Filipina Johanne Siy, head chef of Singapore’s Lolla, has been named Asia’s Best Female Chef 2023 by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
The organization made the announcement on Tuesday.
Born in Dagupan City, Siy moved from the Philippines to Singapore originally to pursue a corporate career, according to the World’s 50 Best website. Yet as she spent more time in the city-state, her mind was opened to the possibilities of pursuing a viable culinary career.
After spending six years climbing up the corporate ladder, she headed to New York and enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), where she trained under renowned chefs Daniel Boulud and Eric Ripert.
Siy returned to Asia and worked at the two Michelin-starred Restaurant André, where she worked as sous chef until the restaurant closed in 2018. She headed to Europe to work on farms and foraging, with short stints at Sweden’s Fäviken, as well as the five-time World’s Best Restaurant winner, Noma, in Denmark.
The Filipina chef became head chef of Lolla in Singapore in 2020, moving away from the restaurant’s predominantly Spanish fare and introduced a menu of sustainably-minded and produce-driven plates.
“Siy is justifiably proud of her coronation as Asia’s Best Female Chef 2023. Hailing from a part of the world where women leading kitchens is still something of a novelty, she is happy that her achievements are being recognised. However, she believes that her own personal notoriety is just the tip of the iceberg for female representation in kitchens,” the website wrote.
Siy is the second Filipina to be awarded the distinction after Margarita Fores of Cibo, Lusso, and Grace Park fame, won the title in 2016.
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