Pinay chef Johanne Siy is Asia’s Best Female Chef 2023

Currently based in Singapore, Chef Johanne is the head chef of Lolla restaurant

After being honored at the World Gourmet Awards in 2021, Filipino chef Johanne Siy adds another feather to her hat as takes home Asia’s Best Female Chef Award for 2023. Chef Johanne was voted as champion by 300-plus members of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. The award aims to “celebrate women in gastronomy who continue to push  the boundaries of excellence with their skills, techniques, and craft.”

Johanne Siy

Currently based in Singapore, Chef Johanne is the head chef of Lolla restaurant on Ann Siang Hill Road. Her love for food has its roots back to Dagupan, where she grew up with Filipino comfort cuisine. Lolla is part of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 extended 51-100 list, ranking at 75. 

Under Chef Johanne’s leadership, the Lolla experience features modern European cuisine with nods to the Nordics and gastronomic inspirations from Asia. Dishes like crab relleno, aligue sauce, and kaffir lime are a tribute to her roots thanks to the inclusion of the aligue sauce from the Philippines—a paste of river crab tomalley cooked with aromatics—and to the dish being served within the crab’s own shell.  Another popular is the avocado, smoked eel, eel consommé, and yuzu dish. Lolla’s tasting menus are evidence of a low-waste kitchen, with examples such as an herb paste made from the pulp of house-made herb oils, forming the flavor base of parmesan crisp, herbs, weeds, and flowers.  

Lolla's avocado, smoked eel, eel consommé, and yuzu dish

“I am beyond honored to be receiving this award. It is great validation for my team and I,  for all the hard work invested in bettering our craft every single day. I am grateful for this platform that allows me to reach out to so many young chefs to hopefully inspire them to overcome barriers and push boundaries,” Chef Johanne said. “I want to shine a spotlight on the work of remarkable women in our industry, in  the hopes that one day we as a community can thrive and reach new heights by leveraging the  symbiosis that a truly egalitarian workforce brings.” 

Prior to becoming a chef, Johanne first pursued a corporate career. After leaving her post, she began her journey by training at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and has apprenticed under chefs Eric Ripert (Le Bernardin) and Daniel Boulud (Café Boulud). 

Her experiences in the kitchens of the world’s leading restaurants also include a four-year stint at Restaurant André (Singapore). Here, she formed part of the team that secured the restaurant's highest rankings in the 50 Best Restaurants lists in 2017: No.2  in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and No.14 in The World's 50 Best Restaurants.  

This is not the first time a Filipino won the prestigious award. In 2016, Chef Margarita Forés, the culinary master behind restaurants Cibo, Lusso, and Grace Park, took home the award. 

Chef Johanne will be honored as part of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 in-person awards ceremony on March 28, 2023.

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