Sienna Miller's character in Burnt underscores something we wish more people knew: that women can be serious bosses in the kitchen. Chefs Elena Arzak and Clare Smyth are the real deal—they each hold three Michelin stars, putting them in a league with just five other women (Anne-Sophie Pic, Carme Ruscalleda, Nadia Santini, Annie Feolde and the late Eugénie Brazier) in the entire *history* of the brand's famous guide. Here's what got them to where they are now.More
Restaurant: Arzak in San Sebastián, Spain
Chef Elena Arzak starting working at her family's eponymous restaurant when she was in grade school. Her training continued under some of the world's most talented chefs: Alain Ducasse at Le Louis XV in France, Albert Roux at Le Gavroche in London, and Ferran Adrìa at elBulli in Catalonia, Spain. Her restaurant earned its third Michelin star in 1989. This year, Arzak received the Culinary Institute of America's Augie Award, which honors extraordinarily talented female chefs.
When did you know you wanted to become a chef?
"I was a child of gastronomy. My father, my grandmother and my aunt all worked in the restaurant. Starting at 11, I used to come with my sister for two hours a day during summer holidays to be with family, [and we would] help clean squid, chop herbs, make chocolate truffles–learning little by little. I always wanted to be a chef, but I think I started to seriously think about it when I was 16."
Pictured here: Bogavante "mar y huerta" at Arzak.