This Is The Key To Succeeding As A Chef, According To Dominique Crenn

Dominique Crenn may have been the person for whom the expression "tour de force" was coined. The chef, who hails from Brittany, France, has her finger in many pies, and only one of them is Atelier Crenn, the San Francisco restaurant that made her the first (and only) woman in the U.S. with three Michelin stars (via Haute Living). After being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2019, Crenn flexed her culinary skills by turning lemons into lemonade — she created VitaBowl, a plant-based meal delivery company, in order to provide her community with the kind of wholesome, nutrient-dense food that she herself was using to stay healthy while her body healed.

As if that wasn't enough to be getting on with for the past couple of years, the Wall Street Journal reports that Crenn also penned a memoir, got engaged, and created healthy meal kits for medical workers on the front lines battling the global pandemic. Therefore, her upcoming appearance on "MasterChef: Legends" is probably the equivalent of making a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich for the Michelin-starred chef (via Foodsided).

Crenn wants chefs to think outside the box

With all that Crenn has accomplished in the past three years alone, one would do well to heed any words of wisdom that might emanate from the Frenchwoman's lips. Words like "Eating is an act of activism," and "Health is about understanding what you're eating," which she recently told Haute Living. But it was a perspective reported by Foodsided that might be particularly helpful to chefs currently trying to make a name for themselves in the culinary world: "I really admire contemporary chefs today who are just unafraid to be themselves. Those who are thinking beyond the walls of their restaurants and are conscious of their impact on the community and planet will succeed."

For Crenn, this means cooking with efficiency in mind (wasting as little as possible), and sourcing ingredients locally and sustainably. As a recent story in Travel + Leisure highlights, Crenn goes out of her way to work with fishermen and farmers to cook responsibly and ethically — the six-night pop-up experience she created for 120 diners in Los Cabos, Mexico last month was a perfect example of the chef's culinary ethos. "I have a responsibility to make sure that I'm doing the right thing," Crenn explained of her choices to celebrate local Mexican culture by using only local purveyors. We're guessing the 10 courses, served in a luxury vacation home on Montage Los Cabos' property in Baja California Sur, was pretty tasty, too.