5 women having a remarkable career path
On the occasion of Women's Rights Day, we have drawn up a portrait of 5 emblematic women from the gastronomy world. Whether participating in Top Chef, taking over the family business or following an unusual career path, these women share a unique strength of character. With conviction and perseverance, they imposed themselves until success in a resolutely masculine universe.
Anne-Sophie Pic is one of the few French women to hold 3 Michelin stars.
Coming from a family of chefs over two generations before her, Anne-Sophie could have be studying cooking naturally, to take over the family establishment, which has had three stars since 1973. But she didn’t see herself in this world and began studying business. Caught up in her passion, she finally took over the reins of the family restaurant in 1997. Quickly, she distinguishes herself by different creations with audacious associations of flavors. She courageously asserts herself in a very masculine universe, and is rewarded in 2007 with 3 Michelin stars.
Self-taught, Anne-Sophie did not attend any cooking school: “I learned the technique while practicing”.
Anne-Sophie Pic surrounded by 8 employees who make the effervescence of the House.
Native of Normandy, Hélène began her studies at the agricultural high school and dreamed of a future in horseback riding. While looking for work, she found herself in a completely different environment. Close to her home, the Barrière Hotel recruits where Hélène begins to wash dishes. In the kitchens, she feels alive, the atmosphere and the movement resemble and please her.
Having always made sure to be on equal footing with men, she is however convinced that gender diversity is important, "women bring something else, a sense of detail, another form of management. »
Challenges are what drive her, and with hard work and perseverance, life offers her new ones. After many positions in large establishments, she was appointed director of the Hotel and Restaurant Villa Koegui. An atypical and remarkable career path!
Stéphanie Le Quellec
Stéphanie Le Quellec was first known for her victory in Top Chef in 2011.
She began her career in the kitchens of the George V in Paris, beside Philippe Legendre, and later took the helm of two restaurants at the Four Seasons in the Var.
She then returned to Paris, to the prestigious Prince of Wales Hotel where she was appointed chef of the restaurant. In 2014, she earned her first Michelin star, then a second in 2019 before opening her own restaurant. In 2020, only 4 months after opening, “La Scène” was awarded 2 Michelin stars, a great achievement.
Stéphanie mixes elegance and simplicity in simple but extremely controlled recipes. Her objective is fully assumed: “to desecrate great cuisine”.
Naoëlle d'Hainaut, coming from Val d'Oise, was also first known for her victory in the 2013 edition of Top Chef.
She worked as a sous-chef at the Bristol with the three-starred chef Eric Frechon, then as a chef at the gastronomic restaurant vente-privée.com where she forged her culinary identity. In 2017, she opens her restaurant, l'Or Q'idée, with her husband, a sommelier. A year and a half later, Naoëlle earns her first star in the Michelin Guide, an honorable and promising career.
"Delicate, friendly, affordable cuisine, not necessarily made with noble products, but with a lot of creativity, flavors and aromas", this is how the Chef describes the cuisine of her restaurant.
Hélène Darroze, a native of the Landes region, comes from a family of restaurateurs.
After studying business, she was hired in Alain Ducasse's Louis XV restaurant. She started as a clerk, then became administrative manager. Alain Ducasse encouraged her to work in the kitchen.
In 1999, she opened her restaurant in Paris and was awarded a first star in 2001, then a second star in 2003. Later, she took over the running of a restaurant in London and was awarded a first star in 2009 and a second star in 2011.
Her success continues with the opening of two other restaurants in Paris: JÒIA, a friendly place with a nod to her native land, and Marsan, "an unquestionable success" according to the Michelin Guide, awarded two stars.