Matt Edge of The New York Times

“There are a lot of great chefs out there, many of whom are female,” Crenn says. “We need to continue the conversation; that’s how the world will change.”

Gowri Chandra
February 06, 2018

Dominique Crenn, the two-Michelin starred chef of San Francisco restaurants Atelier Crenn and Petit Crenn, is launching a six-night dinner series with A-list women chefs from all over the world. Featuring twelve of the hottest names in food right now, the lineup includes multiple James Beard Award-winner Nancy Silverton (Mozza, Los Angeles), Niki Nakayama (n/naka, Los Angeles)—both of whom appeared on Netflix’s docu-series Chef’s Table, as has Crenn—and Michelin-starred Karen Keygnaert (Cantine Copine, Belgium). James Beard Award-winner Traci Des Jardins (Jardinière, San Francisco) and Food & Wine Best New Chef Nina Compton (Compère Lapin, New Orleans) will also be participating.

In partnership with the reservation platform Resy, "The Women of Food" series will kick off on March 27 and take place about once a month through November. Tickets are $250; they went on sale on Friday, February 2 and sold out the same day. 

“There are a lot of great chefs out there, many of whom are female,” Crenn says. “We need to continue the conversation; that’s how the world will change.”

To be held at Petit Crenn in San Francisco, the dinner series will feature original menus marrying a wide range of styles: Niki Nakayama’s modern kaiseki cuisine, for example, will be bridged with Crenn’s French poem-driven menus. “Chef Crenn and I haven’t had the time to discuss the details of the menu yet,” Nakayama tells Food & Wine. “But in choosing to do this event, my hope is to shine a light on female chefs and the amazing things we can accomplish together.”

Over the past year, female chef's experiences of sexual harassment and assault are coming to light in unprecedented waves, shedding light on a systemic industry problem. (April Bloomfield of New York’s Spotted Pig, which has made headlines for sexual harassment allegations, is also set to appear at the series.) At the same time, the struggle to simply be acknowledged as chefs—not female chefs—continues.

“It’s a great opportunity to put women at the forefront,” Crenn told Vogue recently. “There are thousands of female chefs out there, and I want the press to start talking about them, because they are out there. So it’s natural for us to do this series.”

The dinners will be a collaboration between Crenn and the visiting chefs. "I think it’ll be a good combination of globally inspired flavors from both Chef Crenn and myself," Compton tells F&W of her upcoming dinner. "The ingredients there are very different from what I’m used to working with in New Orleans, but it’ll be a fun way of showcasing ingredients I’ve never played with before."