There are a lot of chefs famous for their achievements, but only a handful can lay claim to international recognition.
Joël Robuchon – 28 stars
Joël Robuchon is currently decorated with 28 stars. Robuchon, widely known as the ‘Chef of the Century’, is one of the pioneers of molecular gastronomy. His more recent career years, however, have focused on more traditional cooking techniques. He’s also famous for his plate-throwing – having launched a piece of dishware in the direction of Gordon Ramsay, who Robuchon had mentored!
(Gifts that can’t go wrong)
Alain Ducasse – 19 stars
In 1998, Alain Ducasse was the first chef to ever collect 6 Michelin stars. 15 years later, that record is a distant memory, with Ducasse’s current number up to 19.
Ducasse is particularly well known for possessing an obsession with the finer points in just about everything, whether it’s in the kitchen or not. Spoons, butter dishes, tablecloths, font on the menu – even curtain rods won’t escape the man’s scrupulousness.
Gordon Ramsay – 6 stars
Ramsay is perhaps the world’s most famous chef, blaspheming his way onto television screens in just about every part of the English-speaking world. His restaurants currently hold 6 stars. His signature restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, London, has held 3 Michelin stars since 2001.
Perhaps it’s a shame Ramsay receives more attention for his short fuse than he does his food, especially when he’s achieved so much in the kitchen. Not one to ever be too far out of the headlines, Ramsay famously broke down in tears after his New York restaurant went from two star st to no star status.
Thomas Keller – 7 stars
credit: Arnold Gatialo
The Michelin guide might not be the ultimate honour in the US, but Keller has gone about setting a fine example, as he’s the only American chef to hold all six out of his total seven stars simultaneously.
Keller’s three star establishment French Laundry celebrated its 20-year anniversary last year, and was on two occasions deemed the best restaurant on the planet. He’s a chef who’s widely celebrated in America, and has made a good name for himself in France, but his culinary empire doesn’t look like it’s soon to expand. ‘You know,’ he told Huffington Post, ‘I’m 57 years old and I can’t stay in the kitchen forever.’
Heston Blumenthal – 6 stars
credit: Garry Knight
Heston has been one of the UK’s most popular chefs, though some might even go as far as calling him a national treasure. He currently holds six Michelin stars while the restaurant that claims three of them, The Fat Duck, was briefly thought the best restaurant in the world.
Blumenthal’s successful career is for the large part thanks to his unique (bizarre, some say) techniques in the kitchen. Despite his inventive ways often questioned by the more conservative chefs, it would be unfair to say his efforts have not contributed to the refinement of British cuisine. The man himself has even recently gone on record to say British gastronomy is in the best shape ever.