Dominique Crenn, a 2012 two Michelin star chef at Atelier Crenn in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow district (and two-time Michelin star chef at Luce in 2009 and 2010) focuses on cuisine as a craft and the community as an inspiration. “Atelier” can be defined as a workshop or studio, especially for an artist or designer, and this concept drives Chef Crenn’s modern vision for fine-French cuisine, where artistry is at the forefront. Crenn’s highly distinctive French heritage, imaginative gastronomic flair, and proven originality behind the stove at Atelier Crenn reflect her unique life story. From her beginnings in Versailles, France, to the title of Esquire Magazine’s 2008 “Chef of the Year,” combined with her win on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America,” Crenn has built a legitimate and solid reputation both nationally and internationally for her artisanal, seasonal, and modern cuisine.
Growing up in the vast culinary landscape of France, Crenn developed a keen interest in cuisine from her parents who celebrated fine dining. While Crenn credits her mother for her early introduction to the culinary arts, she also attributes her passion for fine fare to her politician father and his best friend (a well-respected French food critic) from whom she learned to appreciate the subtle nuances and unique flavors of great cuisine during their numerous sojourns to Europe’s best restaurants. A graduate of the Cours Charlemagne in Paris with a Baccalaureate in Economics and a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the Academy of International Commerce of Paris, Crenn has traveled extensively learning to use ingredients from different cultures to provide her guests with endless culinary pleasures.
Crenn began her formal training as a chef when she moved to San Francisco in 1988 and fell in love with the Bay Area. During this time she built an impressive resume, working under the tutelage of San Francisco luminaries Jeremiah Tower and Mark Franz for over two years at the celebrated restaurant Stars. She later worked at restaurants such as Campton Place, 2223 Market, the Park Hyatt Grill, and Yoyo Bistro at the Miyako Hotel.
In 1997, Crenn made culinary history as the first female executive chef in Indonesia, heading the kitchen at the Intercontinental Hotel in Jakarta. Due to the political turmoil in South East Asia, she returned to California in 1998 as executive chef at the Manhattan Country Club, in Manhattan Beach for eight years and then served as the opening chef at Abode Restaurant & Lounge in Santa Monica. Returning to San Francisco in 2008, Crenn headed the kitchen at Luce in San Francisco’s Intercontinental Hotel where she earned her first Michelin star in 2009 and again in 2010. Crenn’s passion to create a deeply personal project led her to open Atelier Crenn in January 2011, as the restaurant’s concept embodies both her heritage and an ode to “poetic culinaria.” Less than a year after opening, Atelier Crenn achieved its first Michelin star in October 2011. In 2012, Chef Crenn made history of being the first female chef in United Stated to received two Michelin Stars.
Outside of the kitchen, Crenn serves on panels and boards with local and nationally acclaimed sustainable food activists and participates in special events such as “Outstanding in the Field” and Share Our Strength’s “Taste of the Nation.” She is also the founder and driving force behind "A Moveable Feast," a series of dinners honoring CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) that pairs prominent local chefs with produce from a single local farm. In October 2011, Crenn was featured in W Magazine as one of the “25 most Talented Up-and-Comers” and in 2013 she made “The 2013 Cosmo Power List”. She continues to gain recognition and praise for her innovative techniques and complex dishes at Atelier Crenn. In 2015. Dominique Crenn was awarded “Chef Of The Year” By Eater. In November2015, she released her first book “Atelier Crenn: Metamorphosis of Taste. Atelier Crenn ranked #742 restaurant in the world on “La Liste” from France’s Foreign Ministry.
In February 2016 Atelier Crenn was named one of The Six Outstanding restaurants in America by DinersClub@50 Best Discovery Series By the World 50 best Restaurants.
In May 2016, Crenn was nominated one of the finalists Best Chef West James Beard Awards.