The World’s Most Decorated Michelin Star Chefs

Behind the Scenes at Michelin Star Kitchens

The Michelin star is undoubtedly the highest honour within the international culinary industry. Chefs all over the world dedicate their lives to earning just one coveted star, in recognition of their excellence. Breaking the barriers of Michelin star standards, there are those select few who have managed to collect an astounding number of stars in their constellation.
We take a look at the world’s most decorated Michelin star chefs, and why they are the crème de la crème.
[Last updated: 4 November 2019]

Joël Robuchon – 31 stars

joel-robuchon

It is impossible to discuss the world’s most Michelin starred chefs without mentioning the late Joël Robuchon. He achieved the record of the holding the most Michelin stars of any chef, with 32 stars at one time. At the time of his death, Robuchon held 31 stars.

This French chef and restaurateur is known as the pioneer of the post- nouvelle cuisine era, and his relentless perfectionism has translated into a more authentic, timeless French cuisine. His dishes were known for being simple, rooted in french cooking styles, allowing the flavour of his ingredients to shine as nature intended. 

Robuchon is also the former mentor of another talented chef on this list—Gordon Ramsay. Like his famous mentee, he’s known for having a hot temper, and both chefs have acknowledged tension between them after Robuchon hurled a plate at Ramsay and Ramsay stormed out of the kitchen.

While he retired from cooking at age 50, that’s when he began to open up his various restaurants and rack up his impressive tally of Michelin stars. 

Discover Michelin-Star Restaurant Gift Vouchers 

 

Martín Berasategui – 10 stars

Martín-Berasategui

Martin Berasategui is currently decorated with ten stars, more than any other Spanish chef. He specializes in Basque cuisine and has been cooking for around 44 years now. 

He first began to cook at age 14 in his parents’ restaurant before travelling to France to study under some of the best chefs in the world. Once he returned home he took over his family’s restaurant and earned his first Michelin star. 

When his father decided to close the restaurant, Berasategui decided it was time to open his own, named after himself, in Lasarte-Oria. This exceptional Basque chef earned his first Michelin star at the age of 25 for Restaurante Martin Berasategui.

This restaurant, as well as one of his other restaurants, Lasarte, have three stars each, making him one of three chefs to have multiple three-starred restaurants under their name. 

Martin has said that to him, receiving a Michelin star is like touching heaven with his fingertips.

Pierre Gagnaire – 10 stars

Following in his father’s footsteps who owned a Michelin starred restaurant, Pierre Gagnaire now owns four: his titular restaurant in Paris with three stars, Sketch in London with another three, and Bernard Magrez’s Grande Maison in Bordeaux, France and Pierre in Hong Kong with two stars each.

Gagnaire was born in France and made his name as a chef by revitalizing classic french cooking with unexpected flavours, textures, and ingredients. Pierre opened one of his earlier restaurants in a restored art deco house which brought many contemporary artists to his restaurant and inspired him and his cooking greatly.

His restaurant Sketch is filled with differently themed lavish rooms and iconic egg-shaped bathrooms to match his unique cuisine.

Alain Ducasse – 7 stars

681px-Alain_Ducassecredit: Wikicommons

While Alain Ducasse holds seven stars now, throughout his career he has had a total of 21, the most of any chef besides Robuchon. As the first chef to own restaurants carrying three Michelin Stars in three different 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.

Thomas Keller – 7 stars

keller

credit: Arnold Gatialo
Thomas Keller is an American chef originally from California with his heart in French cooking. As a teenager, he worked his way up from being a dishwasher to a cook in the local yacht club and worked as a cook during the summers in Rhode Island where he learned the traditions of French cooking. 
He went to Paris to apprentice at Michelin starred restaurants but it wasn’t until he returned to California that he finally opened his own restaurant. The restaurant had been converted from an old french laundry place, hence the name, The French Laundry. The Napa Valley restaurant celebrated its 20-year anniversary two years ago, and was on two occasions deemed the best restaurant on the planet. 

It now boasts three Michelin stars as does Keller’s New York City restaurant Per Se, making him the first and only American to earn three-star ratings for two different restaurants at the same time.

Umberto Bombana: 7 stars

Born in Northern Italy, Umberto Bombana was inspired to cook by his grandmother who cooked for an aristocratic family while he was growing up. At age 45, after moving to Hong Kong, Bombana opened his first solo restaurant called 8 ½ otto e Mezzo – Bombana. The restaurant became the first Italian restaurant outside of Italy to receive three stars.

