As the Culinary Director at Plated, I spent a lot of time thinking about food, recipes, chefs, food… and more food! Here’s a list of 5 chefs I admire for the awesome work they’re doing (with food)!
Dan Barber is such an amazing chef. His restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, is this unbelievable self-sustaining restaurant with such a delicious menu. On top of using home grown ingredients, their recipes are whimsical and really creative. Everyone that works there is so passionate and knowledgeable about food – Chef Barber has created a fantastic restaurant culture and experience for diners. I ate there for the first time two years ago, and aside from being so full that I could barely walk to the car, I was so impressed by the whole experience!
Gabrielle Hamilton is up here because Blood, Bones, and Butter is a fantastic book and Prune is an awesome restaurant! The culinary industry is dominated by a lot of male chefs and it’s great to have an amazing female chef like this to look up to… I could go on for hours, but – enough said.
As an alumna of Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, I had to include Julia Child on my list! Her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, made fine French cuisine (something dear to my heart) accessible to American home cooks, and her joy in the kitchen was contagious. There’s nothing better than a chef who takes true pleasure in the dishes they create. Also, she loves butter almost as much as I do!
It wasn’t until I started writing recipes for Plated that I truly learned to appreciate Ina Garten. Her ability to write sophisticated recipes that are accessible and easy to follow is truly remarkable. My mother pretty much won’t cook anything she can’t find in a Barefoot Contessa cookbook – except for this one chicken dish from The Silver Palate (Hi Mom!) – And I think it’s because those books give her confidence in the kitchen. No matter what level chef you are, if you pick up a Barefoot Contessa cookbook you know that your finished dish will look just like the photo in the book, and taste great too!
While Joel Robuchon has been named Chef of the Century and MOF (Master Craftsman of France), that’s not why I admire him. I admire him for one simple thing: potatoes. Chef Robuchon makes the world’s most amazing mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are my guilty pleasure and this chef does them right!
– Elana Karp