Joël Robuchon – 31 stars
Joël Robuchon, widely known as the ‘Chef of the Century,’ is currently decorated with 28 stars. This French chef is known as the pioneer of the post- nouvelle cuisine era, and his relentless perfectionism has translated into a more authentic, timeless French cuisine. Owner of 12 restaurants across the globe, Robuchon is also the former mentor of another talented chef on this list—Gordon Ramsay. Like his famous mentee, he’s known for having hot temper, and both chefs have acknowledged tension between them after Robuchon hurled a plate at Ramsay and Ramsay stormed out of the kitchen.
Alain Ducasse – 21 stars
Synonymous with breaking Michelin stars records, Alain Ducasse is one of only two chefs to hold 21 Michelin stars throughout his career. As the first chef to own restaurants carrying three Michelin Stars in three cities, the renowned chef and restaurateur has opened over 25 restaurants across the globe, including his world renowned flagship restaurant, three Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. This Monégasque chef, who is originally from France, is known for his perfectionism not only the kitchen, but in every minute detail of the restaurants he owns. Spoons, butter dishes, tablecloths, font on the menu – even curtain rods won’t escape the man’s scrupulousness. In addition to being known for world-class French cuisine, Ducasse is the only chef on this list who has sent his food into space. In 2015, Ducasse sent meals to astronauts orbiting Earth aboard the International Space Station, an accomplishment that Ducasse said he viewed as conquering ‘ the final frontier (of cooking)’.
Get a taste of Ducasse’s unrivalled creativity in one of Truly’s Dining Experiences with Alain Ducasse At The Dorchester, London’s famous three Michelin Star restaurant.
Gordon Ramsay – 16 stars
Known for his volatile kitchen demeanor and exceptional British cuisine, Gordon Ramsay has made his way onto television screens in just about every part of the English-speaking world. This Scottish born chef, whose name is attached to 17 restaurants globally, has been awarded 16 Michelin stars in total. His signature restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, London, has held three stars since 2001.
Like his famous mentor Joël Robuchon, Ramsay has a short fuse that, perhaps, has overshadowed his culinary achievements in recent years. In 2014, Ramsay famously broke down in tears after his New York restaurant went from two star to no star status. This setback didn’t stop Ramsay from immense success though. Recently, Ramsay was tied with Beyonce as the 34th highest earning celebrity in the world. Get a taste of this infamous chef’s food in an exclusive Six-Course Tasting Menu at Gordon Ramsey’s Petrus.
Martin Berasategui – 8 Stars
Martin Berasategui is currently decorated with eight stars, more than any other Spanish chef. Berasategui is also one of a select few chefs in the world who have two triple Michelin-starred restaurants to their name. This exceptional Basque chef earned his first Michelin Star at the age of 25 and opened his first restaurant, Restaurante Martin Berasategui, in 1993. Restaurante Martin Berasategui was awarded a third Michelin Star in 2001. Since the opening of his San Sebastian eponymous restaurant, Berasategui opened three other Michelin-starred restaurants in Tenerife and Barcelona.
Thomas Keller – 7 stars
Keller’s three-star establishment French Laundry, one of his five restaurants, celebrated its 20-year anniversary two years ago, and was on two occasions deemed the best restaurant on the planet. Keller, a California native, is widely celebrated in America for his French-style cooking, and he has made a good name for himself in France. Don’t count on Keller expanding his culinary empire though. In 2013, he hinted at retirement, telling the Huffington Post ‘You know, I’m 57 years old and I can’t stay in the kitchen forever.’
Yoshihiro Murata – 7 stars
With four restaurants across the world and seven Michelin stars, this Japanese chef prides himself on creating authentic Japanese cuisine. Murata stresses the use of local ingredients, and he finds local sources for each of his restaurants. Murata’s latest venture, a restaurant called Tokimeite, is located in the upscale London neighbourhood of Mayfair, and it sources salmon from Scotland. Murata’s expansion of his culinary empire into Europe is not the only sign of his global success though. Heston Blumenthal, another Michelin-starred chef on this list, studied under Murata in Japan when he was 30 years old, and the British chef considers Murata to be an influence on his cooking style.
