As the first woman to receive two Michelin stars in the U.S., Crenn discusses where she is now and how she got there.

Elisabeth Sherman
March 02, 2018

Dominique Crenn is inarguably one of the most dominant forces in the culinary world right now. She was the first woman in the U.S. to ever be awarded two Michelin stars for her restaurant, Atelier Crenn. In the age of #MeToo, Crenn has been an outspoken advocate for a more inclusive restaurant industry, one that welcomes and celebrates the “pretty bad-ass” women who have long been working in kitchens without recognition.

Now, the French chef is being celebrated as part of Time’s Firsts initiative, a series of interviews and videos dedicated to the “women leaders who are changing the world.”

The full list of women being honored in the First series sponsored by Ford, includes women across fields, background, and ages: Gabby Douglas, the first female gymnast to win both the solo and the team all-around gold medals at the Olympics; Eileen Collins, the first woman to pilot a space shuttle; Barbara Walters, the first woman to co-anchor a network evening news program; and Serena Williams, the first tennis player to ever win 23 Grand Slam singles titles, among many others.

Crenn is in good company among this inspiring, accomplished group of innovators, who have broken glass ceilings and opened doors for all the women and girls who have come after them.

Later this month, the chef will open Bar Crenn, a wine bar located next to Atelier Crenn. At the end of the month, she's also hosting a “six-night dinner series with A-list women chefs,” called Women in Food. Featured chefs included Niki Nakayama, Nina Compton (one of Food & Wine’s best new chefs), and Nancy Silverton—tickets for the event sold out the same day they went on sale. Crenn hopes that showcasing the best women chefs in the industry will be “how the world will change.” Crenn is also breaking into the fashion world: She’ll be opening Boutique Crenn in San Francisco later this year.

In honor of Crenn’s growing list of achievements, Time magazine interviewed the chef about the inspiration behind her first restaurant, the people who wouldn’t invest in her because of her gender, and why she loves San Francisco. Her advice to women who want to succeed in whatever they field they choose? “Don’t be scared. Just go for it.”