Umberto Bombana has one title to top all other chefs’ Michelin stars: he’s the king of white truffles. So much so that in 2006 he was appointed the worldwide white truffle ambassador by the Piedmontese Regional Enoteca Cavour. He got this title by introducing white truffles to the local crowd at his first restaurant which now serves one of the highest quantities of white truffle in the world.

Gordon Ramsay – 16 stars

Gordon_Ramsaycredit: Wikicommons

If Michelin stars were awarded on celebrity alone, Gordon Ramsay would probably have all of them. Known for his volatile kitchen demeanour 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 35 restaurants globally, has been awarded 16 Michelin stars in total and currently holds seven. His signature restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, London, has held three stars since 2001.

After studying hotel management in college, this Scottish born chef began to train with some of the world’s leading chefs, including Robuchon in France. 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-Gordon Ramsay’s net worth is estimated to be worth as much as $190 million. Ramsay is currently ranked the 35th highest-earning celebrity in the world, trumping the likes of Rihanna and Bradley Cooper.

How do restaurant lose Michelin stars?

Get a taste of this infamous chef’s food at Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill. Located in one of London’s most iconic hotels, The Savoy, the glitzy Art Deco restaurant has long been synonymous with fame and class, having played host to the likes of James Dean and Lord Attenborough.

Heston Blumenthal – 6 stars

heston blumenthal
credit: Garry Knight

Ramsay isn’t the only celebrity chef, with Heston Blumenthal boasting an array of television shows and appearances as well. His celebrity is based on the unique ways he incorporates science into his dishes; he advocates for scientific understanding in cooking and has pioneered multi-sensory cooking and food pairing. He believes eating is one of the few activities humans do which uses all of the senses simultaneously. 

When experimenting with science and food pairing he created recipes by identifying molecular similarities between different ingredients and combining them in a dish. One widely known creation of this method is white chocolate caviar. However, he sees this method as a tool for his creativity and not a substitute for a chef’s culinary intuition. 

His restaurant The Fat Duck has not only won three Michelin stars but it was voted number one in The World’s Best 50 Restaurants in 2005. His work is so well known that he has even been invited to make a meal for the Queen at Windsor Castle.

Bjorn Frantzé – 5 Stars

Swedish Chef Björn Frantzen
Swedish Chef Björn Frantzen. Credit: Fredrik Skogkvist [CC BY-SA 3.0]

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.”

While he utilizes Nordic ingredients, he also takes inspiration from Japanese Omakase philosophy which is more light and fresh, giving his Nordic cooking a more modern edge. Besides owning another two-star restaurant, Zèn in Singapore, Frantzén is also the creator of the Exceptional Swedish Quality Food project, which has been working to lift Swedish raw products to world-class standard.

Eneko Atxa: 5 stars

Chef Eneko Atxa
Chef Eneko Atxa by City Foodsters is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Eneko Atxa is a Spanish chef from Basque Country. He grew up watching his mother and grandmother cook while learning the folklores of a Basque kitchen. His cuisine is traditional but uses new techniques and gastronomy to enhance it. The first restaurant he opened was Azurmendi in Larrabetzu, Spain which has three Michelin stars.

Atxa is committed not only to serving authentic while modern food, but also to doing so in an environmentally responsible atmosphere. The World’s Best 50 Restaurants awarded Azurmendi as the world’s most sustainable restaurant; they use environmentally friendly materials, recycle their own waste, harvests rainfall, and cool the restaurant using geothermal energy.

Massimiliano Alajmo: 5 stars

Chef Massimiliano Alajmo by Mario Reggiani is licensed under CC BY 3.0

While Massimiliano (Max) Alajmo’s five stars is surely a mark of his individual talent, it’s also based on generations of hard work in the restaurant industry. Max is the fifth generation of the Alajmo’s to be self-employed as chefs and restaurateurs. 

He first began to cook at his parents’ restaurant, Le Calandre, by working with his mother who had already earned the restaurant its first Michelin star. When Max eventually became the executive chef, the restaurant soon earned its third star as well.

He is the youngest chef in history to be awarded three stars at age 28. He currently oversees the kitchen of the Alajmo family’s three restaurants, cafe-bistros, and their line of food products.  

Max also has studied the sense of smell and how it relates to the dining experience. He has become a master perfumer and launched essential oil sprays that can be used as taste accelerators. 

Interested in trying world-famous Michelin Starred food? Discover our range of mouth-watering  Michelin Star Dining Experiences featuring Joël Robuchon, Alain Ducasse, Gordon Ramsay, and many more.

