Last month, Mexican chef Elena Reygadas was recognised as the world’s best female chef of 2023 by the awards platform, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, run by the British publishing company William Reed.
In an interview with the Associated Press published on May 6, 46-year-old Reygadas talks about changing profession as a young graduate. She was immersed in studying philosophy and English literature while working on a thesis on Virginia Woolf. She had thought about pursuing art after completing college, but something didn’t ‘feel right’. While growing up, her grandmother cooked with utmost love and she would’ve fun in the kitchen. When Reygadas was in college, she would ‘go to learn to restaurants with the intention of cooking delicious food,’ but didn’t seriously consider it as a profession then. But, the day after she finished her finals in college, she went to New York to pursue an intensive eight-month course at the French Culinary Institution, reported the story. Thereafter, Reygadas flew to London and spent four years polishing her culinary chops at premium restaurants, such as the Michelin-starred Locanda Locatelli.
Reygadas now runs five restaurants in Mexico City, including Rosetta that serves contemporary Mexican fare; a string of casual dining restaurants, like Lardo, Café Nin and Bella Aurora; and the popular bakery La Panadería de Rosetta.
Last year, Leonor Espinosa of Colombia was recognised with this honour. And, in the past celebrated chefs such as Dominique Crenn and Ana Roš have been awarded as the world’s best female chef.
In an interview with World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Reygadas shared, “I understand now that restaurants have a lot of power. I want to be very aware of what I cook and who I buy from, I want everything to be delicious, I want my place to be very nice and people to feel welcome – but what else can I do with the influential personality I have become?”