leader giving a voice to the under-represented’.
The first female chef to be awarded three Michelin stars in the USA, Crenn is a tireless campaigner and activist across a range of issues affecting social change and raising awareness, all while maintaining the height of inspired and creative gastronomy.
Crenn left her native France in her mid-twenties to travel to the United States, where she embarked on a culinary career that took her through the kitchens of some of the country’s best chefs, including Jeremiah Tower, before opening a restaurant with her own name over the door in 2011.
It was at Atelier Crenn that the chef developed her signature ‘poetic culinaria’ where the traditional menu is replaced by a poem, written by the chef, which encapsulates the essence and the emotions of the dish.
Crenn is an artist operating at the very pinnacle of global gastronomy, who continuously finds the time to give voice to underrepresented communities and is a champion of women’s rights, workers’ rights, sustainable practices, the LGBTQ+ and the BIPOC communities.
During the pandemic, Crenn and her team cooked for thousands of people in need, she was part of the political efforts to lobby for help for independent restaurants, and is helping to drive policy change around labour laws for the hospitality sector. Crenn has also removed meat from the menu of Atelier Crenn and recently announced that she will introduce a lab-cultured meat grown from stem cells as part of her efforts to research better and more sustainable practices within the food system.
“I want to forge a better future for the new generation,” says Crenn. “I’m grateful for the platform I’ve been given and it’s my responsibility to help others.”
Chefs Kurt Evans, Viviana Varese and Deepanker Khosla have been named as the winners of the inaugural initiative celebrating those chefs that have had, and continue to have, a positive impact on their local community during the pandemic.