100 Best Chefs in the World
Every year, Le Chef interviews Michelin three- and two-star chefs from around the world to find out who they believe are the world's top chefs. They rate one another on the exceptional cuisine they create and restaurant experiences they offer, resulting in a list of the 100 best chefs in the world.
It's no surprise that France leads the 2020 list, with not only 30 chefs in the top 100 but six that entered the top 10 — all hailing from the country renowned for its cooking schools. Spain and Japan follow, each with 11 of the best chefs.
Here, we provide a look at the best chefs in the world as well as their restaurants, sample signature dishes and some haute cuisine recipes you can recreate at home.
100: Hajme Yoneda, Japan
Restaurant: Hajime Restaurant Gastronomique
Where You'll Find Him: Osaka, Japan
Signature Dish: Chikyu (shown), "Planet Earth" in Japanese, includes 110 different ingredients to represent land and sea
Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1972, Hajme Yoneda actually began his career as an engineer, working to save money to attend Osaka's culinary academy.
Training at restaurants in his home city and Kobe, he earned his first Michelin stars (three of them!) in 2010, helming a French-style restaurant. When he chose to ditch the French cuisine and cook his own style, he lost two Michelin stars. But he persevered and, in 2018, once again received the coveted three stars.
Check out Yoneda's recipes here.
99: Joachim Wissler, Germany
Where You'll Find Him: Cologne, Germany
Sample Dish: Lech Valley Lake trout with horseradish lemon butter (shown)
Growing up on a farm in the mountains of Bavaria, German-born Joachim Wissler learned early about farm-to-table cuisine.
Wissler began his career at Traube Tonbach in the Black Forest, where he learned to cook on site. He eventually received his first Michelin star as head chef of Reinhartshausen Castle, outside of Frankfurt.
Moving to Vendome at the Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg in Cologne in 2000, Wissler was awarded a Michelin star his first year, a second star in 2002 and then a third star in 2004. He stills leads the restaurant today.
Check out Wissler's recipes here.
98: Mathieu Viannay, France
Restaurant: La Mere Brazier
Where You'll Find Him: Lyon, France
Sample Dish: Pike mousse and lobster with vegetables (shown)
Mathieu Viannay, born in Versailles in 1967, began his cooking career in 1998 at Les Oliviers before being named Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) in 2004. This title is bestowed upon the best of French chefs, and Viannay bested 199 others for the honor.
That year, he opened his first restaurant, named for himself, and earned his first Michelin star in 2005. Then, he set his sights on La Mere Brazier, a darling of Lyon's gastronomic scene.
La Mere Brazier, which originally opened in 1921, was an iconic French restaurant where the first woman to be awarded three Michelin stars twice paved the way for future chefs. Viannay purchased the restaurant in 2008, restoring it to its heyday, and reopened it to bring back Michelin-star quality cuisine — he's received two stars for his dishes here.
Check out Viannay's recipes here.
97: Yusuke Takada, Japan
Restaurant: La Cime
Where You'll Find Him: Osaka, Japan
Signature Dish: Boudin dog (shown), looks like a black rock but is actually a batter-fried hot dog of sorts made with edible bamboo charcoal
Studying at the Tsuji Culinary Institute, Yusuke Takada moved to France to train at Taillevent and Le Meurice before he opened his first restaurant, La Cime.
Born on the island of Amami Oshima in Japan, Takada is inspired by the dishes he grew up with and creates new takes on recipes once prepared by his grandmother.
La Cime, which means "peak" in French, earned the chef his Michelin stars, first awarded in 2011, just a year after he opened, and then two stars again in 2017.
96: Ciccio Sultano, Italy
Where You'll Find Him: Ragusa, Italy
Sample Dish: Pigeon with carrots (shown)
On the island of Sicily, Ciccio Sultano grew up with Italian foods that had Mediterranean and Arabic influences — all of which shaped his passion for food. That love started early enough that he began working in a pastry shop at the age of 13.
By 20, Sultano began working in restaurants and discovered his passion for flavor was a hit around town. To learn more, Sultano went to Germany and New York City to cook in restaurants of foreign countries. He took what he learned back to Sicily in 2000, opening his first restaurant: Duomo.
By 2004, Sultano was awarded with his first Michelin star, and he earned another in 2006. His key to success? Using the freshest ingredients.
Check out Sultano's recipes here.
95: Andreas Senn, Austria
Where You'll Find Him: Gusswerk, Austria
Sample Dish: Steamed red turnip ravioli with sheep’s milk pots, quinoa and cranberries (shown)
Andreas Senn dreamt of opening his own restaurant when he was still a teenager in Austria. Working at local restaurants, Senn began learning the craft, and by his 20s, he spent five years working at Heimatliebe in Kitzbuhel, Austria, which gained him attention and steam.
Trying his luck at his own restaurant, Senn opened a pop-up restaurant in Gusswerk, just outside of Salzburg, under the same name. It did so well that he was ready to open his own place full time.
When Senn opened his first restaurant under his own name in 2014, it took just a few months to earn his first Michelin star. The following year, he did it again, and the restaurant continues to maintain its two-star standing.
Check out Senn's recipes here.
94: Carme Ruscalleda, Spain
Restaurant: Cuina Estudi
Where You'll Find Her: Sant Pol de Mar, Spain
Signature Dish: Prawns with saffron, celery and peas (shown)
Living on the Mediterranean shore of Spain, Carme Ruscalleda grew up in a Catalonian family that enjoyed its small-town recipes and foods. Surrounded by farmland and with the fresh catches from the sea, Ruscalleda's Sant Pol de Mar was an ideal community to learn how to cook.
Taking over her family's food store, Ruscalleda and her partner expanded with a deli and by selling items they grew on their farm. The love continued, and in 1988, she opened Sant Pau and began providing home-cooked meals. She began to learn from European chefs and practiced new dishes as the store grew.
Nearly 20 years later, Ruscalleda received three Michelin stars, one of only four women to hold the honor. The original restaurant closed in 2018, and Ruscalleda infused new life into the town with a new restaurant: Cuina Estudi.
Check out Ruscalleda's recipes here.
93: Julien Royer, Singapore
Where You'll Find Him: Singapore
Signature Dish: Rosemary smoked organic egg (shown)
Under the tutelage of Michel Bras in his iconic Laguiole, France, restaurant, Julien Royer was taught how to combine ingredients to create outstanding French cuisine.
He continued on to various and acclaimed restaurants throughout the country until he moved to the French West Indies, then Polynesia and eventually London, where he served as sous chef at the Michelin-starred The Greenhouse under Antonin Bonnet.
Moving to Singapore in 2008, Royer opened Odette at the National Gallery. The restaurant earned the French restaurant two Michelin stars.
Check out Royer's recipes here.
92: Fabio Pisani and Alessandro Negrini, Italy
Restaurant: Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia
Where You'll Find Them: Milan, Italy
Sample Dish: Tirami-sud (shown), tiramisu with yogurt, ricotta and candied capers
Fabio Pisani grew up in Molfetta, Italy, while Alessandro Negrini was born in Caspoggio, Italy. Both graduated from school at the same time. Both went to culinary school. Both made their way through various restaurants.
Pisani enjoyed working at three-starred restaurants such as Grand Vefoir in Paris and Waterside Inn in London. Negrini began at Hotel Palace in Saint Moritz along with Domaine de Cahteauvieux in Geneva. They met working at Dal Pescatore in Italy and became fast friends who were excited about the creations they concocted together.
When Negrini discovered a former restaurant, Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia, was for sale, he and Pisani jumped at the chance to take over. They reopened their completely renovated restaurant with a new menu in 2018 — and earned two Michelin stars for their efforts.
Check out the duo's recipes here and here.
91: Anne-Sophie Pic, France
Restaurant: Maison Pic
Where You'll Find Her: Valence, France
Signature Dish: Berlingots (shown), pyramid-shaped matcha-flavored pasta
Anne-Sophie Pic comes from a long line of chefs. The first family restaurant, Auberge du Pin, opened in 1889, and both her grandfather and father ran the restaurant. But like many teens, she wasn't eager to follow in their footsteps and went to school for business.
Still, the family business was too strong, and she returned to the restaurant in 1997. Ten years later, she earned three stars from Michelin with the restaurant renamed Maison Pic.
Her multiple restaurants that followed — PIC at Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, the EPICerie Fine in Valence, la Dame de Pic London and la Dame de Pic Paris each received more stars.
Check out Pic's recipes here.
90: Gaston Acurio, Peru
Restaurant: Astrid y Gaston
Where You'll Find Him: Lima, Peru
Signature Dish: Sea urchin nikkei alfredo noodles (shown)
Considered the Ambassador of Peruvian cuisine, Gaston Acurio didn't begin in the culinary field. Instead, he listened to his family and went to law school. Yet, he couldn't shake his love for food and eventually headed to Paris to study at the world-famous Le Cordon Bleu.
In Paris, Acurio met Astrid Gutsche, a German also training to be a pastry chef. The couple married and moved to Peru in 1994, opening their first restaurant: Astrid y Gaston.
The original restaurant began with a French-inspired menu, but Acurio began to experiment with Peruvian dishes and ingredients. It took 17 years before the restaurant received world-wide acclaim, allowing Acurio to open more restaurants.
Today, he operates 44 restaurants around the world. Acurio's original restaurant does not have any Michelin stars, but that is because the Michelin guide only ventured into South America in 2017, beginning first with Brazil.
Check out Acurio's recipes here.
