Every year S. Pellegrino names the world's 50 Best Restaurants, and in advance of this year's awards, the water company has announced a new award: the World's Best Female Chef. The winner, unsurprisingly, is Anne-Sophie Pic, whose restaurant Maison Pic is in Valence, France. In 2007 Pic became only the fourth woman to be awarded a third Michelin star.

S. Pellegrino also announced another award, giving this year's Lifetime Achievement Award to chef Juan Mari Arzak, whose restaurant Arzak is in San Sebastián, Spain. The 50 Best Restaurants list will be announced April 18th in London. Last year's top restaurant award went to Noma, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The year before it was El Bulli.

We could, of course, ask why the people who decide on these awards — according to the site: the Electrolux World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy is comprised of 837 voters divided into 27 regions, each with a panel of 31 of “the most renowned food critics, journalists, chefs and restaurateurs, headed by an influential, highly experienced chair person” — felt it necessary to differentiate between Best Chef and Best Female Chef. Maybe the coming award has been renamed Best Male Chef, if only for a little clarity.

LA Weekly