Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Good Role Model

In the male-dominated world of restaurant cooking there is one woman who stands out. Dominique Crens is that woman, the one who is not only taking the restaurant world by storm but making a tremendous mark on the culinary world.She is not only being recognized by colleagues but also by Michelin as well.

Julia Moskin had the lucky chance to interview this dynamo for today's New York Times Food section. Chef  Crens has risen to the top, an almost meteoric rise. She has been honored by the French government for her contributions to gastronomy and culture along with being on the cover  of Gastronomique En Vogue. She was also profiled on "Chef's Table" on Netflix. Unlike others in her field, she has also delivered TED talks on defining success as well as spearheading a movement of chefs intent on bringing agriculture to Haiti  Of course there is going to be jealousy and questionings.It's surprised some American food lovers who are more familiar with April Bloomfield and Barbara Lynch. She is stunned herself at this rise and adulation. She was even going to decline the title, Best Female chef" because of its' sexist overtones. However, Chef Crens reconsidered it, realizing she could do something the cachet that came with it.

After all, she can use her name to influence and promote topics she is passionate about. Unlike other chefs, Chef Crens is outspoken on such hot buttons as immigration, religion, entitlement and even entitlement. Ms. Moskin describes her as thoughtful, out spoken, authoritative and soft hearted. Another aspect that also makes her stand out is that she is basically  home schooled, learning from her mother and not at a culinary school. She talked her way into Stars under chef Jeremiah Powers and then a stint in Indonesia. Along the way she honed and refined her skills, earning praise and followers. Her food and style are unapologetically artsy, personal and at times, risky. Chef Crens uses both the lush and the unconventional. There's foie gras, abalone and king crab mixed with such foraged ingredients as sea buckthorn and even plankton! Her featured  squash recipe is made with a persillade of pumpkin seeds, sage, parsley and lemon zest. What is unusual about it is that Chef crenz chars the squash as if it were peppers. It;s then cooked more in a pan and sprinkled with coarse sourdough breadcrumbs.toasted in melted butter.

Dominique Crens is a nova in the culinary world Yes, there are stars but she stands out as the brightest and the most unusual. She is at the forefront of a new wave of culinary innovators.

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