Check Truly’s unique selection of Michelin-Star Foodie Experiences… >>

42 thoughts on “ The World’s Most Decorated Michelin Star Chefs

  1. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

      2. 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

        1. 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!

          1. 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.

          2. Gordon Ramsay is a complete tool. He may be talented in most eyes and has worked under the so called “chef of the century” but I was not impressed with his restaurant in Vegas. He’s all about money and glorifying his image. Most 3 star European chef’s are more about arrogance and they’re own image and celebrity than they are about satisfying their guests. I have been a chef for over 20 years and have been to three 3 star restaurants in Europe ( some names I will withhold) and, with the exception of Ducasse, have had better food cooked by street vendors in Thailand, my own amigo’s in my kitchen and my kid’s 75 year old nanny (who was my nanny) and still makes Southern biscuits and fried chicken that would make Gordon Ramsay cry with jealousy. The Michelin rating is a joke in my humble opinion. There are plenty of chef’s and restaurant’s out there (myself included) that don’t need stars to cook amazing food.

          3. I think your palete was just destroyed by junk food and thai street food that you can’t recogniza top chef gastronomy anymore! *SAD*

          4. Oh you guys are talking about Kitchen Nightmares?? That show is 100% fake, just as all his shows are. They are entertainment only.

          5. pff don’t know why you talk about Ramsay. People are not objective when discussing about him. This guy is awesome and as said before, if restaurants close, this is only owner’s fault.
            When we see a fake chef saying that food markets in Siam are better than 3 star michelin chefs, we already know that some many people talking are not objective. And they dare talking about jealousy. ROFL.

            3 stars Michelin Chefs can not be present in every restaurant they own. That is why they have a main Chef …

          6. Actually I read somewhere that the success rate is about 40%. Most are too far gone by the time he gets there…..he can come in for a week and generate interest….But the bottom line is, once he’s gone, you’re stuck with the same chef you had that ruined you to begin with.

          7. All true. Ramsay restaurants still open he sold and are run by others. In fact, its just his name on the sign, nothing else. They are considered fine dining but nothing special.

        2. You are wrong. They travel and spend time at each restaurant they own, that’s how they maintain quality. It is after all their name and reputation on the line.

          When I was at L’Atelier in Vegas, Joel was running the kitchen. Adour in NY Alain was there too. Allard both times in Paris. I was recently at Craft and Tom Collicchio was running the show.

    2. 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.

    3. So are you overlooking the fact that Joël Robuchon, number one on this list, was Gordon Ramsey’s mentor for many years? I think Ramsey himself would even disagree with you.

    4. The others didn’t work hard at all to become the very best in their field……. obviously… because that’s how you achieve greatness, lack of effort.

  2. 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.

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

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

  5. 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.

  6. hi …i just want to say, Gordon scares the shit out of me…but i have immense respect for him. anyone with a family and a business of their own will know its very stressful to juggle these things and not have a melt down at some point. i myself have my own business, 2 children, have to be a house wife and create things. not to forget socializing is still important for ones own health. so i can just imagine Gordons life with sooooo many restaurants all over the world, a family with 4 kids, tv shows to attend to….his life sounds too busy, so of coarse hes going to slip up and screw up and neglect here and there. hes only human. i think if i had his life, i would also have an “anger management” problem hahahaha just my point of view. take care everyone 🙂

  7. For anyone who says Gordon Ramsay doesn’t go to any of his resteraunts you are wrong. I work at Gordon Ramsay Steak in Las Vegas and he is there at least every 3 months checking on us.. This man is amazing and I’m proud to be a member of his team he will take pictures and touch tables with coustomers to see how there meals and night is going.. Unlike other celebrity chefs that i have worked for they are divas to good to be thankful for there success…

  8. Probably all of you forget that before he was firmly called as a “celebrity chef” he was considered as the best British 3 star young chef prospect,and he done that on 2001,running his own kitchen at Chelsea to 3 star,so for me he ia a Truly star,he ia a great chef,thats the definite thing

  9. Just feel like saying this now, but I can understand if Kitchen Nightmares was 99% fake and was purely for entertainment but I definitely don’t agree on 100%. After all, what about Amy and Sammy? Those two are long gone and even got deported lmao because of Sammy dumb ass threatening a customer with a knife.

  10. I think the Roux family deserves some mention, not only for their successes (The Waterside and Le Gavoroche plus others) but for all the Michelin star chefs they’ve trained.

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