89: Jiro Ono, Japan
Restaurant: Sukiyabashi Jiro
Where You'll Find Him: Tokyo
Signature Dish: Sushi
At 94 years of age, Jiro Ono shows no signs of stopping. Regarded as the world's greatest sushi chef, Ono began working in restaurants at the age of 7.
First working as an apprentice to learn the art of sushi, Ono became qualified by 1951. Fifteen years later, he opened Sukiyabashi Jiro, which earned the coveted Michelin three stars.
So amazing is Ono's sushi restaurant that Michelin stripped it of its stars in 2019 — only because it's almost impossible to get into the restaurant! If you can get in, bring cash — lots of it — it will cost nearly $300 per person to dine here (without drinks).
88: Norbet Niederkofler, Italy
Restaurant: St. Hubertus
Where You'll Find Him: San Cassiano, Italy
Signature Dish: Whitefish tartare with crispy scales
Norbet Niederkofler got his first taste of cooking learning from his dad growing up in the Dolomites of Italy. Off he went to Germany, Switzerland, the United States and Austria to train in the culinary field.
When he made his way back to Italy, he joined Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa and renovated and recreated its St. Hubertus restaurant in 1996.
Niederkofler's world travels enabled him to bring international flavors to the mountains, with Michelin awarding him three stars.
Check out Niederkofler's recipes here.
87: Hans Neuner, Portugal
Where You'll Find Him: Armacao de Pera, Portugal
Sample Dish: Chicken piri-piri
Born in Austria, Hans Neuner had both a thirst for travel and cooking. Working in hotel restaurants in an effort to see the world, he worked at the Carlton in Saint Moritz, Switzerland; the Dorchester in London and the Tristan in Mallorca, Spain, before arriving in Germany. There, he trained under Karlheinz Hauser before setting off on his own.
In Portugal, Neuner became the executive chef of the new Ocean restaurant in the coastal Algarve region in 2007, hoping to make a name for himself. And that he did.
Just two years later, Michelin came knocking. It gave Ocean one star but upped it to two in 2011.
86: Motokazu Nakamura, Japan
Where You'll Find Him: Kyoto, Japan
Signature Dish: Guji no sakayaki, a baked fish dish
Nakamura has been a feature of Kyoto, Japan, for more than 180 years. As the sixth generation of the Nakamura family, Motokazu Nakamura knew it was his destiny to take over his father's restaurant and continue the legacy.
In fact, the restaurant originally served the royals of Kyoto during the Edo period, so the family recipes have been handed down to continue their noble tradition.
Motokazu Nakamura has not only kept the tradition going but soaring, earning it three Michelin stars.
85: Jean-Georges Klein, France
Restaurant: Villa Rene Lalique
Where You'll Find Him: Wingen-sur-Moder, France
Sample Dish: Goose foie gras with terrine-flavored mushrooms in a lemon cream (shown)
Jean-Georges Klein began in hospitality studying hotel management in Strasbourg, France. After he finished his program in 1969, he returned to his family's restaurant and became the head waiter. He remained as such until the age of 40 when he began to cook. And — voila! — he was beyond talented in the kitchen.
He took over his family's restaurant in 1988 and immediately earned a Michelin star. Within 10 years, he earned two stars and then by 2002 reached the esteemed three stars.
He took over at the Villa Rene Lalique in 2015 and in just three months' time earned another two Michelin stars.
Check out Klein's recipes here.
84: Tadayoshi Matsukawa, Japan
Where You'll Find Him: Tokyo
Sample Dish: Abalone and Kita Murasaki uni, soft-shelled turtle gelatin (shown)
Tadayoshi Matsukawa doesn't like publicity and doesn't share much about himself, but of what is known about this man is that he happens to have the No. 1 restaurant in all of Japan.
Before opening his own restaurant, Matsukawa helmed Seisoka, a Michelin two-star restaurant that only offered dining in three private rooms and six counter seats.
If you think it's easy to sample Matsukawa's dishes, you will have to be invited. His restaurant is invitation- and cash-only and will cost more than $300 to enjoy the multi-course meal. The restaurant only seats 22 people who are served what Matsukawa and his team have chosen to make for the evening.
83: Edouard Loubet, France
Restaurant: Restaurant Edouard Loubet
Where You'll Find Him: Bonnieux, France
Signature Dish: Provencal lamb (shown)
Growing up in the French ski resort town of Val-Thorens, Edouard Loubet's mother opened the town's first restaurant. But this is not where Loubet first thought of cooking. Instead, he was often in the care of his grandparents, who taught him how to cook and garden.
He apprenticed as a pastry chef and then joined the Relais et Chateau Fitz Roy hotel to really earn his chops in the kitchen. Named the Meilleur Ouvrier de France in the early 80s, he left France for Chicago's Ritz Carlton and Quebec's Chateau Frontenac. When Loubet returned to France, it was to work with renowned Chef Alain Chapel.
In 1992, Loubet was ready to strike out on his own and opened Le Moulin de Lourmarin. Three years later, he became the youngest French chef to achieve a Michelin star. Another star was earned three years later. Today, the chef operates a restaurant that bears his name at the Provencal hotel, Capelongue.
Watch Loubet make his signature dish here.
82: Nicolas Le Bec, China
Restaurant: Villa Le Bec
Where You'll Find Him: Shanghai
Signature Dish: Foie gras
Attending hospitality school in Paris from the age of 13, Nicolas Le Bec got an early start in hotels and restaurants. Originally beginning as a baker, he edged his way into the kitchen as a cook. By 17, he took his chef's knives and headed to New York City.
There he fell in love with Chinatown and Asian cuisine, merging it with his French background. Hopping from New York to London and to Sydney, Le Bec garnered two Michelin stars in his work. Eventually, after 40 years, he settled in China, where he opened Villa Le Bec in 2014.
Within a year, Villa Le Bec had its own Michelin star and was named one of Shanghai's best restaurants.
81: Normand Laprise, Canada
Where You'll Find Him: Montreal
Signature Dish: Duck breast (shown)
One of Quebec's most famed chefs, Normand Laprise was sent to live on a farm as his mother recovered from an illness. He fell in love with farm-to-table cooking and decided to go to culinary school.
Upon graduation, Laprise went to France to ensure he would master French cuisine, working at Hotel de la Cloche outside of Dijon. Returning to Canada, he worked in Quebec City's Marie-Clarisse and Cafe de la Paix before becoming the head chef of the new Citrus in Montreal. From there, his reputation soared, and by the late 1990s, Laprise found himself in New York.
Ready to open his own restaurant, Laprise once again returned to Canada, opening Toque! in Montreal and later Brasserie T! Both continue to be popular in the city, although Canada does not receive Michelin reviews for Laprise to be awarded stars. Still, Toque! has been ranked Canada's best restaurant.
Check out Laprise's recipes here.
80: Dieter Koschina, Portugal
Restaurant: Vila Joya
Where You'll Find Him: Albufeira, Portugal
Signature Dish: Lobster with a celery ravioli and a lobster sauce
For nearly 30 years, Dieter Koschina has headed up Vila Joya's restaurant, earning it a Michelin star in 1995 and then a second in 1999 — and holding it for more than 20 years.
Originally from Austria, Koschina was working as a sous chef at the Hilton Vienna Plaza when he received a call from Vila Joya's owner in 1989. After a kitchen was built to suit him for the hotel's restaurant, he arrived in Portugal's Algarve region and has never looked back.
79: Arjan Speelman and Onno Kokmeijer, Netherlands
Restaurant: Ciel Bleu
Where You'll Find Them: Amsterdam
Signature Dish: Krab Royal (shown), king crab with Baeri caviar and a beurre blanc and lemon ice cream topped with edible gold
Another dynamic duo in the kitchen are Arjan Speelman and Onno Kokmeijer, who lead Ciel Blue's flagship restaurant of Hotel Okura Amsterdam. The "guestronomic" experiences they offer earned a star from Michelin two years after the restaurant opened in 2003 and then a second in 2007.
Having known each other since their college days, Speelman and Kokmeijer's culinary teamwork began 16 years ago when Kokmeiger was promoted to head chef at Le Merlet. He asked Speelman to be his right-hand.
Kokmeijer, recently named Chef of the Year, started cooking at 17, working in a number of Dutch restaurants before becoming Ciel Bleu's executive chef and manager, with Speelman serving as chef de cuisine.
78: Martin Klein, Austria
Where You'll Find Him: Salzburg, Austria
Sample Dish: With guest chefs on a monthly rotation, you never know what you'll get!
Born in the Alsace region, Martin Klein trained at his hometown's School of Hotel Management in Strasbourg, France, before making a name for himself in restaurants around Germany and Austria.
While working on a private island in the South Pacific, he was beckoned back to Europe to Ikarus. The restaurant in Salzburg had been his home for nine years, where he served as chef de cuisine. They wanted him back, but this time as executive chef.
Taking over in 2014 was a game-changer for Klein: He won two Michelin stars. Ikarus is most famous for its guest chef concept, which brings in top chefs from around the world to provide a variety of culinary experiences.
Check out Klein's recipes here.
77: Alexandre Mazzia, France
Restaurant: AM by Alexandre Mazzia
Where You'll Find Him: Marseille
Sample Dish: Presa Ibérico (ham) tartar with sweet and sour sauce, cashews and mustard (shown)
When you grow up in Africa, the recipes and ingredients of the continent are bound to make their way into your cooking, as is the case for Alexandre Mazzia. He lived in the Democratic Republic of Congo until he was 15.
When Mazzia arrived in France, he hadn't planned on becoming a chef. His higher education began with medical school before he moved to hotel training. In 1995, he began to cook with esteemed French and Spanish chefs, including Pierre Hermé, Michael Bras and Alain Passard.
