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Brazilian chef Helena Rizzo, who has more than twenty six years in the profession, is the winner of the 2014 Veuve Clicquot Best Female Chef award, established in honor of the pioneering businesswoman who named the famous champagne label, and also has been honored by the world’s 50 best restaurants, in 2014.
Always restless and eager for new culinary experiences, the young chef decided to leave Sao Paulo and moved to Italy, where she worked in Milan at the two-Michelin-star Sadler restaurant. Afterward, in Spain, she worked as an apprentice at El Celler de Can Roca, where she met her husband.
Since 2006, Rizzo and Redondo have run Sao Paulo’s Maní restaurant, with a shared culinary proposal based in respect for Brazilian traditional practices and ingredients, which they harness with great skill and thoroughness using modern techniques, and a clear influence of classic Spanish cuisine.
“I am not, nor have I ever claimed to be ‘the best female chef in the world,'” said Rizzo, who also noted the hard work of her restaurant’s kitchen team. “Each of us can be the best in a particular situation, at one given point, in the eyes of a particular person. Of course, I feel very happy and honored to receive this award and I am grateful.”
With this distinction, chef Helena Rizzo joins an exclusive group of talented female chefs, such as Elena Arzak, from of Arzak in Spain; Anne-Sophie Pic, of Maison Pic in France; and last year’s winner, Nadia Santini of Dal Pescatore in the Italian countryside. In 2018, the chef Rizzo appeared as a judge on the “Brazil” television episode of The Final Table, season 1, earning more fame and visibility ■