Peruvian chef Pía León has been announced as the winner of The World's Best Female Chef Award 2021 as part of The World's 50 Best Restaurants awards. The chef-owner of Kjolle and co-owner of Central, both in Lima, Peru, is recognised for her ascent to the pinnacle of the gastronomic world. While the restaurant landscape still suffers from widespread gender disparity, León's kitchen seeks inclusion for all those who are best qualified, regardless of gender.
The World's Best Female Chef Award forms part of the forthcoming programme for The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2021 with the main awards ceremony due to take place in Antwerp, Flanders on 5th October.
León was previously named Latin America's Best Female Chef in 2018. Kjolle, León's first solo endeavour, received the Highest New Entry Award on Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants 2019 list (No.21). She was also Head Chef at Central when the pioneering Peruvian destination was named The Best Restaurant in Latin America three times from 2015-2017.
León and husband Virgilio Martínez together opened Mil, a restaurant at 3,500m above sea level in Cusco, Peru, which is also a research, development and interpretation centre encompassing the Mater Iniciativa project, which endeavours to learn more about Peruvian produce and its place of origin. Their work has been instrumental in educating the world about the extraordinary biodiversity of their home country.
León said of receiving the accolade: "The most positive thing that came out of such exceptional times is that I have been able to continue working with a team of people who are first-class human beings. They will see this award, as I do, as a great indication that we are on the right track for the future."
Find out more about the 50 Best awards here.