Winning a "Young Talent" award in 2011 gave him the money to fund his own restaurant, which he opened in 2014. It has been hard to get into since it first opened. It also gave Mazzia his first Michelin star in 2015. The second came in 2019, along with many more accolades.
76: Hitoshi Ishihara, Japan
Where You'll Find Him: Kyoto, Japan
Sample Dish: Ishihara is publicity-shy and keeps his menus very private.
Another of Japan's hard-to-visit restaurants is Mizai. There are just 10 seats in this restaurant, and there is only one serving per night, served on time and without a menu from which to choose. And it lasts for three hours.
This is where Hitoshi Ishihara earned three Michelin stars.
Before his time in this more-than-popular restaurant, Ishihara spent 30 years cooking at Kitcho Arashiyama.
75: Dan Hunter, Australia
Where You'll Find Him: Birregurra, Australia
Sample Dish: Whole wheat croissant and pumpkin steamed with sea plants (shown)
The only chef from Australia to make the list, Dan Hunter began his career scrubbing pots and pans, not knowing what he wanted to do with his life. When he made the decision to try cooking, he joined Philippe Mouchel at Langton's restaurant in Melbourne to learn from the best.
By 2005, he was given the role of chef de partie at Mugaritz in Spain, which eventually received a Michelin star. Hunter was promoted to head chef within a year and was a great presence behind the restaurant's two stars.
Still, when he returned to Australia, he spent four years looking for a way to lead his own restaurant. That came with Brae, which opened in 2013. Michelin may not award stars to Australian restaurants, but Hunter's honors as one of the best chefs in the world are enough to prove his merit.
Check out Hunter's recipes here and here.
74: Cristophe Hardiquest, Belgium
Restaurant: Bon Bon
Where You'll Find Him: Brussels
Signature Dish: Tomato with North Sea grey shrimps and Flemish carbonnade
Cristophe Hardiquest began his career at the Hotel School of Namur's culinary school. But before that, he was just an average Joe working in a furniture shop. When he had his chance to start cooking professionally, he began at SAS Radisson Brussels Hotel and the Silver Bocuse in Lyon, France, before a stint in New York City at La Cremaillere.
He returned to Belgium, again working for others before he began dreaming of having his own place. Cooking family casseroles on his simple stove in 2001 eventually led to the opening of Bon Bon, his signature restaurant, in 2003.
Michelin arrived a year later with his first star when he was only 27. Ten years later, he was granted a second.
Check out Hardiquest's recipes here.
73: Marc Haeberlin, France
Restaurant: Auberge de I'ill
Where You'll Find Him: Illhaeusern, France
Signature Dish: Auberge de I'ill salmon souffle
The son of renowned French Chef Paul Haeberlin, Marc Haeberlin had big shoes to fill. His father's Auberge de I'lll received the coveted Michelin three stars in 1967 — and kept them — making it one of France's oldest three-star restaurants.
Not only did Paul train chefs, such as Jean-George Vongerichten, he also taught his son and daughter, Daniele, how to cook. In 1976, Marc took over for his father as the restaurant's head chef and continued to introduce the world to new recipes that, yes, win awards but also draw crowds to the Alsace region.
Check out Haeberlin's recipes here.
72: Dani Garcia, Spain
Restaurant: Restaurant Dani Garcia
Where You'll Find Him: Garcia recently closed his Marbella, Spain, restaurant
Signature Dish: Nitro tomato (shown)
One month after receiving his third star from Michelin, Spain's Dani Garcia announced the closure of his restaurant at the end of 2019. Going out on a high note surprised the culinary world, who watched Garcia as the first chef to use liquid nitrogen in cuisine.
Garcia learned to cook in the early '90s at Malaga, Spain's hospitality school. He then worked at a number of restaurants before introducing his unique style of reinvented Andalusian cuisine. That included time in New York before eventually opening BiBo Andalusian Brasserie & Tapas back in Malaga.
After 20 years in the business, Garcia decided he was ready to be happy and stop the pursuit of reinventing cuisine. He is now serving as a consulting chef and expanding Grupo Dani Garcia restaurant concepts.
71: Ronny Emborg, United States
Where You'll Find Him: New York
Sample Dish: Scallops in horseradish gel and sea creme
Although Ronny Emborg heads up the first United States' restaurant to appear on this list, he hails from Denmark. In fact, he trained at the Molskroen Hotel and Restaurant in Hovedgaden, Denmark, before working as a chef for the country's Queen Margaret II.
To leave the royal family behind, he needed nothing but the best, which he received when he joined the Hotel d'Angleterre in Copenhagen, working at the Michelin-starred Marchal. He was named Chef of the Year in Denmark in 2007 before heading AOC in Copenhagen, where he earned his very own Michelin star.
In 2015, Emborg joined the team at Atera in New York, where he earned two stars as executive chef for his "sensory kitchen."
Check out Emborg's recipes here.
70: Alexandre Gauthier, France
Restaurant: La Grenouillere
Where You'll Find Him: Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, France
Sample Dish: Crapaudine mûres sauvages (shown)
Another chef who followed (almost) in the footsteps of his talented chef father, Alexandre Gauthier took over the family restaurant in 2006. Although Roland Gauthier followed the traditional French style of cooking, Alexandre was ready to shake things up.
After training at Le Touquet Hotel School, Alexandre learned even more by working across France at La Rochelle, the Saint Bonnet le-Froid Hotel and Lasserre in Paris.
Once Alexandre took over La Grenouillere, he received his first Michelin star in 2008. It led him to further move the needle, redesigning the restaurant in 2011. Another star followed, as well as being named Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in France.
69: Sven Elverfeld, Germany
Where You'll Find Him: Wolfsburg, Germany
Signature Dish: Frankfurter Grüne Sauce with potato and egg combined with boiled lamb meat (shown)
Sven Elverfeld began his apprenticeships as a confectioner near Frankfurt, Germany, in 1983 before he began cooking for a private school in the area.
He eventually graduated from Heidelberg's Hotel Management School and worked in restaurants in Crete and Dubai, then later at the Ritz-Carlton's La Baie in Osaka, Japan.
In 2000, Elverfeld moved to Aqua at the Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg, which was awarded three Michelin stars in 2009. He's still going strong — and still has all three stars.
68: Alexandre Couillon, France
Restaurant: La Marine
Where You'll Find Him: Noirmoutier-en-l'Île, France
Signature Dishes: Seafood
Once named France's Chef of the Year, Alexandre Couillon was a seafood-loving chef who opened a small restaurant on an island off the coast of Western France in 1999. He was a mere 22.
That restaurant went on to earn Couillon two Michelin stars.
Couillon and his wife set up their sea-view La Marine restaurant after learning the art of haute cuisine under Chefs Michel Guerard and Thierry Marx. Before he turned 30, Michelin gave him one star, and before he turned 40, his second. The key to his delicious dishes? Fresh fish sourced just outside his door.
Check out Couillon's recipes here and here.
67: Andre Chiang, China
Restaurant: Sichuan Moon
Where You'll Find Him: Macao, China
Sample Dish: Longevity dan-dan noodles (shown)
Andre Chiang, born in Taiwan, spent 17 years training to be a chef in France. Although he became the head chef of a French restaurant, Chiang moved to South Africa and was reminded he didn't have to cook French cuisine to be good. Nor did he have to cook Asian cuisine. Chiang discovered he could create a new cuisine under his "Octaphilosophy," which means "artisan," "memory," "pure," "salt," "south," "terroir," "texture" and "unique" are keys to all his dishes.
Chiang took his ideas back to Asia, where he opened his first restaurant, Andre. He quickly earned world recognition and Michelin stars, so he shuttered the restaurant and tried a new approach in a second restaurant, RAW. And it happened again.
Once again, not wanting to be pigeonholed, Chiang closed his restaurant. His newest creation, Sichuan Moon at Wynn Palace opened in 2019. And just like that, he won two Michelin stars once again.
Check out Chiang's recipes here.
66: Paolo Casagrande, Spain
Where You'll Find Him: Barcelona
Sample Dish: Grilled venison with black truffle cream, orange sauce and spiced jus (shown)
Paolo Casagrande does not own the Michelin three-star Lasarte, but his contribution as chef de cuisine combines Martin Berasategui's signature dishes with his own infused flair of haute cuisine into the Spanish restaurant.
Casagrande attended catering school under his father's urging in the 1990s before moving to London and later Paris to train beneath respected French chefs Pierre Pommel and Alain Soliveres. In 2003, he met Berasategui, who put him in charge of his new restaurant, M.B. A star was born as Casagrande earned his first Michelin star.
He moved on to Berasategui's Lasarte in 2012, which had already achieved two-star status. Casagrande's contributions brought it up to three.
65: Yoann Conte, France
Restaurant: Restaurant Yoann Conte
Where You'll Find Him: Veyrier-du-lac, France
Sample Dish: Smoked carabineros served on a vinaigrette (shown)
Growing up in the Lorraine Valley, Yoann Conte grew up in the hotel and restaurant industry, as his parents operated both. When he was 10, they moved to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, one of France's largest ski destinations.
Conte decided to follow in his family's footsteps, beginning first in pastries. Graduating from school in nearby Thonon-Les-Bains, he took his first cooking job at Auberge de l'Eridan under the care of Marc Veyrat. Within two years, the restaurant earned its third Michelin star, preparing Conte for the dedication of seeking such honors.
Throughout his early career across France and in French restaurants in the U.S., Conte took over Veyrat's restaurant in 2010. A year later, he received his own Michelin star. A second followed the next year. Today, he and his family continue to work on their passion projects alongside the lake.
