Kwen Liew is the first Malaysian woman to join the ranks of Michelin chefs.
Liew, who was born in Ipoh, is the co-owner of one of the 57 restaurants that were awarded their first star in the 2018 Michelin Guide France.
She is also one out of only two women chefs who earned the star for her restaurant in the prestigious restaurant and hotel guide book, which features 621 French Michelin-starred restaurants, this year.
Pertinence in Paris was awarded one Michelin star in February – less than a year after it opened for business last March.
The restaurant, run and owned by Liew and her Japanese husband, Ryunosuke Naito, serves classical French cuisine cooked with unconventional Japanese techniques.
Michelin describes the couple’s food as “carefully and expertly transforming market-fresh ingredients into succulent French dishes, brushing away the cobwebs of tradition along the way”.
Becoming Michelin-starred chef is a surprisingly rare feat.
Agence France-Presse reported that women barely make up 5 per cent of all the Michelin-starred chefs worldwide.
It is not easy for a woman to make it in the culinary industry, which is dominated by men.
Liew told the news agency that women always had to prove that they were twice as good as men to get their team of chef’s to listen to them.
She said she solved the problem by acting like a man when working in the kitchen.
“It depends on the mentality of the personnel, but [in general] men do not listen to women: they say,
‘We don’t give a damn what she says’,” she said.
Michelin has previously been criticised for snubbing distinguished restaurants run by women, as well as for the lack of diversity among the guides.
Michelin said the small percentage of Michelin women chefs was because of the small number of females working in the profession.
Congratulations to Kwen Liew. Malaysia is proud of you.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.