Preparatory to naming the World's 50 Best Restaurants, the folks at S. Pellegrino, Acqua Panna and Restaurant magazine and, it seems, Veuve Clicquot, last year established a shiny new award: The World's Best Female Chef. This year's winner has just been named. The 2012 Veuve Clicquot World's Best Female Chef is Elena Arzak, who is the co-head chef at Arzak Restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain. If that name sounds familiar, it should. Arzak's father is Juan Mari Arzak, celebrated chef and inventor of the Arzak egg (go read Lucky Peach).
Elena Arzak, the fourth generation of her family to work at Arzak Restaurant, has worked at some other pretty swank restaurants, including Ferran Adrià's El Bulli (now closed), Pierre Gagnaire in Paris and Le Gavroche in London.
Last year's winner (the first such award given out) was Anne-Sophie Pic of Maison Pic in Valence, France. The World's 50 Best Restaurants will be announced April 30. Last year's best restaurant honor went to Noma (Copenhagen, Rene Redzepi).