64: Jannis Brevet, Netherlands
Restaurant: Inter Scaldes
Where You'll Find Him: Outside of Kruiningen, Netherlands
Sample Dish: North Sea crab, strained yogurt served with lavender dressing (shown)
Jannis Brevet began his cooking career as an apprentice at Munich, Germany's Tantris. After working at multiple German restaurants, Brevet returned to his homeland, working in Dutch restaurants such as Koetshuis and Chagall. But it was when he and his wife bought and took over one of the most famous restaurants in the Netherlands that his career took off.
Inter Scaldes had been in operation since 1968 under Maartje en Kees Boudeling. Having grown up in the area near the restaurant, the chef knew the local ingredients inside and out and took over in 2001.
The restaurant received its third star by 2018, and Brevet continues to wow in what is considered the Netherlands' best restaurant.
63: Claude Bosi, England
Where You'll Find Him: London
Signature Dish: Free-range Basque pork with winter mushrooms, black licorice and parsley root
As a child in Lyon, France, Claude Bosi grew up in his parents' restaurant. He followed suit, enrolling in a catering college and apprenticing in Lyon. From there, he was able to secure spots at some of the best restaurants in Paris.
From the two-star Le Chiberta to Alain Passard's L'Arpege and Ducasse, he was part of Passard's climb from two to three stars. When he set off for England in the late 1990s, he earned Overton Grange a Michelin star while serving as head chef.
Then, it was his turn. His restaurant Hibiscus opened in 2000, receiving one star the following year and a second in 2004. He relocated the restaurant to London, where it thrived until 2016. Bosi closed the restaurant for a complete renovation and reopened it as Bibendum in 2017. And — boom! — two more stars for the new restaurant.
Check out Bosi's recipes here.
62: Olivier Bellin, France
Restaurant: Auberge des Glazicks
Where You'll Find Him: Plomodiern, France
Signature Dishes: Scampi and pig tongue
What was started by Olivier Bellin's grandmother at the beginning of the 20th century, Auberge des Glazicks opened as a restaurant serving those who worked on the family farm. The dishes were traditional and hearty. Bellin's mother eventually took over the farm and restaurant, and he grew up watching both women cook.
Bellin left home for more formal training, taking an apprenticeship that introduced him to Jean-Pierre Guillaume, who set him on his path. Receiving a Best Young Chef award, Bellin joined the team at Magescq then La Taupiniere. It was at the latter where French Chef and Restaurateur Joel Robuchon came in to dine, met Bellin and remembered him for the opening of his Paris restaurant, Jamin.
After three years working with famed chefs, Bellin decided it was time to go home again. In 1998, he became his family restaurant's chef. By 2004, Michelin found him and gave him his first star.
Check out Bellin's recipes here and here.
61: Eneko Atxa, Spain
Where You'll Find Him: Larrabetzu, Spain
Signature Dish: Basque menestra (shown)
Eneko Atxa left his hometown of Amorebieta, Spain, to attend hospitality school. In 1994, he joined the staff at Baserri Maitea and within six years landed a role as head chef at Etxebarri. That year, he was named Champion of Young Spanish Signature Chefs.
Five years later, with the support of his uncle, Atxa opened Azurmendi. Two years later, Axta celebrated his first Michelin star. It took only two years to receive his second and another two years to be awarded his third star.
His restaurant is considered one of the best in the world, and Axta continues to rack up awards for his haute cuisine.
Check out Atxa's recipes here.
60: Stefano Baiocco, Italy
Restaurant: Via Feltrinelli
Where You'll Find Him: Gargnano, Italy
Signature Dish: Salad made with one leaf each of 150 different spice plants (shown)
The Grand Hotel Feltrinelli has a long history on its Italian location. The rich and famous have strutted through its doors as well as eaten at its restaurant. Here, Stefano Baiocco, awarded two Michelin stars for his work, wows with his fresh-from-the-garden approach.
Before arriving at the famed hotel, Baiocco worked under the guidance of the world's best chefs: Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, Italy, and Alain Ducasse and Pierre Gagnaire in Paris each had three stars during Baiocco's tenure.
Baiocco's unique style earned him the Gourmand World Cookbook Award after he released his collection of recipes, "Mise en Place."
Check out Baiocco's recipes here and here.
59: Albert Adria, Spain
Where You'll Find Him: Barcelona
Signature Dishes: Desserts
One of the most esteemed chefs of Spain, Albert Adria started cooking at the age of 16, following his older brother, Ferran, into an apprenticeship at El Bulli. While honing his skills, Adria discovered his passion for desserts.
To follow his calling, he worked in a variety of pastry kitchens across Spain. But he took a break from cooking in 1997 to instead create a research workshop, where Adria plotted out menus and development of restaurants. After nearly a decade, Adria combined his two careers into a tapas bar, Inopia Classic Bar, which he opened in 2006. Yet, he found himself once again taking a break and reinventing himself.
It took another decade before Adria introduced another restaurant, Enigma, in Barcelona. More and more restaurants opened, with Adria working closely with his brother to create elBarri restaurant group, now considered a Spanish restaurant empire. Adria's current hotspot is Tickets, which received a Michelin star.
Check out Adria's recipes here.
58: Jacob Jan Boerma, Netherlands
Restaurant: The White Room
Where You'll Find Him: Amsterdam
Sample Dish: Lemon dessert served with goat milk and dulce de leche.
After working across The Netherlands at restaurants such as Scholteshof, De Bokkedoorns and Get Laurierblad, Jacob Jan Boerma and his wife Kim Veldman decided to open their own restaurant in 2002. They didn't want anyone to know its official opening date so that they would have time to perfect it.
Despite trying to hide, Michelin walked in on the second day — while the toilets were still not working. Boerma couldn't hide. He earned his first star. By 2006, De Leest was awarded a second star and then a third in 2013.
Boerma closed his famed restaurant in December 2019 and moved to The White Room in Amsterdam, where he serves as signature chef.
Check out Boerma's recipes here.
57: Angel Leon, Spain
Where You'll Find Him: Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain
Sample Dish: Shrimp tortilla (shown)
Angel Leon spent the early part of his career discovering the local foods across Spain by working in various regions. From Seville to the Pyrenees, Leon soaked it all in before seeking a degree in hospitality.
With his new degree, Leon traveled even farther, working for Sheraton in Buenos Aires and Miami. But he missed Spain and decided to return not only to his homeland, but also to cooking with the ingredients from the Cadiz coast, where Leon had spent his childhood.
Studying the ingredients in his lab-style kitchen, his Aponiente restaurant garnered Leon a Michelin star in 2010. He is now referred to as the "Chef of the Sea" and received three-star status just in time to celebrate his restaurant's 10th anniversary.
Check out Leon's recipes here.
56: Bruno Oger, France
Restaurant: La Villa Archange
Where You'll Find Him: Cannet, France
Sample Dish: Oysters, cucumber, mint and caviar
At the young of 12, Bruno Oger knew he wanted to be a chef. But not just any chef: a Michelin-starred chef.
In 1983, Oger received cuisine training from Brittany, France's Lycee Hoteluer de Dinard. From there, at only 21, he began working at Georges Blanc's three-star restaurant, Bresse. Eventually, Oger was leading Blanc's Normandy restaurant in Bangkok — at the age of 23.
Before he turned 30, he opened his first restaurant, La Villa des Lys in Cannes, where he earned his first Michelin star. Within 10 years, he received his second and became especially popular among guests during the Cannes Film Festival. Opening La Villa Archange in 2011, Oger once again received two stars and continues his involvement with the film festival.
55: Thomas Keller, United States
Restaurant: Per Se, Ad Hoc, Bouchon Bakery, The French Laundry
Where You'll Find Him: Yountville, California
Signature Dish: Oysters and pearls (shown), pearl tapioca, Beau Soleil oysters and white sturgeon caviar
The first American featured on this list of best chefs, Thomas Keller grew up in South Florida working at the same Palm Beach restaurant where his mother worked. Keller moved to France in 1983 and found himself working at the Michelin-starred Guy Savoy and Taillevent restaurants in Paris.
After just three years, Keller returned to the States to open his first restaurant in New York City before leaving it behind for sunny California to serve as executive chef at the Checkers Hotel. In less than a decade, Keller had the opportunity to take over Napa Valley's The French Laundry.
He continued to open additional restaurants and bakeries, including the Bouchon Bakery, Ad Hoc and Per Se. (You'll find Bouchon Bakery spread across the country with locations in Las Vegas, New York and Los Angeles, and Per Se in New York.) Per Se went on to receive three Michelin stars, Bouchon Bakery holds one star and Ad Hoc also received three stars, at one point giving Keller seven stars in the same year.
Check out Keller's recipes here.
54: Gilles Goujon, France
Restaurant: Auberge du Vieux
Where You'll Find Him: Fonjoncouse, France
Signature Dish: "Rotten" egg with black truffles on a wild mushroom and truffle puree
Gilles Goujon started cooking as a teen, working as an apprentice in the former restaurant at the Gare de Béziers. By 20, he was assistant chef at Ragueneau, where he met Roger Verge, who brought him to Moulin de Mougins, which had three Michelin stars.
After cutting his chops, Goujon moved to Marseille, working at the two-star Le Petit Nice under Jean-Paul Passedat. He then joined L'Escale, helping the one-star restaurant earn its second Michelin star.
