Rizzo, an ex-model and trained architect, has worked in restaurants across Europe including a stint at The Roca Brother’sEl Celler De Can Roca, ranked as the world’s best restaurants, in Girona. Speaking about the news of his old student's accolade, Joan Roca said: “Helena has talent, sensibility and passion. She is authentic and faithful to her roots.”
It’s while working in Girona where she met her now husband Daniel Redondo. In 2006 the pair opened Mani where Rizzo works to bring Brazilian ingredients to life using modern technique and the influences she picked up working in Spain and Italy. She is described by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants List as: “a model example of cooking with innovation yet soul’.
Speaking about the award, Rizzo said: "This award is a recognition of my work and of the work of our entire team. I am not and have never intended to be 'the best female chef in the world', especially because this is a difficult judgment to make. Each one of us can be the best in a particular situation, at a given time for a certain person. Of course, I'm very happy and honoured to receive this award and I'm grateful for it! At Maní, we try to do our best every day, sometimes we get it wrong but sometimes we get it right... I hope that this award makes the gastronomic world open its eyes to the work of female cooks and to the wonderful kitchens we have in Brazil."
She will receive the best female chef award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants List 2014 ceremony on April 28th at London’s Guildhall.