Mexico City’s Elena Reygadas Named World’s Best Female Chef 2023

In Dine, Mexico City by Christina Silvestri

Mexican chef-owner Elena Reygadas of Rosetta in Mexico City has been named The World’s Best Female Chef 2023 by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, becoming the first of several pre-announced award recipients.

Reygadas has been a notable figure in Mexican gastronomy since being recognized as Latin America’s Best Female Chef in 2014. She is a passionate advocate for Mexican biodiversity and sustainable production, and has recently launched a scholarship program aimed at promoting greater gender parity in kitchens.

Reygadas grew up in a large family and learned to cook as a child. She went on to study English Literature at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, but never stopped cooking, working in restaurants throughout her studies and continuing to cook at home. After finishing university, she became a chef, studying in New York and spending four years in London under the tutelage of Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli. She returned to Mexico City to open Rosetta, which is celebrated as one of the best restaurants in the city.

Rosetta serves an elegant menu that focuses on revamping traditional Mexican dishes with a daily changing offering thanks to its focus on seasonal, local ingredients sourced from small producers. The restaurant placed at No. 60 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 list and No. 37 in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022. Reygadas specializes in exquisite hand-made pastas such as the hoja santa tortelinni, as well as favorites like the pistachio pipián and romeritos taco, and the fresh corn tamal served with warm smoked cream.

In addition to Rosetta, Reygadas runs casual Mexican restaurant Lardo and bistro Café Nin, both in the capital. Her first cookbook, published in 2019, focuses not just on recipes and the philosophy behind them, but on Mexican ingredients, in particular the environment and traditions that shape them.

William Drew, director of content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, describes Reygadas as “a chef who is paving the way for future generations of female leaders in Mexico and beyond,” and praises her advocacy of traditional dishes and indigenous biodiversity. Reygadas sees the award as belonging to her entire team and to all the women in the kitchen who have preserved the culinary legacy for generations.

The World’s Best Female Chef 2023 award is the first of several awards to be revealed ahead of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 awards ceremony in Valencia, Spain. The ceremony will be held at Les Arts opera house, part of the city’s modernist City of Arts and Sciences complex, on the evening of Tuesday, June 20, 2023. The event will include thought-leadership forum #50BestTalks, the 50 Best Signature Sessions series of collaborative dining events, a Chefs’s Feast showcasing the finest produce and cooking from the Spanish region, and the awards ceremony and countdown itself. The world’s most renowned chefs will also impart their knowledge to local culinary students through a 50 Best educational event.

Overall, Reygadas’s win is a testament to her passion for traditional Mexican cuisine, her advocacy for sustainability and biodiversity, and her dedication to fostering greater gender parity in kitchens.

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