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Cosme’s Daniela Soto-Innes is the 2019 World’s Best female chef

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Soto-Innes named ahead of the World's 50 Best Restaurants celebration, taking place in Singapore in June 2019

The chef-owner of Mexican restaurant Cosme in New York City follows in the footsteps of the likes of Clare Smyth (2018), Ana Ros (2017) and Dominique Crenn (2016). However, unlike these three previous holders, Soto-Innes’s restaurant already features on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants where it was named in 25th place in 2018. The Best Female Chef series, now in its ninth year, has celebrated 21 women across 15 countries.

Inspiring younger generations

“I’m grateful to receive this award as it gives me the platform to inspire both my generation and younger generations of leaders to come,” said Soto-Innes.

“My main passion doesn’t come from cooking alone, but through making teams and allowing everyone around me to excel and reach their full potential by learning their unique way of expressing themselves.” 

Hailing from Mexico City,  Soto-Innes moved to the US when she was 12 years old, intending to pursue her love of swimming and sports. But the influence of her family’s three generations of food-loving matriarchs, steered her towards a career in food.

Aged 15, she got her first restaurant job in Houston, Texas and went on to enrol into Le Cordon Bleu in Austin before joining the opening team at Brennan’s of Houston. She then moved to progressive American restaurant Triniti and Chris Shepherd’s charcuterie-heavy Underbelly, both in Houston, before returning to Mexico City where she staged at Pujol before joining Gerardo Vazquez Lugo at traditional Mexican restaurant Nicos. Soto-Innes then returned to Pujol to work full-time alongside its celebrated chef-owner, Enrique Olvera. 

Unparalleled positive energy

Soto-Innes joined Cosme as chef de cuisine when Olvera opened the modern Mexican restaurant in 2014 and within a year she won a StarChefs Rising Stars Award in 2015 and the James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef the following year.

Cosme debuted in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2017 at No.40; the same year, she partnered with Olvera on a second concept, Atla, also in New York, where they serve a menu of light, progressive Mexican food.

She is now a partner at Cosme, as well as Atla. The duo plans to open two further restaurants in LA called Damian and Ditroit in late 2019.

Daniela brings an unparalleled positive energy to her projects and has created a team that celebrates women of all ages. At Cosme she has combined innovative Mexican dishes with warm hospitality, leading a dynamic team to great success and popularity in the fiercely competitive New York dining scene,” said William Drew, group editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

“She is an immense talent who thoroughly deserves this accolade.” 

Soto-Innes will formally receive her prize at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 awards ceremony at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on 25 June. 

Tina Nielsen