We all love a carefully prepared and delicious meal.
Maybe you've already had the opportunity to experience meals prepared by Michelin Star chefs. Even if you haven't, you have probably heard of the distinguished honor. But do you know what it means for its recipients? And more importantly, do you know where to find their best food? Don't fret, we've done the research and present our findings below.
To summarize, Michelin Star chefs are set apart for a reason. And that reason, we're pleased to report, is a mastery of their craft. Some have revolutionized a type of cuisine or style of restaurant. Others are just excellent leaders able to elicit greatness from their kitchen staffs. But you can still taste their influence on the culinary world by visiting their restaurants today!
What Is A Michelin Star Chef?
Let's start with the obvious. You're not alone if you picture the iconic tire logo before you think of a kitchen. As it turns out, the Michelin Man and the Michelin Star have more in common than a name.
The founders of the Michelin tire company also founded the Michelin Guide. Their tires predated the big rush in automotive travel. So in the early days, they tried to drive up use of the cars on the road.
That included the guide, which was first released in 1900. Andre and Edouard Michelin provided ratings to restaurants and hotels worth visiting. It served not only as an endorsement of the businesses, but as a reason to travel. Of course, that was good for Michelin's primary business.
But Michelin Star chefs, those awarded with the honor, also benefit. It often elevates their status in the culinary world and among the broader public. We've taken a look at the experts in their field and picked a few of our favorites.
Michelin Star Chefs With a Storied Culinary Past
If you think of celebrity chefs, a few names probably leap to mind. But there is another claim to fame more respected than television appearances. Receiving even one Michelin Star can redefine a career and a restaurant. Some of the chefs on our list have more than a dozen.
1. Joel Robuchon
He might not be a household name, unless your house knows fine dining. There is no Michelin Star chef more widely honored and respected. And that's not just our opinion. More than two dozen Michelin stars speak for themselves.
Many food critics say he revolutionized French cuisine. With a short fuse and a long palate, Joel Robuchon has also created a larger than life persona. Among his more glowing nicknames is "Chef of the Century." We're pretty sure that applies to the 20th century, but he still dominates today.
You can find his restaurants around the world, often with a focus on his brand of authentic French dishes. He established a dozen fine dining establishments, but his legacy is even more dynamic than that. Some of the most influential chefs of today cite him as a direct influence. His approach to post nouvelle cuisine is still regarded as the pinnacle of the craft.
2. Gordon Ramsay
You have probably seen Gordon Ramsay on any number of television series and specials. But before his cultural fame, he was a renowned chef with scores of fans worldwide. So far, he hasn't received as many stars as Joel Robuchon. But he was mentored by the French chef and developed his own highly influential style.
He helped revolutionize British cooking in much the same way Robuchon did with French cuisine. And of course he has become known for a no nonsense attitude in the kitchen. He's faced some criticism for being too harsh. But some of the best Michelin Star chefs have a tendency to run a tight ship.
Gordon Ramsay was born in Scotland and has a flagship restaurant in Chelsea, London. It has long held three Michelin stars. He has more than a dozen other establishments around the world. The number of stars distributed among them has varied, but the chef's popularity has remained high. The proof is evident in the millions he makes every year as a celebrity chef. It's also clear in the 16 Michelin stars he has received.
3. Alain Ducasse
Another French chef makes his mark on the list with 19 Michelin stars to his credit. Alain Ducasse has been working in kitchens for most of his life. And he has put together a wide network of chefs influenced by his leadership.
In fact, it might be his ability to run a kitchen that will be his lasting legacy. Certainly, his dishes and culinary creations are world class. There's no way he would be such a respected Michelin Star chef otherwise.
He has also helped establish a new standard for hotel restaurants. His eatery at the Hotel de Paris de Monte Carlo was responsible for that shift. It was the first restaurant of its type to receive a 4 Michelin star rating. He either oversees or leads a number of other incredible fine dining establishments.
4. Yoshihiro Murata
While many Michelin Star chefs let their restaurants do all the talking, Yoshihiro Murata shares in other ways. He is known for brilliant books explaining his approach to cuisine and revealing his craft. Of course, he does have a handful of restaurants around the world. And each one is a reflection of Yoshihiro Murata's vision.
One common thread is a reliance on locally sourced ingredients. From produce to protein, his recipes will be among the freshest. That approach has led to widespread recognition from peers and patrons alike. It has also earned him seven Michelin Stars.
And he has since passed on his method to a new generation of chefs. In fact, another Michelin Star chef says he was directly influenced by Murata. Heston Blumenthal is British but the elder chef mentored him in Japan during his early career. Now, Blumenthal credits Murata's influence for his continued success in the culinary world.
5. Martin Berasategui
With a total of eight, Martin Berasategui leads all Spanish Michelin Star chefs. The fact that two of his restaurants have achieved the coveted three start status is another plus. So he definitely earns a spot on our list.
You can find examples of his influence in Spain and beyond. He was just 25 years old when he received the first of his Michelin Stars. That was in 1993 and came in response to his first restaurant. That one is called Restaurante Martin Bersategui and has gone on to receive two more stars.
He opened his premiere fine dining establishment in San Sebastian. Three of his other restaurants have also received at least one Michelin Star. Those other restaurants are located in Barcelona and Tenerife.
6. Thomas Keller
Thomas Keller is one of the United States' most recognized and honored chefs. Among those distinctions is the fact that he is a Michelin Star chef seven times over. He opened his most celebrated restaurant more than two decades ago. That fine dining establishment is called French Laundry.
He also has four other eateries, each of which carries on the Thomas Keller legacy. Though he is from California, he is widely respected for his French style cooking. Now in his early 60s, you can still find him making dishes once in a while. As he said in an interview a few years back, though, retirement might be around the corner.
"You know," he said. "I'm 57 years old and I can't stay in the kitchen forever."
7. Carme Ruscalleda
She is the most decorated female Michelin Star chef in the world. With seven of the coveted distinctions, she is also among her countries most recognized.
Another Spanish chef, Carme Ruscalleda has built a loyal following. It is clear from her rustic and traditional recipes that her roots are on a farm. Those fresh ingredients still shine in her dishes today.
And that's why folks travel from all around to visit one of her two restaurants. Her flagship establishment is Sant Pau, and it is located in Barcelona. You can also visit Sant Pau de Toquio in Tokyo, Japan. Even at this point in her career, she will say she is still far from where she wants to be. Some might say she's already reached perfection, but she's been known to say otherwise. In one interview, Carme Ruscalleda said she has "still not reached the top" of her craft.
Now you know what sets these Michelin Star chefs apart from their competition.
All of us love a delicious meal. And there are some chef who have an obvious ability to please even the pickiest eaters. Fortunately, Michelin has given us a way to recognize many of those professionals. We hope you can take this information and find some new favorite dishes.
If you enjoyed our take on this tasty topic, share it with the epicures in your life. And leave a message below if you have any final thoughts or questions.
Related Article: 6 Best Michelin Star Vegetarian Restaurants Worldwide