Carme Ruscalleda – 7 stars
By Fotodimatti [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
This Catalan chef is the world’s only seven-Michelin-starred female chef. Ruscalleda owns two restaurants—Sant Pau in Barcelona and Sant Pau de Tòquio in Tokyo. This skilled chef emphasises seasonal products and traditional Catalan cooking, a harkening back to her childhood on a Spanish farm. Like many chefs on this list, Ruscalleda is a perfectionist, saying upon receiving Michelin’s highest honour of three stars for her restaurant, ‘But I’ve still not reached the top.’
Heston Blumenthal – 6 stars
credit: Garry Knight
Heston Blumenthal, a British born chef holding six stars, had his interest in cooking sparked on a childhood holiday in Provence, France during a meal at Michelin-starred L’Oustau de Baumanière. Although this innovative chef discovered his love for cooking at a young age, he worked a variety of jobs before settling into his calling. While working as a repo man and a credit controller, Blumenthal taught himself the art of French cooking in his free time. The turning point in Blumenthal’s career came in 1995, when he opened his restaurant The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire. In 2005, The Fat Duck was named the best restaurant in the world, and it is one of only five restaurants in Great Britain to have three Michelin stars.
Blumenthal, like a few other chefs on this list, is fascinated with the science behind food. He is known for experimenting with food pairing, the science of identifying molecular similarities in different ingredients and combining them in a dish. Recently, Blumenthal drew media attention for a Christmas trifle he developed for the British supermarket chain Waitrose. This dish takes on a traditional favourite in a unique way—by combining bacon and banana.
Anne-Sophie Pic – 5 stars
Anne-Sophie Pic is the fourth French female chef to ever earn three Michelin stars, and The World’s Fifty Best Restaurants named her the Best Female Chef in 2011. Interestingly enough, this French chef had no formal culinary training when she assumed leadership of her family’s restaurant Maison Pic after her father’s death in 1997. After earning three stars for the restaurant, Pic opened up a second restaurant, Restaurant Anne-Sophie Pic, which celebrates her family’s culinary lineage from Valence. It aims to demonstrate the inventive innovative spirit that, as the Michelin Guide itself says, “binds the history of the Pic family with that of French gastronomy.”
Seiji Yamamoto – 3 Stars
This brilliant Japanese chef famously sent an eel for a CT scan to better understand its anatomy. In 2016, French magazine Le Chef named Yamamoto the fifth best chef in the world, the highest placed non-European in the list. Besides his commitment to understanding the science of cooking, Yamamoto is known for blending the revered cooking traditions of kaiseki with modern molecular gastronomy techniques. His restaurant Ryugin, located in Tokyo, quickly became a destination for other culinary geniuses, including Joël Robuchon. Yamamoto’s love for cooking has spanned many years; as a boy he began cooking to impress his mother, and he subsequently spent 11 years training at Aoyagi, a kaiseki restaurant owned by master chef Hirohisa Koyama.
Ferran Adrià – 3 Stars
In 1980, this Spanish chef began his career in the culinary industry as a dishwasher at the Hotel Playafels, where a chef took interest in teaching him traditional Spanish cuisine. After being drafted by the army and serving as a cook, Adria began work at elBulli as a line cook. Eighteen months after starting there, he became head chef of elBulli at the age of 23. His cuisine is often associated with molecular gastronomy, although he rejects this label and instead refers to his style as “deconstructivist”. Adria is known for creating “culinary foam” without the addition of cream or egg white. These foams are made of a flavoured liquid and an additive (such as lecithin), then aerated through multiple methods such as whipping with an immersion blender or extrusion from a siphon bottle equipped with N2O cartridges.
