Boulud, Keller I.D. Favorite Female Chefs

Lidia Bastianich.
Lidia Bastianich. Photo: Patrick McMullan

The Beard Awards Gala honored women in food this year, but Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud want more female chefs to recognize. Both considered the topic at the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2009 luncheon yesterday at Del Posto. “It’s a shame there aren’t more of them,” said Keller, ticking off his personal favorites in the U.S.: Nancy Silverton (L.A.’s La Brea Bakery, Campanile), San Francisco’s Judy Rodgers (Zuni Café), Michelle Bernstein (Michy’s in Miami), and just two locals: Odette Fada, of San Domenico, and Lidia Bastianich. Boulud’s list of domestic picks was even shorter, though he thinks there are several great women chefs in France. “California: Nancy Silverton; New York: Lidia Bastianich; Miami: Michelle Bernstein,” he said. Joe Bastianich, no fool he, was unsurprised to see his mother on both lists: “I’ve always been convinced that women are inherently better cooks than men.”