10 Asian Female Chefs Who Lead Michelin Star Restaurants

All about the Asian female chefs who lead Michelin Star Restaurants. Get to know Rika Maezawa, Michiyo Matsumoto, Vicky Lau, Wu Hsiao-fang, Cho Eun-hee, Banyen Ruangsantheia, Zeng Huai Jun, Cho Hee-suk, Li Ai Yin, and Pim Techamuanvivit. Read more about these ladies here!


Culinary is a field dominated by men, despite this, some women exude excellence and lead their own Michelin Star Restaurant. These women proved that determined chefs could be recognized globally regardless of gender. Not all of these women started their careers in the culinary industry, most of them spent years after realizing that culinary is their craft. Read through the blog to find out about their culinary journey!

1. Rika Maezawa is the Chef-owner of One MICHELIN star Nanakusa located in Tokyo Japan.

Rika Maezawa’s goal is to create dishes so full of seasonality, that “if you placed them in a meadow, they would merge with its surrounding wildflowers and grasses”.

Her cuisine centers around the use of seasonal Japanese vegetables and dried foods that reflect Japan’s culinary history and knowledge, which she enhances by emphasizing their umami flavors and Kaori (fragrance) through the use of herbs such as shiso and kinome.

2. Michiyo Matsumoto is the Chef-owner of Hokkoriya found in Kyoto, Japan.

Over the past 27 years, Chef Michiyo’s homey 10-seater counter has welcomed diners from around the world, but being a big cheerleader for working ladies in Japan has always been on her mind. Named after a Kyoto dialect term for “relaxation after a hard slog”, Hokkoriya offers rustic Obanzai cooking — a style of home-cooked food native to Kyoto — to give diners enough energy boost to face the next day.

The dishes are prepared using quality seasonal ingredients, with consideration given to their natural state. Examples are the bamboo shoots stir-fried in olive oil, wax gourd dressed in kudzu sauce, mushroom takiawase, and lily bulb egg-drop (Michelin Guide).

3. Vicky Lau is the Chef-owner of One MICHELIN star Tate located in Hong Kong.

Chef Vicky was a former creative director and started her culinary career with an apprenticeship in Cépage before opening Tate in 2012. Her restaurant received its first MICHELIN star after just nine months of operation for its innovative French-Chinese cuisine, which it has kept in the nine consecutive years since.

She tells edible stories with her multi-course menu that exudes feminine delicacy and sophistication. Each dish is an ode to an ingredient, mostly locally sourced, with occasional exceptions such as Breton lobsters (Michelin Guide). 


4. Wu Hsiao-fang is the Executive Chef of One MICHELIN star Danny’s Steakhouse located in Taipei, Taiwan.

Wu Hsiao-fang graduated from CIA, after which she spent more than 10 years working with renowned Taiwanese restaurateur Danny Deng, over which time she rose through the ranks to lead his high-end Danny's Steakhouse as executive chef.

Wu makes a lasting first impression with her firm personality and has been praised by Deng for her calm confidence and her ability to ignite the ambitions of young chefs.


5. Cho Eun-hee is the Head chef of One MICHELIN Star Onjium located in Seoul South Korea.

Chef Cho spent 16 years teaching at the Institute of Korean Royal Cuisine and Baewha Women’s University and is a go-to culinary expert consultant for publications, cultural events, and even Korean period dramas.

The food Onjium offers reflect the four distinct seasons and the refined beauty of Korean cuisine (Michelin Guide).

6. Banyen Ruangsantheia is the Head chef of One MICHELIN Star Suan Thiplocatde in Nonthaburi Thailand.

In 1973, she expanded working in an idyllic riverside restaurant named Suan Thip. It was there where Banyen “learned by tasting” the intricacies of traditional Thai cooking from the restaurant’s first head chef.

Three decades later, the smiley, the soft-spoken head chef turns out complex creations that are the result of time-consuming techniques tempered with years of experience — as proof that with dedication and hard work, anything can happen. Beyond the bustle of Bangkok’s busy streets, stepping into Suan feels like entering another world. Its lush garden of trees and small ponds is peaceful and pretty, while a Thai-style pavilion is the perfect setting for weddings and celebrations. (Michelin Guide).


7. Zeng Huai Jun is the Executive Chef of One MICHELIN Star Song located in Guangzhou China.

When she enrolled in culinary school 35 years ago, she thought that she would end up running a small restaurant or making home-cooked meals for her family. She could hardly imagine that she would one day be running a fine-dining restaurant in the heart of Guangzhou’s buzzing Tianhe business district — or leading the team to its first MICHELIN star after just one year of operations.

With a sharp, short crop and a steadfast demeanor, Zeng hopes to continue her trademark of melding new flavors and influences from global cultures and cuisines into her cuisine, while retaining its firm foundation on traditional Sichuan culinary principles.

8. Cho Hee-suk is the Chef-owner of One MICHELIN Star Hansikgonggan located in Seoul South Korea.

Hailed as the godmother of Korean cuisine, Cho is committed to passing on her knowledge - based on years of experience and research - to the younger generation of chefs, while interpreting the traditional flavors with contemporary sensibilities for the modern diner.

Look forward to both the expected and the unexpected, with a good dose of love and finesse. (Michelin Guide). 

9. Li Ai Yin is the Chef-owner of One MICHELIN star Family Li Imperial Cuisine (Xicheng) located in Beijing China and Tokyo Japan.

Li Ai Yin traded being a doctor to become a chef in 1985 after her family started Family Li Imperial Cuisine to showcase the original recipes of her great-grandfather who supervised the meals of the royal family during the late Qing dynasty.

Today, the fourth-generation chef manages the family’s restaurants. Her restaurants' signature dishes are steeped with rich retellings of their origins in the imperial dining rooms of yesteryear.

10. Pim Techamuanvivit is the Executive Chef of One MICHELIN Star Nahmlocated in  Bangkok Thailand.

Chef Pim Techamuanvivit used to be a cognitive scientist and food blogger before finding her success in the kitchen. After establishing her reputation in San Francisco and battling cancer, chef Pim is now at Nahm to pursue her passion for Thai cuisine in her homeland.

Maintaining the restaurant’s legacy of quality cuisine, Pim has added her influences and flavors, which have taken the menu to another level. Every dish also displays extra creativity and attention to detail. Must-tries include intense and aromatic red curry duck with snake fruit and sour yellow eggplant (Michelin Guide).
Do you want to be the next Michelin Star Restaurant owner? Start your culinary journey now by applying to our programs in the USA and learning from the culinary industry leaders. Do not procrastinate and




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