It’s now been a couple of weeks since International Women’s Day, the day when the whole world joins together to pay tribute to women in every professional sector. While this commemorative day is a good time to call for gender equality, at Jean Leon, we’d like to be able to pay tribute to women any day of the year. For this reason, and now that the excitement of March 8th has passed, today we’d like to acquaint you with some inspiring and very influential Spanish women in the world of food and wine. These are two sectors that are really just one to us, because one wouldn’t be complete without the other. Let’s take a look!
One of the first women we’d like to present to you (although she needs no introduction, really) is the chef Carme Ruscalleda, who had the chance to talk to on the terrace at the Mandarin Hotel in Barcelona. She’s a woman who’s dedicated her entire life to gastronomy, putting her heart and soul into each of her life projects, and who counts three Michelin stars among her accolades. It’s the highest number of stars that can be achieved, although if it were possible to get four, we’re sure she would have tried!
Another woman with three Michelin stars under her belt is Elena Arzak. While you might be tempted to automatically associate her with her father, the chef Juan Mari Arzak, thanks to her unquestionable culinary talent, she’s also been gaining recognition in her own right: In 2010, she won Spain’s National Gastronomy Award and in 2012, she was named the World’s Best Female Chef by 50Best. She commands the kitchen jointly with her father at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Arzak, a real benchmark in Basque cuisine.
So, if we’re talking about women and gastronomy, we have to mention Fina Puigdevall, the owner Les Cols, another point of reference in the food world. A visit to this two-Michelin-starred establishment isn’t like going to just any old restaurant: Puigdevall creates an experience that activates all the senses, in an amazing setting.
Now, let’s move from food to wine to introduce you to Almudena Alberca. Like Carme Ruscalleda, we had the pleasure of being able to talk to her a few months back, and she’s definitely one of the most influential women in our industry. This is largely thanks to the fact that she’s the first Spanish woman to qualify as a Master of Wine, one of the highest standards of professional knowledge in the wine industry – a qualification that only 330 people have achieved worldwide.
We’ll close this post with another woman who’s a point of reference in the wine world. Pilar Cavero, sommelier at El Celler de Can Roca and Lavinia, two hallowed places of the gastronomic world. In 2013, she was recognized as Spain’s best sommelier.
Do you know more people who are making a splash in the world of food and wine? We’d like to hear about them!