By 30, Goujon was ready to open his own restaurant. He began in the small town of Fonjoncouse, which had wanted to create a destination restaurant to drive visitors to the village. Sure enough, Goujon's cooking brought them in, especially after he won Meilleur Ouvrier de France. The stars quickly followed: first one star, then a second, and by 2010, Goujon cemented his fame and became a Michelin three-star chef.
Check out Goujon's recipes here.
53: Quique Dacosta, Spain
Restaurant: Quique Dacosta Restaurant
Where You'll Find Him: Denia, Spain
Sample Dish: Tomatoes bravo (shown)
A self-taught chef who began his career in a pizza joint washing dishes, Quique Dacosta began working at El Poblet restaurant when he was just 17. Twenty years later, he was still there, and the restaurant became Quique Dacosta Restaurant.
Dacosta transformed the restaurant and its food. He used edible papers to create landscapes of food, including a replica of Frank Gehry's Guggenheim.
With numerous cookbooks and awards on his resume, Dacosta earned three stars for his Spanish restaurant.
Check out Dacosta's recipes here.
52: Olivier Nasti, France
Restaurant: La Table d'Olivier Nasti
Where You'll Find Him: Kaysersberg, France
Signature Dish: 64° egg with wild garlic and morel mushrooms (shown)
Olivier Nasti began his chef training first at Chateau Servin in Belfort, France, and then trained with Marc Haeberlin at Auberge de I'ill. Understanding what goes into Michelin-star dishes, Nasti began to build his own status as a distinguished chef.
Heading his own restaurant at the Relais & Chateaux Chambard Hotel, Nasti earned his first Michelin star in 2005 and his second in 2014.
51: David Toutain, France
Restaurant: David Toutain
Where You'll Find Him: Paris
Sample Dish: Langoustine (shown)
Joining French Chef Alain Passard's culinary team at the age of 20, David Toutain was promoted within a year and in three years given carte blanche as he mastered vegetables. He continued on to l'Ambroisie, working alongside Bernard Pacaud.
Jetting off to Spain and then to New York to continue his training, it was the 2010 birth of his son that made Toutain return to France and open his own restaurant. His avant-garde style garnered it his first Michelin star by 2015.
Last year, Toutain received his second star.
50: Peter Knogl, Switzerland
Restaurant: Cheval Blanc - Hotel Les Trois Rois
Where You'll Find Him: Basel, Switzerland
Signature Dish: Crabmeat chili with vichyssoise and caviar
The Bavarian Chef Peter Knogl spent much of his time cooking in Michelin-starred restaurants on his way to the top. But before he was thrown in with the very best, he watched and worked in his family's small restaurant, owned by his grandfather.
As he found his own footing in restaurants throughout Germany, Spain, England and Switzerland, Knogl eventually ended up at the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois in Basel, Switzerland.
Serving as chef de cuisine at the hotel's Le Cheval Blanc for 13 years, Knogl has been celebrated with three Michelin stars.
Check out Knogl's recipes here.
49: Hans Haas, Germany
Where You'll Find Him: Munich
Sample Dish: Turbot fillet in egg yolk sauce mignonette (shown)
Another chef hailing from Germany, Hans Haas has headed up Tantris for nearly 30 years. The restaurant welcomed diners for the first time at the end of 1971, receiving its first Michelin star in 1973 and its second the following year.
Although Haas didn't join until 1991, he has continued the restaurant's two-star reputation for three decades with his elegant yet simple dishes. After all, he is known as the "master of simplicity."
Check out Haas' recipes here.
48: Massimiliano Alajmo, Italy
Restaurant: Le Calandre
Where You'll Find Him: Padua, Italy
Signature Dish: Saffron risotto (shown)
Massimiliano (Max) Alajmo was a third-generation restauranteur, joining his family's cooking tradition when he was old enough to work in a kitchen. He went to a school of restaurant management in Italy, then joined the kitchens of chefs Alfredo Chocchetti, Michel Guerard and Marc Veyrat.
Finally, he returned to his family's kitchen, joining his brother to take over the business. Max took control of the kitchen of Le Calandre, and before you knew it, at age 28, the restaurant was awarded three Michelin stars. Max was the youngest chef to ever earn such honors.
The family business has since grown to operate three restaurants in Italy — Le Calandre, Quadri and La Montecchia — as well as three Il Calandrino bistros, abc Quadri and abc Montecchi. And the recently opened Caffe Stern is the family's first foray into Paris.
Check out Alajmo's recipes here.
47: Daniel Boulud, United States
Where You'll Find Him: New York
Sample Dish: Napoleon of tuna with a mosaic salad (shown)
Daniel Boulud became an apprentice at the two-star Nadron in Lyon, France, at the young age of 14. By 17, he joined the three-star team of La Mere Blanc. He continued on his amazing path, working at other three-star restaurants in France and Denmark before arriving in New York in 1982.
Conquering Manhattan, Boulud worked at the Polo Lounge, Plaza Athenee New York and Le Cirque, where he was awarded a James Beard Award 10 years after his arrival. The following year, he opened his Upper East Side restaurant.
Again, he was honored with a James Beard Award, and five years after opening, Michelin descended with a star. Boulud has continued to win James Beard Awards as he opened new restaurants in Florida's Palm Beach, New York, London, Miami, Singapore, Montreal, Las Vegas, Boston, Washington D.C., and Toronto.
Check out Boulud's recipes here.
46: Sergio Herman, Belgium
Restaurant: The Jane
Where You'll Find Him: Antwerp, Belgium
Sample Dish: Squid and scallop with seaweed (shown)
Another chef who grew up watching his grandparents and then his parents cooking, Sergio Herman's family restaurant on the Netherlands-Belgian border served up seafood for decades. Herman had to help out in the kitchen, cleaning mussels, cutting vegetables and washing dishes.
Naturally, Herman set off for culinary school, aiming to be the best and graduating at the top of his class before becoming an apprentice at a Michelin two-star restaurant in Holland. When he returned to his family's restaurant and attempted to serve his new dishes, customers only wanted the traditional meals they had grown to love over the years. He was disheartened until Michelin took note. Quickly, Herman was awarded one star, then two and then three.
He opened a seaside restaurant, Pure C Bar & Restaurant, and received two more stars. Herman decided it was time to shoot for the big city, leaving his family's business to his brother and opening The Jane in Antwerp, Belgium, again adding another two stars to his collection. He has since opened a number of additional restaurants.
45: Yoshihiro Murata, Japan
Where You'll Find Him: Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan
Sample Dish: Vegetables with kudzu jelly and aromatic kombu dashi (shown)
The family business runs strong for many chefs on this list. Yoshihiro Murata's family ran Kikunoi Restaurant in Kyoto, where Murata learned the basics and developed a love for cooking.
Moving to France to study cooking, Murata returned to Japan and became an apprentice at Kamome before returning to the family business. However, Murata chose to open his own restaurant, Kikunoi Kiyamachi. Additional restaurants followed, including three-star Kikunoi Honten and Kikunoi Akasaka and Kikunoi Roan, which each were awarded two stars, giving Murata seven stars.
A renowned master, Murata has received multiple awards for his accomplishments as a chef and serves as the director of the NPO Japanese Culinary Academy, which he helped found in 2004.
Check out Murata's recipes here.
44: Franck Giovannini, Switzerland
Restaurant: Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville de Crissier
Where You'll Find Him: Crissier, Switzerland
Sample Dish: Cardons with black truffles (shown)
Franck Giovannini may not have grown up in a family restaurant, but he did begin his career as an apprentice with Claude Joseph at Auberge de la Couronne in Switzerland. From there, he jetted off halfway around the world to Vancouver, followed by stints in New York and Boston.
With his jet-setting restaurant days behind him, he returned to Switzerland in 2000 and became the sous chef de cuisine at Crissier's Hotel de Ville restaurant. Within two years, he took over the restaurant and led the way to its three-star status.
Still heading up the restaurant, Giovannini is also the president of the Swiss Bocuse d'Or Academy, which hosts an annual cooking competition.
Check out Giovannini's recipes here.
43: Hideki Ishikawa, Japan
Restaurant: Restaurant Ishikawa
Where You'll Find Him: Tokyo
Sample Dish: Hard clam and simmered turnip topped with Japanese pepper bud (shown)
Arriving in Tokyo at the age of 20, Hideki Ishikawa originally wanted to work in fashion. When he couldn't find work, he got a job in a cafe as temporary employment.
Before he knew it, Ishikawa was climbing the culinary ranks in various kitchens still working as a chef 17 years after his arrival. By that time, Ishikawa felt it was time to branch out on his own, opening his restaurant that eventually received Michelin's highest honor of three stars.
42: Eric Pras, France
Restaurant: Maison Lameloise
Where You'll Find Him: Chagny, France
Sample Dish: Burgundy snail tart, fresh garden salad and seasonal vegetables, fizzy pickled garlic and nettle coulis (shown)
Eric Pras began his time in the kitchen at the age of 15 when he worked as an apprentice at the Hotel Central de Renaison. From there, it was one great restaurant after the next, with Pras continuing to improve his culinary skills and create innovative cuisine.
When he took over the 90-year-old Maison Lameloise in Burgundy, France, he had to fill the shoes of former chefs who had earned three Michelin stars for the restaurant.
He nailed it and has done so for a decade. Since then, he also brought the French restaurant to Shanghai, opening a second location in 2018.
Check out Pras' recipes here.
41: Andoni Luis Aduriz, Spain
Where You'll Find Him: Errenteria, Spain
Signature Dish: Suspension squid silk (shown)
Born in San Sebastian, resting on the Spanish and French border in the Basque region, Andoni Luis Aduriz grew up surrounded by Basque cooking. Studying cooking in school, Aduriz moved to Catalonia to work with Ferran Adria at El Bulli.
