Who is the most popular cook?
The most famous contemporary cook
Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse
Son of farmers, he lived a childhood on the farm and often alludes to his origins. He will not obtain his CAP cook , having slammed the door of his hotel school a few months before obtaining the diploma. The chefs have a lot of character!
But that did not prevent him from starting his career alongside Michel Guérard and Gaston Lenôtre, famous pastry chef.
The pure Gascon has won three Michelin stars three times for three different restaurants. At the head of 20 establishments and more than 1,400 employees, Alain Ducasse is a true businessman. He was even ranked by Forbes magazine among the most influential personalities.
The chef received the Legion of Honor from Jacques Chirac and created a cooking school in 2009.
A signature dish? Sault spelled and winter vegetables.
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The great French chefs: Anne-Sophie Pic
Coming from a family of cooks since her great-grandmother, Anne-Sophie Pic recovers the lost third star of the family restaurant ten years after her arrival at the head of the inn.
With her husband, also passionate about cooking, she develops the Pic group while respecting their values and with a concern for transmission. A cooking school is born and in its restaurants, 80% of the employees are women in order to further develop the profession on the female side.
With seven stars in the Michelin gastronomic guide for several of her restaurants, she is one of the most starred women in the world and the only French woman to currently hold three stars for one of her restaurants. She was also voted Best Female Chef in the World in 2011 by winning the Veuve Clicquot Prize.
A signature dish? Berlingots (creamy goat cheese from Banon)
French chef Eric Frechon
The son of farmers, Eric Frechon studied at the hotel school in Rouen and graduated in 1980. Two years later, he joined the Bristol Paris as a kitchen clerk. He climbed the ladder little by little, sailing from French restaurant to Spanish restaurant.
After spending some time under Christian Constant, he opened his first restaurant in 1995, La Verrière d’Eric Frechon , a gourmet Parisian bistro.
Then finally, he returns to his first love as the first chef of the Bristol Paris. In ten years, he obtained three Michelin stars.
A signature dish? Truffle macaroni.
French gastronomy: Hélène Darroze
The Landes are definitely a land of chefs!
Hélène Darroze ‘s cuisine is influenced by her origins and by her many hours wandering around the Landes markets. She also cut her teeth with Alain Ducasse, as a kitchen clerk. At the base, she was destined to do hotel management but it was chef Ducasse who pushed her to start.
Back in the Landes, she took over the family inn in 1995 and was voted “great of tomorrow ” by Gault & Millau. But it is with the Connaught, a gourmet restaurant in London that Hélène Darroze receives her two Michelin stars .
She is also one of the only active starred female chefs with Anne-Sophie Pic and Julia Sedefdjian. Since 2015, she has also been a juror of Top Chef.
A signature dish? Oyster tartare in French caviar jelly and corn bean velouté.
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Chef Gordon Ramsay
Scottish chef and restaurateur, Gordon Ramsay is best known for his cooking shows Masterchef and Cauchemar en Cuisine.
He is one of only three chefs to have received three stars all at once .
However, he was destined for a career as a footballer and was rather gifted since he joined the Warwickshire team at the age of 12. But a knee injury forced him to change his plans and after considering a career in the Royal Navy, he finally enrolled in a hotel school.
He cut his teeth with chef Marco Pierre White and then joined Albert Roux’s restaurant in London to study the basics of French cuisine . Barely two years later, he moved to Paris and found a job with Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon.
Finally in 1993, his former employer Marco Pierre White offered to join him. The restaurant is renamed Aubergine and quickly acquires a first Michelin star. But after a second star obtained a few years later, Gordon Ramsay decided to open his own restaurant. He will not stop opening or taking over restaurants since that day, until the latest Le Pressoir d’Argent in Bordeaux.
A signature dish? Beef Wellington.
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The haute cuisine of Ghislaine Arabian
Of Belgian origin, chef Ghislaine Arabian spent her childhood in the North of France. Known to the general public in particular for her participation in Top Chef from 2010 to 2014, she also has two Michelin stars for her restaurant Pavillon Ledoyen in Paris.
From a religious education, she was not destined to cook but it was the meeting with her future husband, the restaurateur Jean-Paul Arabian, which led her on the path of cooking. She then trained alongside chef Thierry Cambier. Even if she has gaps in technique, she fills them with boundless creativity and gradually makes a place for herself in rather masculine kitchens.
She acquired her two stars barely 10 years after the start of her training.
A signature dish? Turbot in beer.
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Chef Pierre Gagnaire
Trained in pastry, he cut his teeth in the kitchen alongside Paul Bocuse . He then took over his father’s restaurant before opening his own and obtaining three stars.
Following financial difficulties, Pierre Gagnaire closes his restaurant and goes to Paris where he soon regains his three stars. He likes to cook with creativity dishes considered modest (turnip, ray, offal) and opens restaurants all over the world from London to Tokyo via Las Vegas and Dubai.
