Johanne Siy has always loved to cook, but she never dreamed of becoming a chef. However, after giving up her career and social norms to decide to turn her hobby into her profession, she enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York. After graduating, she stayed in the US to hone her skills under the direction of Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin restaurant and Daniel Boulud at his cafe in the city.

After globetrotting and building her own culinary identity, she returned to Singapore at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Here, she took on the position of head chef at Lolla as a temporary measure to help restore the restaurant to its former glory. She has built a menu that focuses on dishes inspired by her experiences across Europe and North America as well as growing up in the Philippines. Johanne Siy is the first female chef from Singapore to win this prestigious award.

Today, Lolla is a shining star in Singapore’s ever-expanding gastronomic scene, already voted No.75 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022. It’s also one of the few with a woman at the helm. As Asia’s Best Female Chef 2023, Siy hopes to inspire the next generation of women entering hospitality as demonstrable proof that nothing should stand in the way of achieving your goals, no matter when in life they may appear.

According to