12 rising female chefs you should know

From pastry powerhouse to vegetable virtuoso, these women are approaching the top of the culinary world.

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7 / 13

Tova du Plessis, Essen Bakery, Philadelphia

South Africa-born Tova du Plessis was planning to become a doctor. She earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Houston before changing paths and heading to the Culinary Institute of America. Another Solomonov protégé – she was a line cook at Zahav and sous chef at Citron + Rose – the 33-year-old opened her own Essen Bakery in Philadelphia in 2016 and has been a semifinalist for the James Beard Outstanding Baker award four times.

Her recipes are inspired by those baked by her mother – honey cake, rugelach and other traditional Israeli cakes and confections. Don’t miss her creative babkas, one with halvah, others with almonds, pecans or chocolate.

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