Fe­male chef who in­spired ‘Rata­touille’ named world’s best

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY NAOMI O’LEARY

A French chef who in­spired a tough kitchen char­ac­ter in the hit an­i­mated film “Rata­touille” was named the world’s best fe­male chef on Wed­nes­day.

He­lene Dar­roze, 48, has an epony­mous restau­rant in Paris and an­other in the Con­naught ho­tel in Lon­don, which has two Miche­lin stars.

Dar­roze was named the world’s best fe­male chef by Bri­tain’s Restau­rant mag­a­zine, and is to col­lect her prize at “The World’s 50 Best Restau­rants” awards in Lon­don in June.

“It is an honor to win the award be­cause there are tal­ented fe­male chefs all over the world and I imag­ine it’s hard to choose just one,” Dar­roze said in a state­ment.

“My hope is that the win­ners of this award in­spire young women, in­clud­ing my daugh­ters, to fol­low their pas­sion and work hard to hone their skill re­gard­less of their pro­fes­sion.”

Well known in the restau­rant world, Dar­roze built her ca­reer as a sin­gle mum with two adopted daugh­ters and in­spired the char­ac­ter Co­lette in Dis­ney Pixar’s 2007 “Rata­touille,” a tale of a rat who can cook and be­gins help­ing at a pres­ti­gious French restau­rant.

“Haute cui­sine is an an­ti­quated hi­er­ar­chy built upon rules writ­ten by stupid old men, rules de­signed to make it im­pos­si­ble for women to en­ter this world,” Co­lette says in the film.

“But still I am here. How did this hap­pen? Be­cause I am the tough­est cook in this kitchen.”

Restau­rant mag­a­zine said that Dar­roze was “loved and ad­mired” across the in­dus­try and said the chef was far sweeter than her feisty car­toon coun­ter­part.

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