In the refined culinary world of haute cuisine, it’s inspiring to see a woman excel in a prestigious field so dominated by men. Helene Darroze is the first French woman chef to win two Michelin stars at her Paris restaurant in the rue d’Assas, which she started 10 years ago; she’s a protegee of the chef Alain Ducasse, creator of the table side sustainable concept at the Coeur de Jardin, a Parisian outdoor restaurant at the Plaza Athenee Hotel in Paris that has an organic vegetable garden in the middle of the courtyard. The organic vegetables from the garden go straight to the customer’s table.
Helene Darroze also established her own restaurant at the Connaught Hotel in the heart of London’s Mayfair. She runs both her restaurants simultaneously, and travels every week from Paris to Berkeley Square. She comes from a long line of cooking stock; it’s in her blood. Her great-grandfather was a pâtissier, her great-grandmother a cook, and her parents ran a two Michelin star restaurant in France.
When Alain Ducasse told her that she needed to compromise because the taste in her cooking was too strong, she didn’t change anything. “This is what I like,” she told John Walsh with The Independent, “and I cannot do what I don’t believe in.”