Elena Arzak says she is 'surprised' to be named the Veuve Clicquot World's Best Female Chef ahead of the World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards, sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, on the 30th April.
The Spaniard is the joint head chef at the Arzak Restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain, a place she runs alongside here father and mentor Juan Mari Arzak.
She is the fourth generation of Arzak's to work at the family restaurant and is highlighted for her dedicated approach to the local ingredients of San Sebastian.
As well as training with her father, who himself was awarded the Lifetime achievement award at the world's 50 best restaurants in 2011, Elena has worked at some of the biggest kitchens in Europe - Elbulli in Spain, Pierre Gagnaire in Paris, Bras in Laguiole, and Le Gavroche in London.
This award will highlight her work even further and keep the Arzak family name well in the spotlight it deserves. Speaking after the announcement she said: "It really humbles me and has come as such a surprise. I am happy for Arzak, the restaurant, my father and my family…4 generations! I remember when my grandmother was cooking and how much of an inspiration she was. With this title, I think of her even more.”
FDL met Elena and here father when we visited their restaurant last year and managed to film a fascinating video which looks at what motivates the Arzaks and what it takes to run one of the world's best restaurants.
In 2011 French chef Anne-Sophie Pic, was named the Veuve Clicquot World's Best Female Chef