A touch of everything, he loves above all to create unpretentious new dishes and in 2015 he was named the world’s greatest starred chef according to his peers by Le Chef magazine.
A signature dish? He has none and claims it!
Chef Thierry Marx
When he enrolls in the hotel school, he is refused because of his poor grades. After a childhood and adolescence spent in a difficult district of the Parisian suburbs, he joined the Compagnons du Devoir and obtained the CAP pastry chef, chocolate maker, ice cream maker.
But he leaves the pastry to become blue helmet in the air force. When he returned from the war in Lebanon, he finally returned to his first love, cooking.
His cuisine is inspired by molecular gastronomy and Thierry Marx is involved both in the prison environment to pass on his know-how, but also to young people in his former neighborhood. For him, cooking is a means of sharing and exchange between humans.
He is also known to the general public for his participation in the Top Chef program within the jury from 2010 to 2014 alongside Jean-François Piège, Ghislaine Arabian, Cyril Lignac and Christian Constant.
A signature dish? Soy risotto with truffle juice.
Grand Chief Guy Savoy
Trained as a pastry chocolatier , Guy Savoy joined the Troisgros brothers at the age of 17 for three years to learn cooking. There he meets Bernard Loiseau with whom he befriends.
Ten years later, he opened his first restaurant and obtained his first star a few months later. After several restaurants and bistros opened and three stars to his credit, he lends his voice to a character from Ratatouille in the French version of the film.
Since 2015, he has been at the head of the restaurant Monnaie de Paris , named best table in the world according to La List in 2016 and 2017.
A signature dish? Pan-fried foie gras escalope, candied kumquat & smoked tea broth.
Did it make you hungry? So go and taste the cuisine of these chefs in their respective restaurants 😉
Do you want to become as strong as a chef? Discover all the Lyon cooking classes available.
Olivier Roellinger, the spice chef
Born in 1955 in Cancale, Olivier Roellinger is a recognized chef in the industry, and also a businessman.
His vocation for cooking came later. While the young man is studying chemistry and science to please his parents, Olivier Roellinger is attacked and left for dead by his attackers. After a period in a coma, he uses his recovery period, which will last about two years, to cook. He then passed his CAP as a cook .
It was in 1982 that he and his wife launched a table d’hôte in the family home, the Maison de Bricourt. It didn’t take long for the chef’s talent to be recognized as the restaurant won two toques and a 15/20 in the Gault et Millau guide. The chef also quickly won stars in the Michelin Guide until reaching 3 stars in 2006.
Roellinger’s cuisine is famous for being a tasty blend of local ingredients (a garden can even be visited in the grounds of Le Coquillage restaurant) and spices . These alliances are reminiscent of Saint-Malo’s link with the route to India.
On Wikipedia is written:
“With Michel Bras or Pierre Gagnaire, he has become one of the great representatives of contemporary French cuisine, and a promoter of culinary crossbreeding. »
In 2008, Olivier Roellinger closed his family restaurant but continued to share his kitchen in the restaurant Le Coquillage at Château Richeux . He now devotes himself in part to the promotion of spices, organic products and fair trade.
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Marc Veyrat, the hyperactive chef
Born in 1950, chef Marc Veyrat taught himself how to cook . He began his cooking career by opening the Auberge La Croix Fry in Manigod, in the Alps. He then opened L’Eridan, a restaurant which earned him a second star in 1987 . A few years later, he opened La Maison Marc Veyrat with which he won the third star in 1995. Very active, Marc Veyrat continued to open restaurants thereafter. Marc Veyrat makes extensive use of the concept of molecular cuisine.
Here is the list of some of these restaurants:
- The House of Marc Veyrat in Veyrier-du-Lac,
- My father’s farm in Megève,
- Roland Garros in Paris,
- The Cozna Vera in Annecy-le-Vieux,
- The House of the Woods, in Manigod.
Cyril Lignac, the star of M6
Born in 1977 in Rodez in Aveyron, Cyril Lignac is one of the most popular chefs in France. In 2012, a poll ranked him as ” Favorite chef on television “. Because indeed, Cyril Lignac was one of the first chefs to combine cooking and reality TV. The aim of the cook was then to train young people with the aim of opening a restaurant.
Now, Cyril Lignac writes many cookbooks . He is the chef and owner of the restaurant Le Chardenoux in the 11th arrondissement, the restaurants Aux Prés and Le Bar des Prés in the 6th arrondissement, the cocktail bar Dragon in the 6th arrondissement, the shops La Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac in the 6th, 11th, 15th, 16th and 17th arrondissements and the La Chocolaterie Cyril Lignac boutique in the 11th arrondissement of Paris.
Just that !
Like Cyril Lignac, the popularity of Philippe Etchebest owes a lot to the small screen. Born on December 2, 1966 in Soissons in the Aisne, the chef is also a television presenter. He is particularly known for the program Cauchemar en cuisine , but also Objectif Top Chef, Top Chef and Cauchemar à l’hôtel.
