‘The World’s Greatest Ever Chefs’

Greatness is elusive in the culinary world, with the finest chefs being blessed with more than just desire and good training; talent, imagination, creativity – and perhaps a few Michelin stars – are all required. So who are the world’s greatest ever chefs? We offer our top 10 below … you may have other ideas: if so, let us know!
1. Bartolomeo Scappi was a Renaissance chef, recognised for compiling the very first cookbook in 1577, Opera Dell’arte del Cucinare. It contains around 1000 recipes and the first known illustration of a fork.

2. François Massialot (1660-1733) served as chef de cuisine for various high-ranking Frenchmen, including Philippe I, Duke of Orléans. He’s best known for his Nouveau Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois, which appeared in several volumes.

3. Antonin Careme (1784-1833) was the first great chef of modern cuisine, known as ‘the cook of kings and the king of cooks’. He is famously known for making an entire year’s worth of dishes without once repeating.

4. Alexis Soyer (1810-1858) designed a modern kitchen with ovens that had adjustable temperatures and refrigerators cooled by water. Along the way he invented the Soyer field stove for the Army.

5. Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935) created recipes that were adopted by millions of chefs around the world. He became known for such famous treats at Peach Melba, as well as being instrumental in the improvement of conditions within commercial kitchens.

6. Julia Child (1912-2004) was one of the most gifted chefs of all time and brought fine French cuisine to America. She went on to become the first ‘celebrity chef’, writing numerous books, newspaper columns and magazine articles, as well as appearing on television.

7. Paul Bocuse, born in 1926, is perhaps the most influential chef of our time, at the vanguard of introducing nouvelle cuisine in the sixties. He also introduced the idea of chef-patron, where the chef owns a share in the business and is not just an employee.

8. Jacques Pepin, born in 1935, was the chef for Charles de Gaulle. He is also the writer of ‘La Technique’, the most popular French cuisine textbook. No-one comes close to his knowledge and technique.

9.Michel Bras, born in 1946, was No.1 on Le Chef magazine’s ‘100 of the Best Chefs in the World’ in 2016, following a survey that asked two and three-starred Michelin starred chefs to provide a list of five names they think best represent the cooking profession.

10. Seiji Yamamoto, born in 1970, is today arguably Japan’s finest chef, presenting traditional Japanese cuisine at his 3-star Michelin star restaurant, Nihon Ryori Ryugin. He is frequently invited to give lectures, sharing his techniques in food academies and expositions throughout Europe, the US and Asia.

  • By Bilal Al Halabi, Al Halabi Ref. & Kitchen Equipment www.al-halabi.com

 



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