When he left the restaurant to join Mugaritz in 1998, he led it to a Michelin two-star rating in 2006 — one he has kept ever since.
His secret? He closes the restaurant for four months a year to rejuvenate and allow for time to create and experiment with new ingredients. This novel concept makes Aduriz one of the top 50 chefs in the world.
Check out Aduriz's recipes here.
40: Dominique Crenn, United States
Restaurant: Atelier Crenn
Where You'll Find Her: San Francisco
Sample Dish: Kir Breton aperitif (shown)
One of the few women gracing the list of world's best chefs, Dominique Crenn was born in France. Spending her summers on a family farm in Brittany, she grew up surrounded by fresh foods. Her parents' love for fine dining also took her to several Michelin-starred restaurants as a child.
But Crenn knew the chef world was dominated by men. Instead of heading to culinary school, she earned a master's degree in business and economics. Yet, the calling was still there.
She headed to the United States, hoping to find a break in the kitchens of San Francisco. Her first job was with Jeremiah Tower at Stars. Other restaurant jobs followed, including a stint as the first female head chef of Indonesia when she worked at the InterContinental Hotel in Jakarta. She returned to California, earning her first Michelin star at the InterContinental's Luce in 2009.
Two years later, she opened her own restaurant, which was awarded two stars, making her the first woman in the U.S. to earn the recognition. In 2019, Crenn announced all of the dishes at her restaurant will be meat-free.
Check out Cren''s recipes here and here.
39: Paul Pairet, China
Where You'll Find Him: Shanghai
Signature Dish: Tomato mozza and again
A relatively new Michelin three-star chef — receiving the honor in 2017 for Ultraviolet — Paul Pairet is a French-trained chef who began at Paris' Cafe Mosaic working with Alain Ducasse. Ducasse was so impressed by Pairet's work that he hired him to lead his venture in Istanbul.
Years of work took him to Hong Kong, Sydney, Madrid, Singapore, and he finally landed in Shanghai. Here, he operates multiple restaurants: the French-inspired Mr & Mrs Bund, Polux French Cafe and the Chop Chop Club steakhouse.
However, it is Ultraviolet, his experimental avant-garde hotspot, that gets the most fanfare. The restaurant has been named one of the world's 50 best since 2015, serving a 20-course dinner that will cost you more than $600.
Check out Pairet's recipes here.
38: Pierre Gagnaire, France
Restaurant: Pierre Gagnaire
Where You'll Find Him: Paris
Sample Dish: Beet-and-orange-infused daikon with onion puree
It is every chef's dream to make it in Paris, and for French-born Pierre Gagnaire, that dream came true at Hotel Balzac. The hotel is home to Gagnaire's flagship restaurant, which currently holds three Michelin stars.
They're not the only stars he's earned throughout his career though. In total, he has 14 Michelin stars — making him one of the world's most decorated chefs.
Working in St. Etienne, France, Gagnaire launched his three-star reputation. Although he is committed to his own restaurant, where he has operated for 15 years, he lends his skills to restaurants in London, Las Vegas, Dubai, Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong as well.
Check out Gagnaire's recipes here.
37: Grant Achatz, United States
Where You'll Find Him: Chicago
Signature Dish: Lamb 86 (shown) with 60 garnishes of 86 components
When Grant Achatz graduated from culinary school at the age of 21, he hoped to become a world-renowned chef like his mentors and idols. He grew up working in restaurants, and his family even owned a diner in Michigan.
Joining Thomas Keller for five years at the French Laundry, he rose to chef de cuisine. Then, he worked at El Bulli in Spain and Trio outside of Chicago, where he accepted his first executive chef position. Here, he received rising star recognition from the James Beard Foundation, which led to Achatz partnering to open a restaurant of his own.
Alinea was born and received three stars from Michelin — one of only 12 U.S. restaurants to hold the honor. He has since opened additional restaurants in Chicago, including The Aviary restaurant and bar.
Check out Achatz's recipes here.
36: Enrico Crippa, Italy
Restaurant: Piazza Duomo
Where You'll Find Him: Alba, Italy
Signature Dish: Salad 21, 31, 41, 51 (shown), a salad with the number of ingredients based on the season
Also training with the likes of Ferran Adria at El Bulli in Spain, Enrico Crippa began in the restaurant business at age 16. After working with Gualtiero Marchesi in Milan, he eventually moved to Japan to work at his mentor's restaurants located in Kobe and Osaka.
Upon returning to his homeland, Crippa opened the doors to his very own restaurant: Piazza Duomo. He received his first Michelin star less than a year later. It was followed by a second star in 2007 and then a third five years later.
To help others pursue culinary careers and explore gastronomy, Crippa is president of the Italian Academy des Bocuse d’Or.
Watch Crippa put the signature salad together here.
35: Michel Guerard, France
Restaurant: Les Pres d'Eugenie
Where You'll Find Him: Eugenie-les-Bains, France
Sample Dish: Tsarina egg with caviar (shown) using smoked eel jelly, vegetable cream and caviar
Born in 1933, Michel Guerard is considered a founder of nouvelle cuisine. Working at esteemed Parisian restaurants such as Maxim's in the 1950s, Guerard studied pastries and was recognized as the top pastry chef in France in 1958. Michelin also recognized the young chef after he opened his first restaurant, Le Pot-au-Feu, in 1965. His first star came two years after opening and his second three years later.
Falling in love with the daughter of a spa and hotel chain owner who ran a spa in Eugenie-les-Bains, Guerard helped her transform the spa and developed a healthy menu to entice Parisians to travel. It was a resounding success, and his restaurant not only won three Michelin stars, but also made the village a spa destination.
The couple, who had married, purchased a nearby vineyard and introduced their first wine from Chateau de Bachen in 1988. Guerard's restaurant has held its three-star standing since 1977.
Check out Guerard's recipes here.
34: Clare Smyth, England
Where You'll Find Her: London
Sample Dish: Lamb carrot with braised lamb and sheep's milk yogurt
London's only female chef — and the very first to operate a Michelin three-star restaurant — Clare Smyth grew up on an Irish farm, understanding early on the importance of fresh ingredients.
Moving to England to train as a chef at the age of 16, she worked with world-famous chef Gordon Ramsay, eventually rising to chef patron. It was here that Smyth earned her three-star status, which she held.
She opened her own restaurant, Core, in 2017, winning two stars in 2019.
Check out Smyth's recipes here.
33: Yoshihiro Narisawa, Japan
Where You'll Find Him: Tokyo
Signature Dish: Soil soup, made with burdock root and soil (shown)
Yoshihiro Narisawa learned much of his culinary skills by training at Michelin-starred restaurants with European legends such as Joel Robuchon, Fredy Girardet and Paul Bocuse.
Narisawa spent nearly a decade honing his classic training before returning to his home country of Japan to open his own European restaurant, La Napoule, in Odawara.
After much success, Narisawa relocated to Tokyo, renaming his restaurant Les Creations de Narisawa, which was eventually shortened to Narisawa — his last name was all that was needed as he gained notoriety around the world. His restaurant holds two Michelin stars and he is particularly renowned for using soil (!) in his cooking.
Check out Narisawa's recipes here.
32: Heinz Reitbauer, Austria
Where You'll Find Him: Vienna
Sample Dish: Beef short rib with Chinese cabbage, purple salsify and horseradish
Following in his parents' footsteps, Heinz Reitbauer grew up in his family restaurant and then attended hotel management school in Germany. He followed schooling at restaurants led by Alain Chapel and Anton Mosimann, living in France and England respectively.
When his family opened a new restaurant at the Steirereck Inn, Reitbaurer returned to serve as chef de cuisine. The restaurant had success at the Pogusch location since its opening in 1996, but the family decided to relocate the restaurant to Stadtpark in Vienna.
In 2012, Reitbauer was awarded two Michelin stars.
Check out Reitbauer's recipes here.
31: Heston Blumenthal, England
Restaurant: The Fat Duck
Where You'll Find Him: Bray, England
Signature Dish: Mad Hatter Tea Party's mock turtle soup (shown)
As an avant-garde chef, Heston Blumenthal takes diners on a journey at his restaurant, The Fat Duck, providing an "itinerary" for your dining journey with an "Alice in Wonderland" vibe. The restaurant opened in 1995, and within a decade, it was honored with three Michelin stars and named the Best Restaurant in the World in 2005.
But before Blumenthal took the world by storm, he began his career at the age of 16. The kitchens of London wouldn't take him at that age, so he began to teach himself the art of French cuisine. Whenever he could scrape together money for trips to France, he would head abroad and research.
Three stars without any formal training, apprenticeship or experience in a Michelin-starred restaurant. Blumenthal was deemed a prodigy, which means, of course, he was knighted by the Queen.
Check out Blumenthal's recipes here.
30: Tetsuya Fujiwara, Japan
Restaurant: Fujiya 1935
Where You'll Find Him: Osaka, Japan
Sample Dish: Prawns cooked with cherry blossom-flavored salt
Four generations of Testuya Fujiwara's family served as chefs in Japan, influencing Fujiwara's career as a chef himself. He trained in French cuisine before moving to Italy and Spain, eventually working at L'Esguard.
Fujiwara returned to Japan in 2003, taking over the family restaurant and renaming it Fujiya 1935 to honor his great-grandfather's original restaurant. (When it opened in 1935, it was considered one of the most popular restaurants in the city.)
Fujiwara's fusion of European cuisine into those of his Japanese roots earned him three Michelin stars.
