This Three Michelin Star Chef Has a Lot More to Say Than Just What’s on the Menu

Dominique Crenn is serving French-inspired cuisine with a healthy portion of activism.

Parisian-born chef Dominique Crenn has the distinction of being the first woman in America to receive three Michelin stars. And she did it in San Francisco. Moving to California in her 20s, she began working with chef Jeremiah Tower without a lick of restaurant experience. But according to a profile in Rolling Stone, she not only established herself as one of the best chefs in the state, but she also leverages her star power to speak up on issues she’s most passionate about.

“Three decades later, having won acclaim for the French-inspired, avant-garde cuisine she serves at Atelier Crenn, the flagship of her three San Francisco restaurants, she’s using her voice to address larger issues: gender inequity and the environment. In 2017, Crenn publicly excoriated San Pellegrino, publisher of an annual list of the world’s best young chefs, for having no female jurors on its selection committee. “I thought we all got the memo that women are 50 percent of the population,” she wrote in a screed posted to Instagram. “I guess YOU DIDN’T.” She put her money where her mouth is, running a sold-out Women of Food chef series last year, which she hopes to reprise in 2020. And she’s opening a 5,000-square-foot, waste-free restaurant this year.”

“Yes, chefs feed people,” she says, “but we have so much more responsibility. When [another chef] tells me ‘I just want to cook,’ I say, ‘Wrong answer.’”

You can read more about Crenn and her influence here.

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