International Women´s day 2020: female chefs


On this special day, let´s mention just some female chefs I have had the opportunity to enjoy their food.

They have different styles, different backgrounds, and influences so they offer different gastronomic experiences

  • Monica Galleti. Well known for being the judge of Masterchef, she and her husband run Mere, in Bloomsbury. It is a cosy and friendly restaurant, the cocktails are lovely and the menu shows the French influence. My favourite… difficult to choose but I would say the Cornish cod with black curry, pickled celery, hazelnut dukka and lovage sauce.

  • Nieves Barragan. She runs Sabor in Mayfair, London, after being the head chef of the Barrafina restaurants (tapas-style restaurants, one of them with a Michelin Star). In one year, she already had got the coveted Michelin star too! She cooks traditional dishes from Spain, based on fresh and high-quality ingredients. Try the octopus and you will feel like in Galicia or the chuleton (steak) like in her native Basque Country, and don’t miss the artichokes, my favourite dish without a doubt. So good I forgot to take a picture before devouring it!

I love her cuisine as it´s honest without presumptuous. If you are looking for a Spanish cookbook, Sabor of Nieves Barragán is a “must-have”. I love her recipes, simple and tasty. I come from a region close to hers to what I cook is very similar and use similar recipes too. But she always put her personal twist which makes the traditional dishes even better.

  • Maria Marte. She was the head chef at Club Allard in Madrid and the only woman chef with two Michelin stars in the capital of Spain. I want to mention her as she is an incredible chef with an incredible story. She is not the head chef of the Club Allard any more but I think she deserves a mention. Also, it was one of the best meals I ever had.

Her story is fascinating. With some experience as a cook at her father’s restaurant, she migrated to Spain and worked as a cleaner in a restaurant and, from there, she became one of the best chefs in the world. At the beginning of this year, she decided to go back to her country and start a new project: train the next generation of women chefs in her native Dominican Republic. My favourite dish, white asparagus and cucumber soup.

And some names from Spain. Maybe they are not well-known abroad, but they have a special place in the gastronomy of my region.

Marisa Barberán, the chef at La Prensa. A place you must visit if it happens you are in Zaragoza. She creates a modern and elegant cuisine without forgetting the origins of the actual establishment, which was a humble wine shop with a dining room where the family of the current owner and sumiller, David Pérez, served home-made food to the wine buyers.

I always enjoy the tapas that Raquel Marcén creates at her Tapas and Restaurant place Meli Meló in Zaragoza. It´s just fun and a delicious experience. You always find something new and presented in a surprising way but always with local ingredients.

Ana and Mari are the heart of Casa Pardina, in Alquézar (Huesca). They offer comfort food, in very generous portions, using just local products. They make the most of seasonality so the menu is a fantastic experience, featuring the best that Nature offers each season.



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