Nadia Santini – 3 Stars
This talented Italian chef believes that quality comes from cooking for the individual, and she has said that it is impossible “to run a kitchen that serves 100 people. I can’t give my heart to a dish if I am cooking for more than 30.” Under Santini’s direction, her family’s Lombardy, Italy extended trattoria styled restaurant Dal Pescatore was awarded three Michelin Stars. Santini is the first female chef in Italy to earn three Michelin Stars, and in 2013, The World’s Fifty Best Restaurants named her The World’s Best Female Chef.
Joan Roca – 3 Stars
Joan Roca’s restaurant El Celler de Can Roca was named the ‘Best Restaurant in the World’ by Restaurant Magazine in 2013 and 2015. Roca owns his family’s traditional Catalan restaurant with his two brothers, one who is a sommelier and the other who is a pastry chef. He embraces both traditional and modern cuisine with innovative techniques such as sous-vide, “perfume-cooking” and distillation. In 2013, The Guardian named this Spanish chef “the number one chef in the world”.
Juan Mari Arzak – 3 Stars
Arzak is considered one of the masters of New Basque cuisine. This Spanish innovator describes his cooking as “evolutionary, investigatory, and avant-garde.” Now 74 years old, Juan Mari still oversees the kitchen of Arzak, his San Sebastian restaurant, while his talented daughter Elena runs daily operations. This local and international legend’s signature dish, available at Arzak, is Pigeon with potato feathers.
Mitsuhiro Araki – 3 Stars
With just nine seats in his exclusive restaurant, Mitsuhiro Araki has regained his three Michelin stars previously hailed to him at his Tokyo-based Edomae sushi restaurant. Based in London as of 2014, The Araki is the first Japanese restaurant to win three Michelin stars in the UK. Serving a set omakase sushi menu priced at £300 a person, Mitsuhiro is known for his extensive knowledge of tuna, using the belly of bluefin tuna from the coasts of Ireland and other European fish. Araki’s sushi has been deemed as “simply sublime” by Michael Ellis, the international director of Michelin guides.
Bjorn Frantzé – 3 Stars
The first ever Swedish restaurant to win three Michelin stars, Bjorn Frantzé serves a unique vision of Nordic cuisine at his Stockholm based eatery, Frantzé. Owning several other restaurants throughout Stockholm, Frantzé was a professional football player for five years before starting his career as an award-winning chef. Beginning his culinary journey as a chef in the Swedish Army, Frantzé has worked at other Michelin-starred restaurants specializing in classic French cuisine, including Le Manior aux Quat’ Saisons and Alain Passard’s three-Michelin-starred L’Arpège in Paris. Michael Ellis, International Director of the Michelin guides claims that “Björn Frantzén’s gastronomic expression is truly worth the journey, and is a gustatory experience like no other.”
Michel Troisgros – 3 Stars
As of 2018, Michel Troisgros has been voted as the number one best chef in the world. Starting his career at the tender age of 16, Michel’s lengthy chef career includes his working in some of the world’s finest kitchens. From Roger Vergé’s 3-star Le Moulin de Mougins in Mougins, Alain Chapel’s 3-star restaurant in Mionnay and Michel Guérard’s 3-star Les Prés d’Eugénie in Eugénie-les-Bains, Michel was destined for culinary greatness. Born into a cooking dynasty, the Troisgros family name have been synonymous with serving excellent French cuisine from as far back as 1898.
Solely in charge of Maison Troisgros since 1996, Michel and his wife Marie-Pierre have been running the fourth generation family-run hotel and restaurant in Ouches with dedication and passion. Maintaining its illustrious legacy whilst adapting it to the 21st century, Michel’s hands-on approach has seen Maison Troisgros rank 24 on the San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurant for 2006.
Having extended the Troisgros legacy to Japan, Michel has also successfully opened a two-Michelin star restaurant at the Hyatt Regeny in Tokyo. Michel’s approach to reinventing French culinary tradition and the challenges associated with running a world-renowned restaurant can be seen on Netflix series Chef’s Table: France.
