After seven years, Johanne Siy, the head chef of Lolla in Singapore, was named by The World’s 50 Best Restaurant as the second Filipina chef to win the title of Asia’s Best Female Chef.
Margarita Fores of Cibo was the first Filipina to ever win the title in 2016.
According to the World’s 50 Best website, Siy was born in Dagupan City and moved to Singapore from the Philippines to start a career in business. As she spent more time in the city-state, however, she became more open to the idea of a career in cooking.
After working for a company for six years and moving up the ranks, she moved to New York and went to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), where she learned from famous chefs like Daniel Boulud and Eric Ripert.
Siy went back to Asia and worked as a sous chef at the two Michelin-starred Restaurant André until it closed in 2018. She went to Europe to work on farms and hunt for food. She spent some time at Faviken in Sweden and at Noma in Denmark, which has won the World’s Best Restaurant award five times.
In 2020, the Filipina chef took over as head chef of Lolla in Singapore. She moved away from the restaurant’s mostly Spanish food and made a menu of plates based on local and sustainable ingredients.
Lolla is dubbed as one of Singapore’s most exciting restaurants, featuring modern cuisine with flavors from both Nordic countries and “gastronomic inspirations from Asia.”
“Siy has every reason to be happy about being named Asia’s Best Female Chef 2023. She comes from a part of the world where women running kitchens is still a bit of a novelty, so she is glad that her hard work is being noticed. But she thinks that her own fame is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to women working in kitchens,” the website said.
Located at 22 Ann Siang Rd in Singapore, Lolla is open at Lunch from Monday to Thursday and Dinner from Monday to Saturday and its Tasting Menu is only available on Fridays and Saturdays.
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Featured photo from The World’s 50 Best website