Daniela Soto-Innes has always been surrounded by strong women who love cooking. After moving to the United States from Mexico at the age of 12, she seriously contemplated a career in food, and at 14, took an internship that turned into her first job. For formal training, Soto-Innes attended Le Cordon Bleu in Austin. She then traveled and staged around Europe, New York, and Texas. Her skill and leadership secured her the 50 Best organization’s award for “World’s Best Female Chef” in 2019 at 28 years old, making her the youngest recipient of the award.
Daniela refused to bask in the praise, giving credit instead to her largely female, mostly immigrant kitchen staff. She went out of her way to make sure the employees at her New York restaurants were happy. She was doing all this in a world where other head chefs were still perpetuating a culture of sexual harassment and taking advantage of vulnerable immigrant employees. Daniela makes a point of lifting up women at her restaurants. Two-thirds of her staff were women. She also makes her kitchens happy places, creating a party-like atmosphere with music and dancing. As her grandmother taught her, food tastes better if you make it with joy. “It’s important to make sure that everyone is set and happy around you.” She even gives all employees personality tests so she can better understand what they will need from her. “Watching them dance and sing from the top of their lungs — I’m the proudest I could ever be for making someone’s life so happy while they’re doing their job.”
Visit Daniela at: https://www.kinfolk.com/daniela-soto-innes/