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Just like many other career paths the culinary industry tends to be a male dominated field. For years, women wanting to make it big had to fight their way to the top.
Lately, it seems to be getting better. It's become more and more common to see women running the show in their own kitchens and restaurants. With that, we decided to look at Broward and Palm Beach's top five women chefs.
Sarah Sipe was recently brought in to round out the female-led team at Delray Beach's Sundy House (Top Chef: Texas
contestant Lindsay Autry holds the position of Executive Chef). A graduate of Johnson & Wales, and an alumnus of Michelle Bernstein's Michy's
in Miami and the Omphoy Ocean Resort, Sipe has brought the historic hotel's pastry program to an all new level. The restaurant's famous Sunday brunch is already being treated to Sipe's confectionary delights like homemade raspberry marshmallows, chocolate chip cookies with sea salt, blood orange panna cotta, and tiramisu squares. Her treats are sure to have you craving more.
4. Robyn Almodovar, Chef/ Owner, Palate Party Food Truck
When she's not being abused by Gordon Ramsey on Hell's Kitchen or participating in local culinary competitions, Almodovar can be found running the local food truck circuit with her very own Palate Party Food Truck. Big personality aside, Almodovar is best known for her fun and creative dishes like soft-shell crab sandwiches, mushroom risotto balls, and meatball sliders covered in Sunday gravy. Just as she says, each dish is "like a party in your mouth."
3. Lauren DeShields, Executive Chef, Market 17
A Florida Native, DeShields attended Johnson & Wales University, moving on to join James Beard winning Chef Dean James Max and Chef de Cuisine Paula DaSilva (Currently Executive Chef at 1500 Degrees) at 3030 Ocean.
After three years, DeShields moved to San Francisco working at Saison
--a two Michelin Star rated restaurant--and Michael Mina's RN74
. In January of last year she took on the position of Executive Chef at Market 17, focusing on locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients. Since taking over, DeShields has brought the restaurant to new heights, earning our pick for Best Broward County Restaurant 2012
At 27 years-old, this woman has a resume that could wow even the most experienced Michelin reviewer. An alumnus of Grant Achatz's Alinea
--two Chicago restaurants at the forefront of the American molecular gastronomy scene--O'Neal is an expert in attention to detail. O'Neal later moved on to bake bread under another leading Chicago chef Paul Kahan at Publican Quality Meats
. In terms of cooking, O'Neal is the ultimate Renaissance woman.
A North Carolina native, Autry is now one of the best known chefs in the South Florida culinary scene. After working under James Beard Award winning chef Michelle Bernstein for many years, in 2008 Autry was named a Restaurant Hospitality Rising Star. In 2011-2012 season, she made it to the top three of Top Chef: Texas. After starring in pop-ups and festivals for a period of time, Autry is now at the helm of Delray Beach's historic Sunday House. Her hands-on experience and stints on T.V. give Autry enough cred to stand up to any male chef on the scene.
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