Growing up in France, Dominique 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 culinary passion to her politician father and his best friend, a well-respected French food critic. 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 that time she built an impressive résumé, working under the tutelage of San Francisco luminaries Jeremiah Tower and Mark Franz for for two years at the celebrated Stars. She later worked at 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 Southeast Asia, she returned to California in 1998, working as executive chef at the Manhattan Country Club in Manhattan Beach for eight years and then as the opening chef at Abode in Santa Monica. Luce at the InterContinental Hotel brought her back to San Francisco, where she earned her first Michelin star in 2009 and again in 2010. She opened Atelier Crenn in January 2011, a concept that embodies both her heritage and an ode to “poetic culinaria.” The restaurant quickly earned its first Michelin star, and Crenn was awarded a second star in October 2012, becoming the first female chef in the United States to receive this accolade.