But his career obviously does not start with TV. In 2001, the chef and his wife decided to refurbish the Château des Reynats in Chancelade in the Dordogne. After long work and many meals served, Philippe Etchebest finally received his first chef star in the Michelin Guide for his restaurant L’Oison .
He will then join another restaurant before launching his television career.
Alain Passard, the chef who cooks the vegetables
Born in 1956, Alain Passard has worked in many restaurant kitchens. The chef is known for being the youngest chef to earn two Michelin stars in 1982. He was just 26 years old.
A few years later, the chef took over the management of the kitchens of L’Archestrate, a restaurant which he renamed L’Arpège. Alain Passard then received his third star in 1996 .
Nowadays, Alain Passard concentrates on his restaurant L’Arpège, unlike many chefs who multiply establishments. He is particularly known for working with vegetables.
Georges Blanc, the dynasty of chefs
Born in 1943 in Bourg-en-Bresse in Ain, Georges Blanc is part of a long line of cooks. The chef notably comes from a family of renowned Bresse cooks: his grandmother, Élisa Blanc is none other than Mother Blanc. His mother, Paulette Blanc is also recognized in the community. But the family culinary adventure does not stop there. The children of Georges Blanc take up the torch: Frédéric and Alexandre Blanc.
Georges Blanc has three stars in the Michelin Guide and 4 toques in Gault-Millau.
The Georges Blanc house is also the oldest starred restaurant in the world. And this, without cuts. Indeed, while some restaurants lose and regain their stars from one year to another, Georges Blanc’s restaurant will obtain its first star in 1929 , the second in 1931 and the last in 1981. It will never lose its stars from during.
Jean Imbert, big winner of Top Chef
Jean Imbert was born in 1981 in L’Haÿ-les-Roses in Val-de-Marne.
The cook knew very early on what he wanted to do with his life since after obtaining his baccalaureate in 1999, he entered the Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon to learn all the basics of the cooking profession. During his training, he did internships with Michel Rostang in Paris, but also in Strasbourg with Antoine Westermann.
He worked for Éric Briffard and Marc Meneau before opening his own restaurant in 2004 called L’Acajou. The chef receives great personalities there such as Robert De Niro, Johnny Hallyday, Woodkid, Leïla Bekhti, Édouard Baer, Gérard Depardieu, or the photographer JR.
It was in 2012 that the chef became famous by winning season 3 of Top Chef , M6’s culinary reality TV show.
He later became a TV host, then took over the management of many New York restaurant kitchens. He works in particular in the establishments of the singer Pharell Williams, one of which is in Saint-Tropez.
The essential chef Maïté
Aged 82, Maïté remains an essential chef on the small screen!
Born in 1938 in Rion-des-Landes in the Landes, Marie-Thérèse Ordonez, more commonly known as Maïté, hosted numerous cooking shows on France 3, notably La Cuisine des Mousquetaires with Micheline Banzet-Lawton from 1983 to 1997 . She presented the program À table from 1995 to 1999.
Maïté began her career after being spotted by director Patrice Bellot. The latter was reporting on the Rion-des-Landes rugby team of which Maïté was the cook.
She will subsequently open two restaurants, which are now closed.
Stéphanie Le Quellec, the chef with two stars
Stéphanie Le Quellec, or Stphanie Lecocq by her maiden name, was born in 1981 in Enghien-les-Bains in Val-d’Oise. Immersed very early in the world of cooking, she quickly obtained her BTS in the field and began working in 2001 at the restaurant Le Cinq du George-V in Paris. She works in particular alongside the best worker in France: Philippe Legendre.
In 2011, she won the Top Chef show on M6.
She is now one of the few women to have acquired two Michelin stars .
Christophe Michalak, the exceptional chef
Although a bit out of category, Christophe Michalak is one of the essential names in the kitchen on the small screen. Born in 1973 in Senlis, the young pastry chef first dreamed of becoming a designer. However, not succeeding in entering the Beaux-Arts, the latter entered working life and became a pastry chef.
He then worked for Fauchon, Pierre Hermé, Ladurée, or as pastry chef at the famous Plaza Athénée hotel .
In 2005, he won the World Pastry Cup with two other French people.
Chefs who have left us but remain popular
Many of today’s cooks owe their passion for cooking and their learning to great chefs. Recently dead, these cooks are still very popular in the hearts of the French. Thousands of books continue to prosper their memory and knowledge.
- Paul Bocuse : recognized worldwide, the chef had 3 stars on the list.
- Joël Robuchon : famous presenter of “Bon appétit of course” on France 3, he is above all the most starred chef in the world in the Michelin guide.
- Jean-Pierre Coffe : cook, singer, radio and television host, and author, Jean-Pierre Coffe is known for having widely defended local products and strongly criticized industrial cooking.
These three great chefs are still very present in our memories and continue to sell cookbooks, even after their death.