A French woman has triumphed in a resolutely masculine world. Her name was not Ségolène Royal but Anne-Sophie Pic, the first female chef to be given three Michelin stars for 56 years.
The triumph of Mme Pic, 37, was also a triumph for family tradition over globe-trotting, celebrity chefdom. Mme Pic is the fourth generation of her family to cook in Maison Pic, a hotel-restaurant in Valence in the Rhône valley that began as a lunch stop for motorists on the main road from Paris to the south in the early 20th century. She took over the kitchen 10 years ago, with no formal training except by her father, Jacques, who had died five years earlier.