SquareMeal is proud to announce that it has partnered with Champagne AYALA to launch the second SquareMeal Female Chef of the Year award to celebrate the huge contribution female chefs are making to the UK restaurant industry. The AYALA SquareMeal Female Chef of the Year award shines a spotlight on the women whose achievements are an inspiration to everyone involved in the vibrant restaurant sector, from school-leavers beginning their career as a chef to diners choosing where to eat.
From Monica Galetti at Mere and Clare Smyth at Core to Rachel Humphrey at Le Gavroche and Lisa Goodwin-Allen at Northcote, female chefs are running some of the most critically acclaimed kitchens in the country.
But there’s more to the UK’s female chef scene than these well-established names. Newcomers to the shortlist, Pip Lacey and Anna Haugh, have each opened two of the most exciting new restaurants of the past 12 months, with Hicce and Myrtle respectively.
Last year's winner Angela Hartnett collects her award from AYALA chef de cave Caroline Latrive and SquareMeal editor Ben McCormack
Like our 2018 winner, Angela Hartnett – pictured top, with shortlisted chefs Ravinder Bhogal, Helena Puolakka, Marianne Lumb, Asma Khan, Rachel Humphrey and Sabrina Gidda – these chefs are all living proof to a new generation that women can thrive in the male-dominated world of restaurant kitchens. This year, we welcome Ruth Hansom of Pomona’s and Elisabeth Passédat of The Cleveland Arms onto the shortlist for Female Chef of the Year – two bright, up-and-coming talents who we know are going to illuminate the UK restaurant scene for years to come.
The winner will be announced at an awards evening for the shortlisted chefs in October – and we want you to have your say on who that should be. The prize for the winning chef will be a trip to visit AYALA in 2020 with chef de cave Caroline Latrive, while one lucky diner taking part in the poll will win a special meal for two with paired wines at the winning chef’s restaurant.
Take part in the poll
Read this year's series of 2019 female chef interviews: Anna Haugh of Myrtle, Nieves Barragán Mohacho of Sabor and Skye Gyngell of Spring