With Mexico renowned for its delicious, varied and imaginative cuisine, it is perhaps no surprise that the world’s best female chef is a Mexican.
Aged 28, Daniela Soto-Innes is the youngest chef to receive the accolade, awarded by World’s 50 Best Restaurants. But she is no stranger to awards, having won a Rising Star at the age of 25 from the James Beard Foundation.
Soto-Innes runs the Cosme and Atla restaurants in New York City, having opened the former with star Mexican chef Enrique Olvera in 2016 between Broadway and Park Avenue. Olvera runs the celebrated Pujol restaurant in Mexico City.
She has described Cosme as more of a cultural institution than a restaurant, saying the outfit’s multicultural staff from all over the world is key in the preparation of her cuisine, and which she defines as “another state of Mexico”.
With women making up two-thirds of her kitchen staff, in a male-dominated industry, she also employs immigrant cooks of all ages who, she says, otherwise would be driving taxis or working in laundromats.
In 2017 she and Olvera opened Atla, an all-day diner serving classic Mexican breakfasts and snacks, or antojitos, such as quesadillas and huevos rancheros, located in New York’s NoHo neighborhood.
The pair plan to open two more restaurants in Los Angeles later this year.