“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” - George Bernard Shaw
A lot of people work in the restaurant industry around the world. Among them, you’ll find the greatest chefs. There are plenty of famous chefs who’ve left us but there are also a lot of great chefs who are still alive and kicking. In this article, we're going to look at chefs from all over the world who've made their mark on the world of cooking.
Alain Ducasse, the Michelin-starred Chef
As the son of farmers, he grew up on a farm. He never got his chef’s diploma, having dropped out a few months before graduating. That didn’t stop him making a name for himself alongside Michel Guérard and Gaston Lenôtre, the famed pastry chef.
He has been given Michelin stars three different times for three different restaurants. As the boss of 20 establishments and over 1,400 staff members, Alain Ducasse is a real businessman. He was also included in Forbes’ most influential people.
He was given the Legion of Honour by Jacques Chirac in 2009. His signature dish is spelt wheat and winter vegetables.
Jamie Oliver started out as a pastry chef for Antonio Carluccio at his Neal Street restaurant. He was discovered while working at the River Café as a sous chef and made his first television show, The Naked Chef.
His Feed Me Better campaign was aimed at ensuring that schoolchildren ate healthy meals at school. That said, he's been no stranger to controversy. From using chorizo in paella to his restaurant chain being contaminated with E. Coli, he's a divisive character despite his somewhat charming personality.
While advertising for Sainsbury's supermarkets, he openly criticised the products of supermarkets around the UK, putting an end to 11 years of working with the chain.
He also had some success across the pond as he tried to change the way Americans eat. However, his efforts to show people how easy it is to cook food on a budget has been criticised for overestimated how cheap some ingredients actually are.
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.
He's the son of a French-Canadian father and Portuguese mother and learnt he had a gift for cooking while working in a Portuguese bakery as a teenager.
He attended the JWU culinary school and later became the executive chef of the Commander's Palace before eventually opening his own restaurants.
His restaurant in New Orleans has won awards and he's even helped NASA improve the food they give to astronauts.
His first television show was Great Chefs and he hosted Essence of Emeril on FoodTV. He also hosted a culinary travel show, cooking competitions (notably Top Chef), and even appeared in Disney's The Princess and the Frog (which was set in New Orleans).
His cooking style takes traditional New Orleans and Creole cuisine with influences from Asian, Portuguese, and Southwestern cuisine.
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Bobby Flay is another celebrated American Chef famous for his cooking 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.
He was born in New York and after dropping out of school aged 17, he worked in a pizza parlour. Later on, the owner of the restaurant where he worked agreed to pay for him to attend the French Culinary Institute.
Once he graduated, he started as a sous chef. He became executive chef at the Brighton Grill on Third Avenue just after a week of working there. However, he realised he wasn't ready to run a kitchen and subsequently quit.
He presented many shows on the Food Network in the US and occasionally teaches in the French Culinary Institute when his schedule permits.
Flay was also on Iron Chef America. While he lost in a battle against Masaharu Morimoto in New York, he later won the rematch in Japan.
He's won many awards including the James Beard Foundation Award.
The Scottish chef Gordon Ramsay is known for his TV shows MasterChef in the US or Kitchen Nightmares.
He’s one of only three chefs to have received three Michelin stars at once. However, as a child, he was destined to become a footballer and was part of the Warwickshire team at the age of 12. A knee injury forced him to change his plans and after planning a career in the Royal Navy, he signed up to a cooking school.
He learnt from Marco Pierre White and then learnt the basics of French cooking in Albert Roux’s restaurant in London. Two years later, he went to Paris and found a job with Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon.
In 1993, his former employer Marco Pierre White offered him the job as head chef. The Aubergine restaurant quickly earned its first Michelin star. After earning its second Michelin star, Gordon Ramsay decided to open his own restaurant. He’s continued to open restaurants and his most recent one is Le Pressoir d’Argent in Bordeaux.
Beef Wellington is his signature dish.
Rachael Ray is another popular American TV personality and celebrity chef. In some respects, she's similar to Jamie Oliver in the way that she focuses on quick and easy cuisine rather than gourmet dishes.
She was born in New York State and later moved to New York City. Her 30-minute dishes have been criticised for not taking preparation time into account.
Despite appearing on cooking shows and writing many cookbooks, Ray regularly states that she's not a chef as she's had no formal training. That said, it doesn't matter how much training you've had if you know how to cook!
Pierre Gagnaire was trained by Paul Bocuse, took over his father’s restaurant, opened his own and got three Michelin stars.
Following financial difficulties, Pierre Gagnaire closed his restaurant and went back to Paris where he’d quickly earn himself three Michelin stars. He loves cooking modest dishes and has opened restaurants in Tokyo, London, Las Vegas, and Dubai.
A jack of all trades, he loves trying new creations and is considered one of the greatest chefs of all time.
Since he's so creative, he doesn’t really have a signature dish.
Find out more about the most popular dishes in the UK.
Mario Batali learnt to cook at a restaurant called “Stuff Yer Face”. However, he also received training at Rutgers University and Le Cordon Bleu.
He's famous for his Italian cooking style and has won many awards. His television career started on the Food Network in 1996 with the show Molto Mario where he toured Italy. He also appeared on Iron Chef America and won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant of 1998.
Feeling hungry? Why not try some of the food in these famous chefs’ restaurants?
If you want to learn how to cook like these chefs, you should consider getting help from one of the private tutors on Superprof. You can find tutors from all over the UK and all over the world offering different types of private tutorials: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials.
Face-to-face tutorials involve just you and the tutor. With bespoke lessons, these are the most effective type of tutorials. However, they also tend to be the most expensive as you're paying for a tailored service from your private tutor.
Online tutorials take place via a webcam using a programme such as Skype. Since the tutor doesn't need to travel to their student, these savings are reflected in their rates. While you really want a tutor there with you for hands-on skills like cooking, online tutorials are a good option for those on a budget as you can learn from tutors from all over the world.
Finally, there are group tutorials. While you won't get as much one-on-one time with your tutor, you'll probably pay much less than the other types of tutorials since the cost is shared between you and your fellow students. You could always get a group of friends together and learn a new skill together.
Each type of tutorial has its advantages and disadvantages and it's up to you to decide which one works for you and your budget. One thing's for sure, with the right tutor and tutorials, you'll soon be cooking like a pro!