29: Jerome Banctel, France
Restaurant: Le Gabriel at La Reserve
Where You'll Find Him: Paris
Signature Dish: Vendee pigeon with cacao and crunchy buckwheat (shown)
Within the luxurious La Reserve Hotel and Spa, Jerome Banctel heads Le Gabriel, overlooking the Champs-Elysées garden. Coming from Brittany, the chef adds a few local touches to his Parisian menus.
Banctel got his start working for the likes of Alain Senderens at highly regarded restaurants such as Le Crillon and L'Ambroisie. His style is the epitome of French cuisine, although his time in Japan is evident with a hint of Asian touches as well.
His work earned him two Michelin stars.
28: Christian Bau, France
Restaurant: Victor's Fine Dining by Christian Bau
Where You'll Find Him: Schloss Berg, Germany
Signature Dish: Coco yuzu sorbet (shown)
Christian Bau, like many European chefs, began his studies in the kitchen at the age of 16. Apprenticing at a hotel in Achern, Germany, Bau's career took him into the mess kitchen of German military officers before he found his way back to hotel fine dining restaurants.
Bau has been chef de cuisine of Victor's Fine Dining since 1998. In his first year, he received his first Michelin star. Once it received its third Michelin star, the restaurant became Victor's Fine Dining by Christian Bau.
At the time, Bau was the youngest German to have such prestige. He's held his three stars.
27: Daniel Humm, United States
Restaurant: Eleven Madison Park
Where You'll Find Him: New York
Signature Dish: Duck with daikon and plum
Swiss-born Daniel Humm began working in kitchens at an even younger age of 14. While working in some of the best restaurants and hotels in Switzerland, the rising star earned his first Michelin star a decade later.
With that success, Humm relocated to the United States, serving as the executive chef of San Francisco's Campton Place. After rave reviews from California foodies, he crossed the continent to become the executive chef of Eleven Madison Park.
Since then, Humm bought the restaurant and earned seven James Beard awards along with three Michelin stars. The restaurant was named as the World's Best Restaurant in 2017.
Check out Humm's recipes here.
26: Nadia Santini, Italy
Restaurant: Dal Pescatore
Where You'll Find Her: Canneto sull'Oglio, Italy
Sample Dish: Tortelli de zucca – pumpkin, mostarda and amaretti pasta
One of the best female chefs in the world, and the top female chef in Italy, Nadia Santini has held three Michelin stars at her restaurant since 1996.
Born in Vicenza, Italy, Santini married Antonio Santini in 1974. His family owned Dal Pescatore and after honeymooning in France and sampling some of the world's best cuisine, they returned ready to make some changes to the family eatery. Nadia began cooking, learning from Antonio's mother and grandmother.
Combining the traditional Italian style with the French cuisine she had experienced, Nadia's dishes began gaining attention. In the 1980s, renowned chefs began to visit, and Relais & Chateaux added the restaurant to its collection in 1992. Michelin followed suit.
Check out Santini's recipes here.
25: Joan Roca, Spain
Restaurant: El Celler de Can Roca
Where You'll Find Him: Girona, Spain
Sample Dish: Lobster with mugwort and toasted butter
Joan Roca began cooking at 9 years old when his mother asked him to help out at their family restaurant. The entire family was involved with the restaurant, and to this day, Roca works with his brothers, Josep and Jordi, at El Celler de Can Roca. Cooking traditional Catalonian recipes in the restaurant, Roca studied hospitality in hopes of learning about other influences. He trained with Ferran Adria and Santi Santamaria in Spain before working in France with George Blue.
By 22, Roca was ready to start his own restaurant. Opening next door to his parents' spot, Roca began El Celler de Can Roca using a technique known as sous-vide cooking (under vacuum). The restaurant was well-received, and Roca moved to a bigger space — just down the road from his parents.
In 2013, Roca's restaurant was named the Best Restaurant in the World, and the chef has maintained a Michelin three-star rating.
Check out Roca's recipes here.
24: Eric Frechon, France
Where You'll Find Him: Paris
Signature Dish: Bresse Farm hen poached in a bladder with yellow wine, crayfish, giblets and black truffle
One of the leaders in French cuisine is Eric Frechon, who has held three Michelin stars for his renowned restaurant, Epicure. The restaurant has long been named the No. 1 restaurant in France and the world among food reviewers and customers alike.
Holding three stars for a decade and working at Le Bristol Paris' Epicure for more than 20 years, Frechon is considered royalty in the cooking world, and he is a chevalier of the Legion of Honour. He was named Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 1993.
Check out Frechon's recipes here and here.
23: David Kinch, United States
Where You'll Find Him: Los Gatos, California
Sample Dish: Green garlic-infused custard (shown)
Born in Pennsylvania, David Kinch got his start at the famed Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. Kinch moved to New York after graduation, working at the Hotel Parker Meridian and La Petite Ferme.
Moving to California to work on Mount Eden Vineyards, Kinch fell in love with the area and worked in San Francisco at Silks and Ernie's. In between, he'd find himself in Europe and Japan, picking up new ideas and cooking alongside Michelin-starred chefs. In Germany, you could find him back of the house at the two-star Schweizer Stuben. In France, it was three-star L'Esperance. In Spain, Akelarre, also a three-star.
Kinch opened his first restaurant when he returned to California, operating Sent Sovi bistro for seven years. In 2002, he opened Manresa in Silicon Valley. The restaurant maintains a three-star status.
Check out Kinch's recipes here.
22: Victor Arguinzoniz, Spain
Restaurant: Asador Extebarri
Where You'll Find Him: Axpe, Spain
Sample Dish: Beef chop, salt-cured and dry-aged for 45 days (shown)
Known for being extremely shy and hating publicity as well as being a master of grilling, Victor Arguinzoniz tries to hide away from the world in his small Spanish village. But hide he cannot because Arguinzoniz creates dishes that send people, especially press, directly to him in search of a transformative gastronomical experience.
The self-taught chef grew up on a Basque farm that was void of electricity and heat. Instead, Arguinzoniz watched his family cook over the hearth, and he learned to do the same. Grilling came naturally to him and he uncovered ways to grill foods that one wouldn't expect.
Michelin was certainly impressed, giving him a star for his hearth-cooked masterpieces.
Check out Arguinzoniz's grilling tips here.
21: Michel Troigrois, France
Restaurant: La Maison Troisgros
Where You'll Find Him: Roanne, France
Sample Dish: Roasted pigeon with dashi broth (shown)
When both your father and uncle helped revolutionize the culinary scene in France, you have some pretty big shoes to fill. Michel Troigrois' father, Pierre, and uncle, Jean, brought La Maison Troisgros to the world and featured chefs such as Guy Savoy. When Michel was growing up, he watched the chefs at work, along with his brother, Claude, and sister, Anne-Marie, who also have their own restaurants.
Michel trained at Lycee Technique Hotelier at Grenoble, then worked in Parisian restaurants like Taillevent and Moulin de Mougins. After his uncle passed away in 1983, Michel stepped in to make La Maison Troisgros great again.
He made his late uncle and father proud, carrying three Michelin stars.
Check out Troigrois' recipes here.
20: Rasmus Kofoed, Denmark
Where You'll Find Him: Copenhagen, Denmark
Sample Dish: Jerusalem artichoke leaves, walnut oil and rye vinegar (shown)
You wouldn't expect to find one of the world's best restaurants atop a football stadium, but that is where Geranium is perched: eight stories above the streets of football fans who may be heading in to see their favorite club team play.
As this list enters into the top 20 chefs of the world, we find the best of the best begins with Rasmus Kofoed, winner of the Bocuse d'Or's gold medal in 2011 and chef and owner of the three-star Geranium.
Kofoed began his training in Copenhagen at Hotel D'Angleterre. From there, he set off to Belgium, working at a Michelin two-star restaurant. He returned to Copenhagen and worked at a number of restaurants until he was able to open own. Once he won gold, Michelin followed with a star, then two and eventually three by 2016. He has held his stars ever since.
Check out Kofoed's recipes here.
19: Andreas Caminada, Switzerland
Restaurant: Schauenstein Schloss
Where You'll Find Him: Furstenau, Switzerland
Sample Dish: Swiss cheese with fermented vegetables (shown)
The only Swiss chef found in the top 20 is the young Andreas Caminada, who had earned his three stars by the time he was 33.
Deep within a medieval castle, in the extremely small town of Furstenau, Carminada took over the kitchen of Schauenstein Schloss at age 26. It was a far cry from his previous establishments in Zurich and across Germany. Yet, he put this tiny village and castle on the culinary map. The restaurant has been one of the world's 50 best since 2015.
Caminada opened additional casual restaurants at the Grand Resort in Bad Ragaz and Badrutt's Palace Hotel in Saint Mortiz. Despite being "casual," Michelin awarded them both with a star. (That gives him five Michelin stars in total.)
Check out more Caminada recipes here.
18. Virgilio Martinez, Peru
Where You'll Find Him: Lima, Peru
Signature Dish: Hedgehogs floating in Loche squash (shown)
Arguably the best chef in South America — and the only one from the continent to land in the top 20 — Virgilio Martínez brings cuisines from around the planet to the Peruvian capital at his restaurant, Central.
As a child, Martinez loved to sample dishes from other cultures, enjoying Chinese, Japanese and Italian dishes found in the city's multicultural restaurants. But Peru didn't offer culinary schools, so Martinez had to travel to discover his passion. He began cooking in Canada and loved it so much that he ignored his law degree and enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu's London location. Then, he traveled again, sampling new cuisines across Europe and Asia.
