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Celebrity Chefs - My Top Ten

WHO is your favorite celebrity chef? I came up with a list of ten celebrity chefs that I admire greatly for their work and for how they have inspired me over the years. 

I have to give credit where credit is due and the celebrity chef who inspired me to want to do more in the kitchen believe it or not was Emeril Lagasse. When I first watched a very early show of his on the Food Network I was rather transfixed and hooked from the moment he spoke. He wasn't eloquent and his use of the English language wasn't polished at all ~ he was just a regular guy in front of a camera cooking. And he was freaking hilarious at times. I was drawn in by his Fall River Massachusetts accent and his conveyance of the fact that what and how he was cooking, "wasn't rocket science". Therefore he made my list.

Gordan Ramsay has captured me completely and utterly. I think he's one of the best chef's in the world and I love that his high standards, not only for the food but for cleanliness in the kitchen. Despite his cursing during shows like Kitchen Nightmares, this man has a heart of gold and deeply cares about food and about people being successful in their own right. So I watch Kitchen Nightmares, Hell's Kitchen, Master Chef and Master Chef Junior because I can't get enough of this man. He's entertaining to say the least and his cooking videos are masterful. Plus he's got a great sense of humor which I adore in any man!

Going old school I like some chefs that have been around a while. One of them is Susan Feniger. I first became acquainted with this chef through her Food Network show, Two Hot Tamales. She's paved the wave for so many other women chefs in the industry and on television, so I admire her for that and for her endless energy and talent as a chef. Another chef, Jonathan Waxman caught my eye through the years watching him compete on Top Chef Masters. Jonathan is one of those chefs, that rising young chefs look up to so he made the list.

And my list would not be complete without the master of French cuisine - Jacques Pepin. I adore watching him on public television and I am pretty stoked that my husband did some cabinet/carpentry work for him at his home here in Madison Connecticut. He's also a master at bringing you into his world of French cooking and making it seem achievable - like anyone can do it. 

High on my list is a guy who has dedicated most all of his life to authentic Mexican cuisine. Can you guess who I am referring to? It's chef Rick Bayless and I've watched him on many shows and I am so impressed with his love of fresh ingredients, his technique and the never ending search for perfection in a dish. 

Two other chefs that I adore are Hubert Keller and Eric Ripert. You kind of get hooked because of their beautiful accents and then when you see them in action, it's like wow. Both have beautiful restaurants that I wish I could dine in. Eric Ripert is widely known for his fish dishes and Hubert Keller is noted for his imaginative and creative modern French cuisine. 

We talked about some of the chefs like Jonathan Waxman blazing the trail for younger chefs and a young chef who has come a long, long way since his first competition on Top Chef, Richard Blais has been a favorite of mine for a long time now. 

Last but not least I have to, have to put Art Smith on the list. Oprah's personal chef for years this man is just wonderful. He cooks basic food with such finesse and he has a heart of gold too! I would love for him to cook a meal for me.

The top ten:
  1. Gordon Ramsay
  2. Jacques Pepin
  3. Emeril Lagasse
  4. Rick Bayless
  5. Susan Feniger
  6. Hubert Keller
  7. Richard Blaise
  8. Jonathan Waxman
  9. Eric Ripert
  10. Art Smith
 Again, I ask: who are your favorite celebrity Chefs?

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