West African Chef Georgiana Viou has risen to prestigious heights in the world of cuisine with a Michelin Star. It is one of the most distinguished honors a chef can receive. It is only presented to restaurants that hit the five most crucial elements in outstanding cooking. As described by the Michelin Star awards system, they include the following:

  • Quality of ingredients
  • Harmony of flavors
  • Mastery of techniques
  • Personality of the chef, as it is expressed through their cuisine
  • Consistency across the whole menu, as well as over time


Image via Food and Sens

Images Sourced from Margaret – Hôtel Chouleur

Restaurants and chefs must continue to operate and keep their standards at the upmost quality in order to retain a current star rating and/or accumulate additional awards. Currently, three stars is the maximum rating possible for any individual restaurant. This year, on March 6, West African Chef Georgiana Viou received her very first star, as the head chef at the restaurant Rouge, in Nimes, France. Her pristine cuisine can be found inside Hôtel Chouleur Margaret, where Rouge is located.

Images Sourced from Instagram / georgiana_viou

Chef Viou is self-taught and utilizes influences from her home region, in the West African country Benin. Viou’s describes her cuisine as a “mix of French Mediterranean perfumed with notes recalling her home country,” according to Associated Press. In addition to being a world-renowned chef, Viou has also published several books on the topic of Benin cooking.


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A post shared by Georgiana Viou (@georgiana_viou)

During the Michelin awards ceremony, 44 new stars were handed out, and Chef Viou, at age 45, was the only woman who was not apart of a team. Instead, she works single-handedly, which made her star an even greater eminent honor. The other women who received stars were all apart of teams.

At the event, Chef Viou said, “Today is really top… This is cool. I’ll find myself among lots of chefs, an occasion for encounters.”

An inspiration comes full circle. A West African woman, who learned to cook from her mother and received lessons in how to persevere from her grandmother, is one of the newest members of the 2023 Michelin Star class. Viou’s mother owned a small restaurant in Cotonou, Benin, where Chef Georgiana learned the basics to her internationally-acclaimed skills. After moving to France, she eventually fell into her second passion, cooking, and worked her way up in the world of cuisine, in Marseille. She mastered her craft so well that she started to receive recognition with restaurants that bore her name, and the Television show MasterChef. In June 2021, upon its inception, Chef Viou joined Rouge as its head chef.

Congratulations, Chef Georgiana Viou, a true cut above the rest.


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