Italy’s Nadia Santini Named World’s Best Female Chef


LONDON — The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has crowned Italian chef Nadia Santina as Veuve Clicquot best female chef in the world.

“I’m honoured to receive this important recognition — for me, it is for [the] Dal Pescatore family who work with me, my husband Antonio, my extraordinary sons Giovanni who runs the kitchen and Alberto who runs the room,” said the chef as she paid tribute to her family.

Chef Santini, who presides over the Michelin-starred Dal Pescatore restaurant in Mantova, Italy, married into the restaurant business and had never cooked professionally prior to joining the kitchen brigade in 1974. Trained by her then new husband’s grandmother, Santini embraced Mantuan cuisine — delicate handmade pastas and home-cured meats and fish — traditional artisanal foods handed down by her in-laws.

The Veuve Clicquot world’s best female chef award celebrates the work of an exceptional female chef whose cooking excites the world’s toughest of critics, 936 of whom voted. The award is inspired by the life of Madame Clicquot, who set the standard for women in business. “Madame Clicquot was a woman who revolutionised champagne, with her extraordinary stamina, thirst for innovation and quest for ultimate quality,” said Aymeric Sancerre, Veuve Clicquot’s director of International Communications. “Nadia Santini presents these values in gastronomy today and I’m proud our name is associated with such a wonderful personality.”

Santini’s work at Dal Pescatore has been lauded several times since its debut in 1925. During the mid-’90s, Santini was named the first female chef in Italy to earn three Michelin stars, a rating the restaurant has retained every year since. In the past decade, Dal Pescatore has appeared eight times on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

Santini joins a list of distinguished chefs recognized by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, including Elena Arzak, of Arzak Restaurant, Spain and Anne-Sophie Pic, of Maison Pic, in Valence, France.

Learn more about Dal Pescatore here.

Phototography by Paolo Terzi

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