Mexican Chef Daniela Soto-Innes, who runs top modern restaurants Cosme and Atla in New York, has been named the World’s Best Female Chef for 2019.
“I want to be able to encourage men and women to work together and know that young talent is not about age but what’s in you,” Soto-Innes told Muse on the eve of the announcement. “You can be a DJ one day, you can be a cook, or a painter or a writer, as long as you do everything with gratitude and excitement and treat people with respect.”
Daniela immigrated to Texas in 2003, she encourages fun and modern Mexican food at her casual eatery. The Latina has worked her way up as a butcher at the age of 15 to chef under her mentor Chris Shepherd at Houston-based restaurant Underbelly (now closed.)
She was given the Rising Star Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2016 and has also been shortlisted in the Best Chef category for 2019.
"Both older talent and young talent deserve all the respect at all times, and we should be able to hear what has to be said," AFP reported she told World's 50 Best in reference to her own youth.
"It doesn't matter whether you've been cooking 40 years or one year. There are cooks who weren't even cooks when they joined me a year ago, and they've taught me a lot more than what I knew when I was 14."
The chef will accept her award at the World's 50 Best Restaurants awards on June 25 in Singapore.
Check out her story below.