In 2005, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay famously declared, “Seriously, there are huge numbers of young women out there who know how to mix cocktails, but can’t cook to save their lives.”
Six years later, in 2011, a young chef named Clare Smyth became one of only four chefs in Great Britain—male or female—to earn three Michelin stars, the industry’s top honor.
Now consider this: Smyth won the award for Gordon Ramsay’s eponymous restaurant in London, where she is head chef (while Ramsay concentrates on his television career).
Another three-Michelin-star winner is Anne-Sophie Pic, the chef at La Maison Pic in Valence, France. (The restaurant has been in her family since it was founded in 1889.) She was also named the World’s Best Female Chef in 2011 by Restaurant magazine.
There’s no doubt about it—more and more female chefs are climbing the ranks in what has long been an industry dominated by men. Below are eight female chefs whose food is worth whatever it costs in dollars and calories—regardless of whether it was made by a he or a she.