The World’s Most Decorated Michelin Star Chefs

Emily Cavanagh
Behind the Scenes at Michelin Star Kitchens

Joël Robuchon – 31 stars

joel-robuchon

Joël Robuchon, widely known as the ‘Chef of the Century,’  is currently decorated with 31 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.

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Alain Ducasse – 19 stars

681px-Alain_Ducasse
credit: Wikicommons

Alan Ducasse, owner of five restaurants across the world, was the first chef to ever earn six Michelin stars. Since setting that record in 1998, Ducasse has accumulated a total of 19 Michelin Stars. 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)’.

Martin Berasategui – 7 Stars

Martín-Berasategui

Martin Berasategui is currently decorated with seven stars, more than any other Spanish chef. 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 Bersategui was awarded a third Michelin Star in 2001. Since the opening of this San Sebastian eponymous restaurant, Berasategui opened three other Michelin-starred restaurants in Tenerife and Barcelona.

Thomas Keller – 7 stars

kellercredit: Arnold Gatialo

The Michelin guide might not be the ultimate honour amongst chefs in the United States, but Thomas Keller has gone about setting a fine example—he’s the only American chef to hold all six out of his total seven stars simultaneously.

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 

murata

With four restaurants across the world and seven Michelin stars, this Japanese chef prides himself on 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 neighborhood 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.

Gordon Ramsay – 6 stars

Gordon_Ramsaycredit: Wikicommons

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, currently holds six Michelin stars. and 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.

 

Heston Blumenthal – 6 stars

heston blumenthal
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 four restaurants in the U.K. 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 foodpairing, 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 favorite in a unique way—by combining bacon and banana.

Carme Ruscalleda – 6 stars 

carme

This Catalan chef holds the most Michelin stars of any woman chef in the world. Ruscalleda owns two restaurants—Sant Pau in Barcelon and Sant Pau de Tòquio in Tokyo. This skilled chef emphasizes 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.’

Anne-Sophie Pic – 5 stars

Anne Sophie Pic

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, 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, demonstrating 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

Seiji-Yamamoto

This brilliant Japanese chef famously sent an eel for a CT scan to better understand its anatomy. 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

ferran adria

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

nadia santini

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

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

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.

 
 

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  • Gates, William

    gordon ramsay is the only one who really matters, he does more and works more and he has helped countless people with his shows like kitchen nightmares etc, stars dont necessarily define how great a chef is but having said that gordon is worth so much more stars than he has already got

    • zfilmmaker .

      You praise what you don’t know, Gordon Ramsey shows are just entertainment. Everything is scripted and planned. He hasn’t helped anyone but himself. He’s never at any of his restaurants, which is why his stars are falling. When you’re a top Michelin chef, that means you’re in the kitchen killing yourself to be the best and most innovative. I’ve had the opportunity to dine at Joel Robuchon’s L’Atelier in Las Vegas and Paris, it was nothing short of amazing. Alain Ducasse’s Adour and Benoit in NYC, La Trattoria in Monaco and Allard in Paris. Gordon Ramsey restaurants in Dubai, Singapore and Las Vegas and they’re nowhere as good. In Dubai on a friday night his restaurant was empty, it was myself and my girlfriend and 3 others at a table across the room. His restaurants run without him, and as a result fail. That is not the measure of a Michelin chef.

      • Amy Jo Turner

        pretentious name dropper lol

      • htown trucker

        Ive never been to a michelin star restaurant, but i imagine if I did I would never admit to myself or anyone else how bad the food was. Spending several hundred dollars for fish brains or white truffles sauteed in goat blood and admitting it sucked would just grate on me. Give me a burger and fries any day.

      • Brittany

        Actually the restaurant in NYC that lost stars is related to Ramsay in name only. He sold the restaurant to the London hotel and they have a license agreement that allows them to keep his name associated with the place. He no longer has anything to do with the running of the business or the food they produce.

        http://www.eater.com/2013/10/3/6360631/how-did-gordon-ramsay-at-the-london-in-nyc-lose-its-michelin-stars

        • flickofda_wrist

          thats where he messed up, a chef takes his stars with him, who sells their restaurant and enables them to keep his name under it, just bad overall and it was about time karma returned.

      • Militarymike93

        Im sorry but you are severely wrong with your statement and completely in accurate none of them are the head chefs of there restaurants they all are never there and ramsay does go around helping failing restaurant’s on his own with out the tv show i know this personally and i have eatin at all of there restaurant’s and they are all amazing yes but none of them go to there places but ramsay is the best of all time in and out of the kitchen so befor you make statements like this know what your talking about

        • Sally McCullough

          A) Almost none of the restaurants he “helped” are still open, I think 4 of 25 are still operating.

          b) Love watching all his shows, would never eat anything that he handles & handles & over-handles. Ugh!

          • Anthony Prusky

            None of those closures cant be blamed on Ramsay. The owners were in over their heads most of the time. The advice and the help he gives people are 100% valid. After he leaves, if they sell, or run it into the ground, that’s not on him. Look at Lido di Manhattan, I went there last year and met the owner, Lisa. She has his picture framed near the entrance to the kitchen, every time she walked by it you could see her look at it, almost as a thank you. You may not like his attitude, but he knows what he is talking about.

      • http://m.worldstarhiphop.com/apple/ Atownmafia23

        You sound like a faggot cunt

    • Roger Thompson

      I completely agree he is a perfectionist and is very passionate about what he does. If he cooked for you it would be heaven on a plate.

  • Dan

    How does Gordon Ramsay have 14 currently? 3 at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. 1 at Petrus. 1 at Maze. 2 at Trianon. 7 total. even if you type in “Gordon Ramsay” on Google, his official website says he has 7.

    • trulyexperiences_chris

      Hi Dan. You’re quite right – Gordon has amassed 16 overall, while the current total stands at 7. Thanks for letting us know!

      • Dan

        Yes, np! I was just checking in case I got it wrong myself!

      • Emily Stone

        Does this mean that he has lost nine?

  • Matthew Soulman Wallace

    Yes but here is the thing though as a top chef is it possible to be at all your places you own if you own so many. You can quite rightly be Gordon Ramsay and film for TV and work at some point in a place you own but you can’t be everywhere. Not forgetting he still wants time with his family. He is to me still capable of winning stars and showing his places his owns to be worthy of a star or 2 which he might be in cooking or not if not then he has his team who will do the best for him. It is a lot easier when you have say only one eating place.

  • Eni Anna Urbańska

    Forgot about people like Martin Berasategui from Basque Country, Spain holding 7 or even more stars now. The article is not complete. The world does not end in the english-speaking parts!

    • trulyexperiences

      Hi Eni, we’re currently revising the article to bring it up to date and make it complete. Thanks for your feedback!

  • Ray

    How do you forget Pierre Gagnaire with 14 stars, Hideki Ishikawa (two with three stars) has 8, Carme Ruscalleda (the most starred female chef) and Yoshihiro Murata has 7.

    • trulyexperiences

      Hi Ray, we’re currently revising the article to bring it up to date and make it complete. Stay tuned!

      • Alfons Wozignój

        Still waiting