A Mexican Chef Makes History As The First Mexican Woman To Win A Michelin Star
Mexican food is one of the most recognizable and celebrated cuisines in the world. The impact of Mexican food has transcended borders and with Mexican restaurants across the globe serving delicious food to the masses. One of the highest honors a chef can achieve is a Michelin star for their cooking. Chefs in Mexico have long been revered for their work preserving the techniques that make Mexican food the global phenomenon that it is. We recently saw Daniela Soto-Innes named the Best Female Chef in the world. Now, Karime López is another female Mexican chef making a name for herself with her own Michelin star.
This is Karime López, the Mexican chef working in Italy, who is now the first Mexican woman to be awarded a Michelin star.
The 36-year-old leads the team at the Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura restaurant in Florence, Italy. She’s also the sole female to be named in the 2020 Michelin Guide Italy.
“There are so many emotions these days,” she wrote on Instagram. “This award is a tribute to the Gucci Osteria team and to all the people who are involved and supported us. We all share the same passion and commitment to what we want to achieve. Huge thanks to @massimobottura @laratgilmore and #MarcoBizarri for believing and trusting us. Now we will continue to work even harder than before.”
Here is Michelin’s review of her restaurant: “The cuisine of theatrical chef Massimo Bottura has arrived in Florence, demonstrating openness to the rest of the world, with influences and reinterpretations of dishes from other countries, as well as Italy and Modena in particular. A visit to the Gucci Garden, an elegant museum on the upper floors dedicated to the famous fashion house, is highly recommended.” We love how the review includes that López is including perhaps Mexican influences in her Italian creations!
So what does a Michelin star actually mean? Let’s just say it’s the highest compliment. It’s like getting a billion stars on Google reviews.
Now, we, like surely everyone else, love to eat at highly recommended restaurants. But Michelin-rated restaurants tend to be expensive restaurants, so it makes sense they have the very best chefs in the world.
According to the Guide, one star signifies “a very good restaurant,” two stars mean it is “excellent cooking that is worth a detour,” and three stars means the restaurant is “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey.”
López’s restaurant, Gucci Osteria, only got one star, but if Michelin states it is a very good restaurant, you know it is bomb as heck.
López has been leading the team since the restaurant opened two years ago.
According to Chef Alps, “Her signature culinary flair and avant-garde way of mixing styles are a perfect match for Bottura’s vision and the concept behind Gucci Osteria, which is to remind people that ‘Florence has always been a center of cultural exchange, particularly during the Renaissance. It brings the most diverse traditions, trends, and styles together.”
The Mexico City-native began her career in 2005 in Barcelona, and she then returned home to work for chef Enrique Olvera at Pujol. The young chef is unstoppable because, after Mexico City, she went to work in Denmark, then Tokyo, and it was in Peru that her fate led her to meet Takahiko Kondo, the sous-chef at Massimo Bottura’s restaurant.
López married Takahiko Kondo, and the couple then moved to Italy, where they both reside today.
According to Chef Alps, Bottura was “so impressed with her dedication, professional skills, and talent” that he asked her to lead the team at Gucci Osteria, and the rest is history.
Bottura had very kind words to say about his mentee and her award, “When ideas are born of friendships, they harness a different strength, and this is just the beginning of an exciting adventure.”
From the looks of her Instagram, the multilingual chef loves to travel, takes pictures of art, has a great sense of humor, and of course, loves to cook.
Congrats, Karime, on your award! We love seeing hardworking Latinas get the recognition they deserve. We can only imagine this is just the start of her incredible career. Now perhaps she and Daniella can collaborate on a Mexican meal, and we’d happily be the first in line to try it.