“Be yourself, be confident and makes sure that what you do is about your vision. Don’t try to do something that isn’t you”. This is what Dominique Crenn, the first female chef in the United States to receive three Michelin stars for her absurdly creative restaurant Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, would tell to any young chef who wants to make it big. A sentence that is a perfect manifesto of chef Crenn’s view of gastronomy itself.
French born and raised, Crenn arrived in San Francisco as a young cook back in the 80s where she worked at places like Star, Campton Place and Luce.
She opened Atelier Crenn in 2011 and since then she has been cooking and serving “poetic cuisine”, making hyper-delicious dishes which purposely represent herself. At Atelier Crenn, tasting menus are not delivered as a standard list of courses: instead, guests are given a poem with each new line providing a hint of the dishes to follow.
The ingredients for her creations are often foraged by Crenn in the restaurant’s surroundings, like the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
In 2018 she opened Boutique Crenn, too. “It’s not a restaurant, it’s a place where people can simply come, grab and go – Crenn said – It’s also celebrating French gastronomy through patisserie, boulangerie scene, then bringing art to it all, creating this dialogue. It’s a place with these few concepts that come together because they do interact with each other”.
Below, you can feast your eyes on a selection of some outstanding dishes created by chef Crenn.