After a decade, Martinez returned to Peru, cooking for Gaston Acurio's restaurant. When he set off on his own in 2010, he created a menu of Peruvian and Pacific Ocean-inspired dishes. Although he cannot earn a Michelin star in Peru (yet), he opened his second restaurant, Lima, in London, which did.
Check out Martinez's recipes here.
17: Peter Goossens, Belgium
Restaurant: Hof Van Cleve
Where You'll Find Him: Kruishoutem, Belgium
Sample Dish: Line-caught sea bass, grapefruit, sorrel and quinoa (shown)
The No. 1 restaurant in Belgium has held this title for 15 years, with Hof Van Cleve holding its three stars for that duration. If this is your restaurant, as it is for chef Peter Goossens, it can be deduced that you are the best chef in the country.
Goossens and his wife, Lieve Fermans, operate the Belgian restaurant after a career that was already impressive. Trained at the Ter Duinen culinary school and then working with top chefs in Paris, Goossens was quick to open his own restaurant.
Hof van Cleve didn't receive instant adoration from Michelin, however. It took years to get its original two-star status. But once it reached three stars, Goossens cemented his position in culinary stardom.
Check out Goossens' recipes here and here.
16: Martin Berasategui, Spain
Restaurant: Martin Bersategui
Where You'll Find Him: Lasarte-Oria, Spain
Signature Dish: Vegetable hearts salad with seafood and cream of lettuce
Even though Spanish chefs filled this list of best chefs, there is only one in the top 20: Martin Berasategui.
Since childhood, Berasategui was a part of Spanish cuisine. His parents and aunt operated Bodegon Alejandro restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain. Berasategui, of course, learned the ropes from family before leaving for France at the age of 15 to study with chefs such as Andre Mandion, Didier Oudil, Michel Guerard and Alain Ducasse.
Returning to Spain, he opened his own restaurant with his wife, Oneka Arregui, for which he was awarded a Michelin star. He received his second star in 1996 and then his third in 2001. He is the most decorated Spanish chef to date with 12 Michelin stars to his name.
Check out Berasategui's recipes here.
15: Alain Passard, France
Where You'll Find Him: Paris
Sample Dish: Beetroot tartare (shown)
The Michelin three-star Alain Passard name appears in many of the biographies of other world-class chefs on this list who trained beneath him. Beginning his own career in 1971, Passard knows the importance of mentoring young chefs. He worked at multiple Michelin-starred restaurants, eventually earning two stars by the age of 26.
Taking over former employer Alain Senderens' L'Archestrate in 1986, he renamed the restaurant L'Arpege. Within the first year, he received his first Michelin star. For the restaurant's 10th anniversary, Michelin presented a third star, which Passard has kept into current day.
For more than 20 years, Passard's restaurant has been meat-free, one of the first haute cuisine restaurants to be plant-based.
Check out Passard's recipes here.
14: Pascal Barbot, France
Where You'll Find Him: Paris
Signature Dish: Mushroom foie gras mille-feuille (shown)
He may not have been able to work at the age of 7, but Pascal Barbot knew he wanted to be a chef. (And like many, Barbot worked for Alain Passard.) As soon as he was able to take a job in a kitchen, Barbot was working in admired restaurants such as Les Saveurs in London, Maxim's in Paris and La Maison Troisgros in Roanne.
While working at L'Arpege, he met Christophe Rohat, and the duo opened L'Astrance together in 2000. Michelin bestowed a star the following year, a second in 2005 and a third in 2007.
Barbot also received recognition as France's best chef.
Check out Barbot's recipes here.
13: Seiji Yamamoto, Japan
Restaurant: Nihonryori RyuGin
Where You'll Find Him: Tokyo
Signature Dish: Sushi
Seiji Yamamoto took his time perfecting his cooking skills before opening his own restaurant. After culinary school, Yamamoto joined Hirohisa Koyama's Aoyagi, where he spent 11 years learning kaiseki.
And perfecting it, he did. Yamamoto is the only chef from Japan who landed in the top 20 best chefs in the world.
Opening his restaurant, Nohonryori RyuGin, to showcase kaiseki cuisine, Yamamoto received two stars in 2008 and then became one of Japan's best chefs when he was granted his third star.
Check out Yamamoto's recipes here.
12: Alain Ducasse, France
Restaurant: Plaza Atheneé
Where You'll Find Him: Monaco
Signature Dish: Cappon magro
Another name that has appeared on this list again and again? Alain Ducasse, who not only helped many of the world's best chefs get their start but has 17 Michelin stars to his name — the most of any chef alive.
French-born Ducasse began cooking at the age of 16 and isn't settling down anytime soon. He now has 36 restaurants around the world, but his flagship can be found at The Dorchester hotel in London. With so many awarded restaurants in various countries, Ducasse is the first chef to have three Michelin stars in three different cities.
Visit Paris' Plaza Atheneé for a setting out of a fairytale before dining on the haute cuisine Ducasse is now famous for.
Check out Ducasse's recipes here.
11: Yannick Alleno, France
Restaurant: Alleno Paris
Where You'll Find Him: Paris
Signature Dish: L'oeuf en habit vert (shown), poached eggs with spinach dressing
French bistros are a dime a dozen, but for Yannick Alleno, it was the family business. He grew up in the kitchens of his family's suburban bistros and set off to make his own way at the ripe age of 15.
Training in Paris with Gabriel Biscay, Roland Durand, Martial Enguehard and Louis Grondard, he became the head chef at Scribe. There he was awarded his first Michelin star in 1999. A second came three years later. Another two stars came to Alleno as head chef at Rue de Rivoli's Le Meurice hotel in 2003. Four years later, Alleno earned the first of his Michelin three stars.
That is when he knew he was ready to launch his own company. When he opened Alleno Paris, he was quickly rewarded with three stars seven months later. His Le 1947 restaurant, which opened in 2017, also won three stars — giving him two three-star restaurants in the same city. Alleno also has a Michelin star for his Seoul restaurant and Pavilion Ledoyen, as well as two stars for L'Abysse.
Check out Alleno's recipes here.
10: Arnaud Lallement, France
Restaurant: L'Assiette Champenoise
Where You'll Find Him: Tinquex, France
Sample Dish: Parmesan roquette (shown)
Entering the top 10 world's best chefs, Arnaud Lallement continues France's domination of the culinary scene. Born in the home of Champagne — Reims, France — Lallement's parents ran an esteemed family restaurant. He jokes that he learned to say words for ingredients before he learned to say mom and dad.
Knowing that he would be a chef since he was 5 years old, Lallement took over for his father after he suddenly passed at 50. L'Assiette Champenoise had held a Michelin star but lost it prior to Lallement's takeover. Under his direction, though, the star was regained.
Lallement took the cuisine even further. In 2005, he won a second star and a third in 2014. Today, Lallement's own son is quickly learning the business as well.
Check out Lallement's recipes here.
9: Bjorn Frantzen, Sweden
Where You'll Find Him: Stockholm
Signature Dish: Scallop with dashi, hollandaise and truffle (shown)
The only Swedish chef in the top 10 began a career playing football before becoming a chef (not unlike former footballer and top Michelin chef Gordon Ramsey.) Bjorn Frantzen played for AIK until 1996, but before he played, he attended a restaurant school in Stockholm and cooked in the military.
After his football career, Frantzen went back to work in the kitchen, creating dishes at restaurants like Pied a Terre and L'Arpege.
In 2008, Frantzen opened his first restaurant, Frantzen/Lindeberg (now just Frantzen), which garnered him one Michelin star in 2009 and a second in 2010.
Watch Frantzen create his signature dish here.
8: Jonnie Boer, Netherlands
Restaurant: De Librije
Where You'll Find Him: Zwolle, Netherlands
Sample Dish: Pork crackling (shown)
Becoming the head chef of a 16th-century monastery library (thus its name), Jonnie Boer started his prestigious career at De Librije in 1989, when he was just 24. In 1992, he bought the restaurant with his wife, Therese, and he earned his first Michelin star the following year.
When he won his second star in 1999, he was the youngest two-star chef in The Netherlands. In 2004, it was the second Dutch restaurant to ever be granted a third star. The following year, Boer was knighted.
He followed up De Librije with Librije's Zusje, which earned a star within six months of opening and a second star in 2011.
Check out Boer's recipes here.
7: Dan Barber, United States
Restaurant: Blue Hill
Where You'll Find Him: New York
Signature Dish: Honeynut squash
The last American on this list may be considered the best chef from the United States, but at No. 7, he is one of the best in the world. Dan Barber owns the Blue Hill in New York and Bill Hill at Stone Barns in the state's Hudson Valley.
A leader in farm-to-table cuisine, Barber has received numerous James Beard Foundation awards and was appointed to the President's Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition by President Barack Obama.
Barber has worked to create new vegetables, including the honeynut squash, a breed of squash that is smaller with more intense flavor.
Check out Barber's recipes here.
6: Laurent Petit, France
Restaurant: Le Clos des Sens
Where You'll Find Him: Annecy-Le-Vieux, France
Sample Dish: Confit tout, Lotte de Lac d'Annecy poutargue soup, beluga lentils
Laurent Petit grew up as the son of a butcher. While he wasn't sure he wanted to be a chef, he nevertheless went to culinary school before joining the military. When he completed his service, he was hired as a clerk for Pied de Cochon. Something rubbed off, and he finally entered the restaurant business.
Interning with Michel Gierard, he developed a full passion for gastronomy. He went on to train with Gerard Boyer, Roger Verge and other famous chefs. By the time he turned 24, Petit was ready to take control. He opened his first restaurant, Le Peche Gourmand. