Queens of the Kitchen—NYC Kitchens Led by Women

Let’s celebrate women chefs! These New York City kitchens are led by a lineup of talented women. They offer a variety of cuisines, ranging from Italian to Venezuelan-inspired to Chinese and beyond. When you’re finished indulging, raise a glass at Bar Belly where you can pay tribute with the Wonder Woman cocktail. Drink up!

Beauty & Essex

Sarah Nelson

Sarah Nelson

Beauty & Essex is a decadent restaurant, bar, and lounge on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. At the helm is Executive Chef Sarah Nelson, who originally hails from Illinois. During a stint based in London, Nelson traveled the globe while expanding her passion for food and gaining exposure to other cuisines. In 2013, she was appointed Executive Chef here. Some of her main dishes include oven-braised chicken meatballs with sheep’s milk ricotta, wild mushrooms, and truffle, and spicy wasabi encrusted tuna with soba noodles, edamame, and wasabi vinaigrette. 146 Essex St., 212-614-0146,

Del Posto

Melissa J. Rodriguez

Melissa J. Rodriguez 

Del Posto’s Executive Chef Melissa J. Rodriguez is one of the top talents at this notable Italian restaurant. Prior to joining Del Posto, she was hired as a line cook at Daniel Boulud’s esteemed flagship restaurant Daniel, where she quickly ascended to sous chef. In 2011, Rodriguez joined Del Posto and in 2015 she was promoted to Chef de Cuisine. Two years later, she was tapped to succeed Mark Ladner as Executive Chef, making her the first woman at the helm of a restaurant awarded four stars by the New York Times. Innovative dishes include burnt beef rib-eye with ramps and carrot puttanesca. From the vegan tasting menu, indulge in the crispy brown rice porridge with seaweeds, avocado, grated coconut, and hearts of palm. 85 Tenth Ave., 212-497-8090,

De Maria


Stylish Nolita restaurant De Maria is led by a team of women talents. Executive chef Adriana Urbina recently created a new dinner menu that features eclectic dishes that are paired with natural wines and innovative cocktails. Rooted in her Venezuelan heritage, the menu culls inspiration from the years Urbina spent in some of the world’s most innovative kitchens. After serving as an apprentice at a Michelin 3-star restaurant in Spain, the ambitious chef worked at several New York City restaurants. She was also a 2017 winner on Food Network’s Chopped. Some highlights from her new menu are scallop crudo topped with coconut cheese, brown butter, preserved lemon oil, and raspberries, and fermented black bean short rib, which is plated with a hemp seed yuca crisp, cauliflower almond puree, and fresh watercress. 19 Kenmare St., 212-966-3058,

Little Tong Noodle Shop

Little Tong

Simone Tong, chef/owner of Little Tong Noodle Shop in the East Village, is credited for introducing mixian—bowls of rice noodles that hail from the Yunnan province—to the New York food scene. Tong originally hails from Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province. After graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) with highest honors, she worked at famous creative spots wd-50, Alder, and 15 East in New York City. After these stints, she embarked on a culinary research adventure through Yunnan. She visited the ancient towns of Dali and Lijiang, hiked through the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and trekked through the Tiger Leaping Gorge into the majestic Ganden Sumtseling Monastery bordering Tibet and Sichuan. Upon her return, she opened the doors to Little Tong Noodle Shop. Since the restaurant’s debut in March 2017, Tong has received accolades from The New York TimesThe New Yorker, and Vogue. She is opening a second location in Midtown later this spring/early summer. 177 First Ave., 929-367-8664,

The Regency Bar & Grill

Catherine Medrano

Catherine Medrano

Catherine Medrano is the Executive Chef at The Regency Bar & Grill inside Park Avenue’s iconic Loews Regency New York Hotel. She began her culinary career at the esteemed Johnson & Wales University in 1991. After graduating with honors, she participated in The Greenbrier Culinary Apprenticeship Program, which has trained some of the globe’s top chefs and culinary greats. While there, she earned American Culinary Federation certification. Chef Medrano was hired as the Executive Chef of The Stanhope Park Hyatt in New York. In 2005, she took her talents to Chicago, where she worked as Executive Sous Chef at the Park Hyatt Chicago. Returning to the east coast in 2007, she joined The Hyatt Regency Jersey City on The Hudson as Executive Chef. One of the standout dishes at her new post includes the Joan’s Chopped Salad, which features romaine, cage-free chicken, egg, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar, avocado, tomato, and balsamic vinaigrette. 540 Park Ave., 212-339-4051, 


Bar Belly's Wonder Woman Cocktail

Bar Belly The Wonder Woman

Raise a glass to all women chefs and mixologists at Bar Belly. The Wonder Woman is the first vegan cocktail to be added to the menu. It features the unique flavors of coconut and pandan passionfruit. 14b Orchard St., 917-488-0943,

About the Author

Regina Molaro is a freelancer writer whose work spans from luxury to fashion, art, lifestyle, and beauty. Her work has appeared in Modern Luxury Hawai‘i, as well as Bespoke Magazine and In Season—the in-house magazines at the St. Regis and Mandarin Oriental New York.

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