Alain Roux – 3 Stars
As the son of Michel Roux, the Godfather of modern British fine dining, Alain Roux has worked hard to cement his place in the gastronomic Roux dynasty. At just 14 years old Alain had already decided he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps as one of the top chefs in Britain. Beginning his career in Michelin-starred French restaurants, Alain worked in the kitchen at Restaurant Pic in Valence and La Cote Saint-Jacques at Oigny. His training in French cuisine prepared him for his return to the family-owned The Waterside Inn kitchen at 23 years old, ready to prove himself to his father. Given no preferential treatment, Alain worked his way up from the bottom of the kitchen hierarchy. In 2002 Alain was handed the reigns and is now the current chef patron of the The Waterside Inn, which is listed at number 26 in The Good Food Guide. The Waterside Inn is also the first restaurant outside of France to hold three Michelin stars for a running of 25 years.
Based on his training in France, Alain adds his own modern interpretation of French cuisine to his fine dining dishes. He is known for his distinction in the patisserie side of the kitchen. As of 2000 he is a member of Relais Desserts, the esteemed international society of pastry chefs.
Alain Passard – 3 Stars
Opening his restaurant Arpège in 1986, Alain Passard has maintained his restaurant’s three-star status for the past two decades. In 2016, Passard won The Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and in 2017, Alain was voted by his chef peers as the top chef in the list of the 100 best chefs around the world. Turning the world of haute cuisine on its head, Alain is notorious for his decision to take all red meat off his menus in 2001, at the height of the mad cow disease crisis in Europe. The fact that despite this decision he maintained his three Michelin stars is an incredible feat.
Alain is affectionately known as “France’s gastronomic wizard of vegetables”, owning three biodynamic farms in France whose produce in delivered to Arpège on a daily basis. These vegetables are famously known to “never see the inside of a refrigerator”. His signature dish consists of Chaud-froid or “hot-cold egg” of warm poached yolk with sherry vinegar-infused whipped cream, chives and Canadian maple syrup. Alain is also known for his love of music, as well as parachuting, having done more than 1000 solo jumps.
Clare Smyth – 3 Stars
The first woman in the UK to be awarded three Michelin stars, Clare Smyth has also been awarded the prestigious title of Michelin Female Chef for 2017. The Northern Irish chef trained under world-renowned chefs Thomas Keller and Alain Ducasse, but is most known for her plethora of awards working at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay from 2012 to 2016. During her time there, Clare made headlines as the U.K.’s only woman to lead a three-Michelin-starred restaurant when she became chef patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay at just 28 years old. She also received a perfect 10/10 score in the coveted Good Food Guide.
Clare has now gone solo to open her own Notting Hill-based restaurant, Core. On hearing her decision Ramsay stated: “It’s been fantastic watching Clare develop. She is undoubtedly one of the greatest chefs to have graced my kitchen and has now become the most prominent female chef of our generation.” Her approach at Core is to modernize fine dining, by relaxing formalities and making fine dining more approachable to a new generation of consumers.
Esben Holmboe Bang – 3 Stars
Head chef and co-owner of top Nordic restaurant Maaemo, Esben Holmboe Bang is the youngest chef in the world currently holding three Michelin stars. Though originally from Denmark, Esben is the first chef in Norway to receive three Michelin stars. At just 30 years old, Esben received his first Michelin star, a mere 15 months after opening Maaemo in Oslo. In 2013, Time’s Magazine included him in the “100 Most Influential Chefs in the World”, as well as Elite Traveler Magazine bestowing him the title of “2016 Young Chef of the Year”.
Growing up in a family that had a strong focus on agriculture and sustainability, Esben uses only organic, biodynamic or wild produce to create his progressive brand of Norwegian cuisine. His Nordic dishes are designed to take you on a cultural journey, including dishes such as langoustines with pickled spruce and rapeseed, to a traditional sour cream porridge served with shavings of reindeer heart.