Influential
2.5k voters

The Most Influential Chefs of All Time

Updated January 24, 2021 12.4k votes 2.5k voters 60.5k views35 items

List RulesVote up the world's most influential and important chefs who've changed the way we eat.

Bon Appétit! Ever wonder who the most influential chefs of all time are? Sure, super chefs Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay, and other famous TV chefs can be considered some of the best, but are they the most influential? Maybe for their time, yet they may be nowhere when it comes to cooking if it wasn't for some of the top world chefs before them. In other words, the chefs to follow were largely important in creating and exploring a great deal of dishes and cuisines, changing the way chefs approach food, as well as how we eat. 

While many of these renown chefs still grace the world with their delicious plates, others have since passed, leaving their great contributions behind for all of us to enjoy. From Frenchman Alexis Soyer to the award-winning Thomas Keller, these important chefs had a huge influence on a broad range of dishes, and they set the standard for chefs across the world. But who's the most influential chef ever?

Check out the list of top chefs in history below and be sure to vote up whoever you think had the greatest influence on food as we know it today. You can also vote chefs down and add any missing ones to the list. 

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  • 1
    1,652
    683
    Gordon James Ramsay (born 8 November 1966) is a British chef, restaurateur, writer, television personality and food critic. He was born in Johnstone, Scotland, and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon,...  more
  • 2
    657
    297
    Joël Robuchon (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɔɛl ʁɔbyʃɔ̃], 7 April 1945 – 6 August 2018) was a French chef and restaurateur. He was named "Chef of the Century" by the guide Gault Millau in 1989, and...  more
  • 3
    613
    327

    Julia Child

    Dec. at 92 (1912-2004)
    Julia Carolyn Child (née McWilliams; August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004) was an American chef, author and television personality. She is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public...  more
  • 4
    441
    221

    Auguste Escoffier

    Dec. at 89 (1846-1935)
    Georges Auguste Escoffier (French: [ʒɔʁʒ oɡyst ɛskɔfje]; 28 October 1847 – 12 February 1935) was a French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking...  more
  • 5
    165
    57
    Marco Pierre White (born 11 December 1961) is a British chef, restaurateur, and television personality. White has been dubbed the first celebrity chef, and the enfant terrible of the UK restaurant...  more
  • 6
    359
    186
    Alain Ducasse (French: [alɛ̃ dykas]; born 13 September 1956) is a French-born Monégasque chef. He operates a number of restaurants including Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester which holds three stars...  more
  • 7
    504
    344
    Anthony Michael Bourdain (; June 25, 1956 – June 8, 2018) was an American celebrity chef, author, and travel documentarian who starred in programs focusing on the exploration of international...  more
  • 8
    279
    195
    Thomas Keller (born October 14, 1955) is an American chef, restaurateur, and cookbook writer. He and his landmark Napa Valley restaurant, The French Laundry in Yountville, California, have won...  more
  • 9
    230
    161
    Ferran Adrià Acosta (born May 14, 1962) (Catalan pronunciation: [fəˈran əðɾiˈa]) is a Spanish chef. He was the head chef of the elBulli restaurant in Roses on the Costa Brava and is considered one of...  more
  • 10
    236
    183
    Heston Marc Blumenthal OBE (; born 27 May 1966) is a British celebrity chef. He is the proprietor of The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, one of five restaurants in Great Britain to have three Michelin...  more
  • 11
    155
    110
    Pierre Gagnaire (born 9 April 1950 in Apinac, Loire) is a French chef, and the head chef and owner of the eponymous Pierre Gagnaire restaurant at 6 rue Balzac in Paris (in the 8th arrondissement)....  more
  • 12
    38
    8
    Jacques Pépin French pronunciation: ​[ʒak pepɛ̃] (born December 18, 1935) is a French–American chef, television personality, and author. Since the late 1980s, he has appeared on French and American...  more
  • 13
    133
    102
    Yoshihiro Murata is an author....
  • 14
    221
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    David Chang (Korean: Chang Seok-ho 장석호; born August 5, 1977) is an American restaurateur, author, and television personality. He is the founder of the Momofuku restaurant group, which includes...  more
  • 15
    147
    126
    René Redzepi (born 16 December 1977) is a Danish chef and co-owner of the two-Michelin star restaurant Noma in the Christianshavn neighborhood of Copenhagen, Denmark. His restaurant was voted the...  more
  • 16
    130
    110
    Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa (松久 信幸 Matsuhisa Nobuyuki; born March 10, 1949) is a Japanese celebrity chef and restaurateur known for his fusion cuisine blending traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian...  more
  • 17
    93
    94

    Fernand Point

    Dec. at 58 (1897-1955)
    Fernand Point (25 February 1897 – 4 March 1955) was a French chef and restaurateur and is considered to be the father of modern French cuisine. He founded the restaurant La Pyramide in Vienne near...  more
  • 18
    114
    124
    Daniel Boulud (born 25 March 1955 in Saint-Pierre-de-Chandieu) is a French chef and restaurateur with restaurants in New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., Palm Beach, Miami, Toronto, Montréal,...  more
  • 19
    81
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    Joan Roca i Fontané is a chef of the restaurant El Celler de Can Roca. He studied in Escola d'Hosteleria de Girona, where later he became a teacher. He worked with his grandparents and parents in...  more
  • 20
    84
    101

    Alexis Soyer

    Dec. at 48 (1810-1858)
    Alexis Benoît Soyer (4 February 1810 – 5 August 1858) was a French chef who became the most celebrated cook in Victorian England. He also tried to alleviate suffering of the Irish poor in the Great...  more
  • 21
    17
    12

    Marie-Antoine Carême

    Dec. at 50 (1783-1833)
    Marie Antoine (Antonin) Carême (French: [maʁi ɑ̃twan kaʁɛm]; 8 June 1784 – 12 January 1833) was a French chef and an early practitioner and exponent of the elaborate style of cooking known as grande...  more
  • 22
    89
    121

    Charlie Trotter

    Dec. at 54 (1959-2013)
    Charles "Charlie" Trotter was an American chef and restaurateur....  more
  • 23
    70
    97
    Martín Berasategui Olazábal is a Spanish chef expert in Basque cuisine and owner of an eponymous restaurant in Lasarte-Oria (Gipuzkoa), Spain, which has been awarded three Michelin stars since 2001....  more
  • 24
    66
    94

    Jean-Louis Palladin

    Dec. at 55 (1946-2001)
    Jean-Louis Palladin was a multiple JBF Awards nominee for Outstanding Restaurant....
  • 25
    70
    109

    Dan Barber

    Age: 51
    Dan Barber (born October 2, 1969) is chef and co-owner of Blue Hill in Manhattan and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York. He is the author of The Third Plate....  more