By the time Dominique Crenn (author of a new memoir Rebel Chef) decided to become a chef, at the age of twenty-one, she knew it was a near impossible dream in France where almost all restaurant kitchens were run by men.
So, she left her home and everything she knew to move to San Francisco, where she would train under the legendary Jeremiah Tower. Almost thirty years later, Crenn was awarded three Michelin Stars in 2018 for her influential restaurant Atelier Crenn, and became the first female chef in the United States to receive this honor — no small feat for someone who hadn’t gone to culinary school or been formally trained. Adopted as a toddler, growing up she often felt like an outsider and was haunted by a past she knew nothing about. She joins us in conversation to talk about her untraditional coming of age as a chef, the years she spent working in the male-centric world of professional kitchens and how she went from struggling cook to running one of the world’s most acclaimed restaurants — while at the same time speaking out on restaurant culture, sexism, immigration, and climate change.
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