Sally Abe announced the winner of the AYALA SquareMeal Female Chef of the Year Award 2021

The award celebrates the contribution female chefs are making to the UK restaurant industry

Updated on 03 November 2021 • Written By Ellie Donnell

Sally Abe announced the winner of the AYALA SquareMeal Female Chef of the Year Award 2021

SquareMeal and Champagne AYALA are proud to announce Sally Abe of The Pem as the winner of The Female Chef of the Year Award 2021. 

Last night was an exciting evening for women in the food industry with SquareMeal hosting its annual Female Chef Awards, in partnership with Champagne AYALA, at Petersham Nurseries in Covent Garden. From the 30 chefs who made the 2021 shortlist, of which the likes of Monica Galetti (Mere), Thomasina Miers (Wahaca), Skye Gyngell (Spring) and Ravinder Bhogal (Jikoni) were nominated.

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After having to forego the awards in 2020 due to the pandemic, SquareMeal were delighted to be able to resurrect the worthwhile event again this year and host some of the UK’s most exciting female chef talent.  

The award was first launched in 2018 to celebrate the contribution female chefs are making to the UK restaurant industry, with only 17% of chef positions taken up by women in 2017. 

Cellar Master at Champagne AYALA Caroline Latrive comments: “We are so proud to be part of the AYALA ala SquareMeal Female Chefs Award. We want to shine a light on the outstanding work female chefs are doing both in their kitchens and in the community at large. We are delighted to congratulate Sally Abé for winning the Award this year, not just for her superb work at The Harwood Arms and now The Pem, but also for her charity work, support for the NHS and commitment to increasing the number of women in her team’’. 

Previous winners of the award include Angela Harnett in 2018 and Skye Gyngell in 2019. After hanging up her Head Chef hat at The Harwood Arms (with a Michelin star already to her name), Abé took up the role of consultant chef for the Conrad St James, operating four F&B outlets within the hotel.  

The latest addition is The Pem, which takes its name from suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, whose family gave her the pet name ‘Pem’.  

SquareMeal Head of Content Caroline Hendry explains: “Sally Abé has been the name on everybody’s lips in 2021, with The Pem proving one of London’s most hotly anticipated new restaurants for this year. Both her commitment to serving quality ingredients from sustainable sources and her pledge to showcase female talent within her team are admirable and inspiring, making Abé a thoroughly deserving winner”. 

The full 2021 shortlist can be viewed here 

In other news, read up on everything you need to know about MasterChef: The Professionals 2021