Italy's Nadia Santini has been named the Veuve Clicquot 2013 Best Female Chef, an honour that Britain's Restaurant magazine bestows each year.The prize honours Madame Clicquot, known as "The Grand Dame of Champagne", who perfected the art of making the bubbly beverage nearly 200 years ago.Santini, who runs Dal Pescatore in Canneto sull'Oglio, deserves the honour because of her "exceptional" cooking, the magazine said."The cuisine is refined but not changed," Santini said. "Dal Pescatore is an expression of the evolution of the food on our table and the surrounding environment.""Dal Pescatore's regular presence on the list and status as one of the very best restaurants in Italy is partly down to Santini's sublime regional cooking but her easy, welcoming presence can be felt in the dining room too and has contributed immeasurably to this family run success," the magazine said.Santini, who was born in San Pietro Mussolino in the Veneto region, studied at the University of Milan and learned about cooking from her husband's family.Antonio Santini's grandmother, Teresa, and mother, Bruna, taught the chef the intricacies of Mantuan cuisine."Tortelli comes stuffed to bursting with a mixture of pumpkin, amaretto, Parmesan and mostarda while turbot arrives partnered with a respectably minimalistic garnish of parsley, anchovies and capers suspended in a delicate olive oil sauce," the magazine wrote of Dal Pescatore.Santini succeeds Spain's Elena Arzak, who won the Veuve Clicquot 2012 Best Female Chef award.
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