Conversations with Hilary: Chef Dominique Crenn

Dominique Crenn, Executive Chef and owner of the award-winning Atelier Crenn, is a true inspiration to women and chef’s alike. She is the first female chef in the U.S. to be awarded 2 Michelin Stars and she has held those stars since 2012. Being a woman in a leadership role and having two daughters, I celebrate women like Dominique who are innovators, leaders, and role models for young girls, and boys for that matter. Like the food she prepares, her answers were very thoughtful, creative, and insightful.

What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
Being able to touch people doing what I love to do.

Do you have a prized possession?
My kindness. I think that people often think of an object for such a question however for me I have very few objects yet have spent my life working on what I think is important with regard to how I interact with others.

What qualities do you think others love about you?
I’m playful and kind.

If you could do anything other than what you currently do, what would it be?

What do you like most about what you do for a living/career?
I am a creative and am appreciated for being a creative, and am able to touch people with my creations.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I review my dreams.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
I am with my guests at the restaurant and if I’m not there, I am often at a charity event as I am so inspired when I get to participate in bringing people together in the name of doing good for others. I love the people I meet, the stories I hear and later, the results of all of our efforts in helping those who need to be supported.

What were you passionate about in your younger years growing up?
I loved soccer, Adidas sneakers, and talking with my dad as we walked the sand dunes of Brittany.

What are you passionate about now?
Pushing myself to delve into the deepest parts of my creative calling.

What’s your favorite season and why?
Oh wow…that is a tough one for me as all seasons offer new foods with which I get to work. If pressed, I must choose summer due to my absolute love affair with the tomato.

If you were a cocktail or a drink what would it be?
Kir Breton

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
It must be ….

If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
My father. I would like to ask him to explain again so many things he tried to teach me that I sometimes feel I’m only old enough now to truly understand. I’d want one last chance to learn from him.

If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
(In French) When Pigs Can Fly.

Do you have any regrets?
It’s not a regret rather a wish for the past…and that is that I was so busy working so hard I never got the chance to go and stage in some of the great restaurants around the world. I would have loved to have gone to Michel Bras and a few in Japan

Define Freedom.
Oh that is easy, being supported to do work what reflects what is inside of me.

What are your personal core values?
Kindness, kindness, kindness and then after that I would say to work hard and play nice.

You can get up close and personal with Dominique’s food at her restaurant Atelier Crenn, where you’ll find her most days working alongside her team in the open kitchen.

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