50 Best Restaurants In The World: Women Chefs Missing Again


An exquisite meal transports us and creates lasting memories. How can the 50 Best Restaurants In The World not have women chefs well represented, again?

Today, we have the newest list of the 50 Best Restaurants In The World. The 2017 World’s Best Restaurant is Eleven Madison Park of New York. The New York restaurant earns the title not only the world’s best, but it’s also the first New York restaurant to achieve this title.

Compiled by vote of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, the list is often consulted by foodies, travel enthusiasts and people who want to impress. However, the list underrepresents several categories. One most concerning is women chefs.

Everyone can debate the lack of diverse representation in this list. Africa, mainland China and several other regions are also not well represented on this list. The highest accolades went primarily to European-influenced restaurants with male chefs.

Last year the organization conceded the lack of women on this annual list with the creation of the World’s Best Female Chef. The first recipient in 2016 was Dominque Crenn. The award was a concession to subbing her on the actual list. In 2017, her restaurant made the top 100 in the world list.

The outspoken chef/owner of Atelier Crenn in California addressed the lack of diversity again this year. In a recent 50 World’s Best Restaurant panel, a reporter asked Crenn if she missed out on being a mother. This question was offensive for two reasons. First, Crenn has children, which she pointed out in her response. Second, a male chef would never have been asked this question.

Being a woman, mother or caregiver should not disqualify or qualify your working position. Everyone can debate unequal pay, life/work balance, and other measures of equality. But, an unforgettable meal with exquisite ingredients and impeccably served should not be qualified with the term “woman chef.”

Thinking that women need a separate category for recognition is patronizing. Women, and women chefs, are often better than their male counterparts. A woman’s palate is different, as is her sense of plating. Frankly, the overall experience in a woman driven restaurant is different. However, given all those facts, a meal, a restaurant, and an experience is judged by the event, not the gender of the people creating it.

Maybe the 2018 50 Best Restaurants In The World will become a more diverse list. Or, maybe the list should become even more fractured with categories like best chef with more than 20 tattoos or best chef with red hair.

Next: #TravelTuesday: Recreating Travel Memories at Home

With my next windfall, I will make a reservation at some of the restaurants on this list. I might be saving for a long time. My dinner at Alinea cost more than my family’s Spring Break trip. But, the cost of dinner at these restaurants is another story. So is the lack of women chefs.