“We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of an opportunity to eat badly.” - Anna Thomas

I don’t care if people call me a pig if I get to eat great food! Even though the amount we spend on food has decreased since the 1960s, it’s still a significant part of household budgets.

Supermarkets have helped drive down prices. With budgets remaining the same, our purchasing habits are trending towards organic products. There’s less of a focus on good food, especially if we’re to believe the dip in popularity of cooking shows since the 2000s.

That said, with fewer people able to eat in restaurants as frequently as they'd like, there's been a resurgence in the world of cooking.

In this article, we’re going to look at how you can perfect your cooking with the greatest chefs of all time, the best chefs alive today, the best TV cooking shows, and the most popular dishes in the UK.

The Greatest Chefs in the History of Cooking

Even though France was behind the Michelin Stars, Japan has actually more Michelin-starred restaurants.

Who are the most famous chefs ever?
A lot of famous chefs learnt to cook in family businesses like bakeries. (Source: Skitterphoto)

While we're probably quite familiar with the celebrity chefs of today, here are some of the greatest chefs of all time who are no longer living. The chefs who inspired the chefs of today:

  • Joël Robuchon, 1945-2018. He had 32 Michelin stars at the time of his death. His signature dish: Pommes Robuchon, the perfect mashed potatoes.
  • James Beard, 1903-1985. He was a cookbook author, teacher, and all-around top chef. In fact, he was a huge proponent of American cuisine at a time when the culinary arts seemed to be only interested in French cuisine. The James Beard Foundation was created after his death by Julia Child who bought his home, making it North America's only historical culinary centre.
  • Anthony Bourdain, 1956-2018. Don't let the name fool you, Anthony Bourdain is not a French chef. He actually grew up in New York City and gained his education at the Culinary Institute of America. He had a prolific television career and it'd be harder to find a cooking show that he wasn't on. He appeared on the Food Network's A Cook's Tour.
  • Roger Vergé was a friend of Paul Bocuse and trained Alain Ducasse. His signature dish is the “poupeton”, courgette flower with truffled mushrooms.
  • Paul Bocuse, 1926-2018. He was born into a family of cooks and created the Bocuse d’Or, a biennial world chef championship. His signature dish was the truffle soup vge 1975.

With traditional dishes to culinary masterpieces, the great chefs have always known how to impress those eating their food.

The Best Chefs in the World Right Now

While some of the best chefs have left us, there are plenty of great chefs currently still with us. There are plenty of chefs specialising in different cuisines. Indian food, Italian food, and Mexican food all have representatives in the world of haute-cuisine.

Who are the world's best chefs?
Be inspired by some of the world's greatest chefs. (Source: babawawa)

While a lot of great chefs have left us, there are still plenty of great chefs still alive. They inlude:

  • Alain Ducasse, a student of Roger Vergé, who creates dishes inspired by his origins. He’s also the head of a vast gastronomical empire.
  • Jamie Oliver. While this celebrity chef doesn't have a single Michelin Star to his name, he's famous for award-winning television shows and his efforts to make gourmet food accessible to everyone through easy-to-make meals.
  • Emeril Lagasse is an American chef, James Beard Award winner, and restaurateur famous for New New Orleans cooking style. He's also the executive chef of thirteen restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
  • Bobby Flay is another celebrated American Chef famous for his TV shows. He is famous for his Mexican and Southwest cooking style and is the executive chef of restaurants in Vegas, New York, and Atlantic City.
  • Gordon Ramsay, who was trained by Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon in Paris.
  • Rachel Ray, like Jamie Oliver, favours “quick and easy” cooking and has hosted both cooking and talk shows in the US.
  • Pierre Gagnaire, a student of Paul Bocuse, a great chef who’s always trying new things. As a result, he doesn’t have a single signature dish.
  • Mario Batali is famous for his Italian cuisine and hosted Molto Mario on the Food Network for 8 years. He was educated at the Cordon Bleu.

While male chefs dominated once dominated the world of cooking, as you can see, more and more women are becoming popular in the world of cooking.

Get started with the best cookery courses London on Superprof.

The Best TV Cooking Shows

Watching TV won’t make you a great chef, but there are plenty of entertaining cooking shows you can watch for fun.

Which are the best shows for learning to cook?
You can learn more than you think from the TV. (Source: Robert-Owen-Wahl)

Cooking shows started popping up in the 1950s with a chef onscreen telling you how to make certain dishes. This continued for many years until the 2000s when cooking shows and reality TV started to mix.

MasterChef is one of the most famous cooking shows and a competition to find the best chef. They go through different challenges and are judged on their cooking. The finalists chosen by the judges.

There are also other cooking shows that are popular:

  • Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay.
  • Food Unwrapped
  • The Great British Bakeoff
  • Come Dine With Me
  • Saturday Kitchen
  • Dinner Date
  • Great British Menu
  • Hairy Bikers

We don’t know about you but these types of shows always make us hungry. They always make us wonder why what we’re eating isn’t as good as what they are.

Knowing the best chefs to have ever lived, the best working today, and the best cooking shows, have you really learnt how to cook?

What are the most popular dishes in the UK?
You don't need to be a professional chef to cook the country's favourite dishes. (Source: JESHOOTS-com)

Learning to cook can seem like climbing a mountain. Maybe you just know how to cook pasta.

However, there are plenty of great recipes that are easy to make, delicious, and can work wonders on staples like pasta or potatoes. The most important thing about cooking is how you cook and season them. Once you’ve mastered these two skills, nothing can stop you.

The most popular dishes are often the most simple ones to make, the tastiest ones, or the best for you.

Here are some of the most popular dishes in the UK:

  • Fish and chips
  • Pizza
  • Chinese stir-fry
  • Chicken tikka masala
  • Spaghetti bolognese
  • Thai green curry
  • Roast dinner
  • Bangers and mash
  • Sweet and sour chicken
  • Shepherd’s pie

As you can see, vegetarians aren’t very well represented in the UK. The UK really likes comfort foods. Of course, this includes some of the most traditional British dishes as well as international dishes.

It’s hardly surprising that there are a few Italian dishes on the list! You can find Italian food wherever you go in the world, even in China. Of course, the quality varies hugely from country to country.

Spaghetti bolognese, carbonara, stews, roast chicken, could have all been included in the list. All of these dishes are quite easy to make, too.

If you need a little extra help in the kitchen, you should consider getting help from a tutor on Superprof. You can get tutorials in a number of different skills including cooking and baking. Additionally, there are three different types of tutorial available in each subject: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials.

Face-to-face tutorials include one tutor and one student. These are usually the most costly per hour but they're also the most cost-effective since your tutor can focus on you every single minute of your tutorial. With hands-on subjects like cooking, face-to-face tutorials are great.

Online tutorials are usually cheaper than face-to-face tutorials since the tutor doesn't have as many travel costs and this saving is usually passed onto their students. As long as both of you have a decent internet connection and webcams, you can use programmes like Skype to communicate with your tutors.

Group tutorials are the most like your traditional art classes at school. However, if you get enough of you and your friends together, you could always hire a tutor together. With each student sharing the cost of the hour, you can get quite a discount for each student in attendance. Of course, you won't get as much one-on-one time with your tutor, though.

While each type of tutorial has its advantages and disadvantages, you need to choose the one that matches your learning objectives and your budget. Everyone can learn to cook, after all, if they have the right tools, resources, and encouragement.

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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.