10 of Our Favorite SF Chefs—and Yeah, They’re All Women
Who’s that in the chef’s apron calling all the shots? That would be our woman Tanya. And Traci. And Dominique. In a food-centric city like SF, it’s no surprise that ladies (a very long list of them) are running the food game in town. From pioneering California cuisine to bringing authentic Chinese food stateside, these women are shaking up the status quo. Here are ten of our favorites.
ALICE WATERS OF CHEZ PANISSE
All hail Alice Waters, the grande dame of California cooking and the local, sustainable food movement. We bow to anyone who can make a simple bowl of fruit into a national icon of good eating.
1517 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley; 510-548-5525 or chezpanisse.com
GABRIELA CÁMARA OF CALA
The Mexico City transplant gives us an elevated and authentic version of her hometown’s food…plus a no-frills taco counter in the alley behind her restaurant. Finally, a classy-meets-cool alternative to the Mission burrito.
149 Fell St.; 415-660-7701 or calarestaurant.com
TANYA HOLLAND OF BROWN SUGAR KITCHEN
Anyone who can make us crave a simple mixed green salad as much as buttermilk fried chicken is a star in our books. And Oprah agrees.
2534 Mandela Pkwy., Oakland; 510-839-7685 or brownsugarkitchen.com
TRACI DES JARDINS OF JARDINIÈRE
Des Jardins’s long list of establishments—The Commissary, Arguello, Mijita, Public House, Transit—and her ability to serve up everything from foie gras terrine to $5 fish tacos prove her versatility.
300 Grove St.; 415-861-5555 or jardinière.com
PREETI MISTRY OF JUHU BEACH CLUB
Mistry’s keeping it real in the East Bay, slinging Indian street-food favorites with her own modern twist. Her new spot, Navi Kitchen, serves up American comfort food with Indian flavors, like tikka masala mac and cheese.
5179 Telegraph Ave., Oakland; 510-652-7350 or juhubeachclub.com
BELINDA LEONG OF B. PATISSERIE
Repeat after us: We will wait in line—fog, wind, rain or shine—for kouign-amann. Leong is just that good with pastries.
2821 California St.; 415-440-1700 or bpatisserie.com
JENNIFER PUCCIO OF MARLOWE
Plus Park Tavern, The Cavalier and Leo’s Oyster Bar. Puccio and restaurant partner Anna Weinberg are the power duo running some of the coolest spots in town. No biggie.
500 Brannan St.; 415-777-1413 or marlowesf.com
CECILIA CHIANG OF THE MANDARIN RESTAURANT
The 97-year-old was the first to bring authentic Chinese food to the U.S., all the way back in 1961 when she opened the now-shuttered Mandarin Restaurant. Top chefs still seek her advice—and her taste buds—today.