The Top 4 Most Famous Chefs in America
Filed under: Culinary
June 1, 2018
For the best of the best, being a chef can open doors to extraordinary opportunities to publish cookbooks, appear on television, and travel the globe for events and speaking engagements. In the US, our most famous chefs have greatly influenced not only other professionals in the culinary industry, but also our own culinary interests and preferences—pushing us to explore new food types and combinations at restaurants, at home, and around the world.
Below are four of the most famous chefs in America today, all of whom have made the James Beard Foundation’s prestigious Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America list.
Chef Mario Batali is co-owner of 25+ acclaimed restaurants across New York, Las Vegas, California, Singapore, Boston, Chicago, and Connecticut. Eataly NYC (one his three Eataly locations) is currently the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in the world. Author of 11 cookbooks including a James Beard award winner and New York Times bestseller, Batali has also won the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: New York City as well as Outstanding Chef of the Year. A longtime regular on the Food Network as well as shows like Good Morning America, Batali currently stars in ABC’s Emmy award-winning, food-themed talk show The Chew.
Merging classic French techniques with California and Asian influence, Wolfgang Puck was essential in building the California and Las Vegas culinary scenes, and in making Asian fusion cooking popular across America. Today, Puck has almost 30 fine dining restaurants in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. What’s more, his company owns and franchises 50+ casual and fast-casual restaurants as well as sells packaged food, beverages, cookbooks, and kitchen merchandise. He even co-founded a company that caters events like the post-Academy Awards banquet and presidential galas and provides in-house dining for famous venues and Fortune 100 companies.
Undoubtedly among America’s most famous chefs, Puck is also known for his many guest TV appearances and his Emmy award-winning Food Network series, Wolfgang Puck. Puck is the only chef to have been named the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef of the Year multiple times.
Anthony Bourdain’s bestselling book Kitchen Confidential offered a behind-the-scenes peek into restaurant kitchens and the entire culinary industry. The book kicked off his rise to stardom, and he has since become one of the world’s most influential and famous chefs. Following that book, he published 12 others, including two more New York Times bestsellers. Always up for testing exotic local specialties, he’s also hosted several food and travel shows—including the repeat Emmy award-winner Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Today, Bourdain hosts cuisine and culture travelogue Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown on CNN, which has also earned multiple Emmys and a Peabody Award. Additionally, he is working to launch international food hall Bourdain Market in NYC, where he hopes to bring together “a dream list of chefs, operators, street food, and hawker legends from around the world.”
Since his Food Network debut in 1994, Bobby Flay has been one of the channel’s busiest and most popular famous chefs. A two-time Emmy award-winner, Flay has hosted 13 shows and specials and, in 2015, became the first chef to receive a Hollywood Walk of Fame star. As a chef, Flay’s skills drew attention early. Within only two years of opening his first restaurant, he was named the James Beard Foundation's Rising Star Chef of the Year. Later, Flay also received the James Beard Foundation's National Television Show award. He currently owns six sit-down restaurants and 17 Bobby’s Burger Palaces.
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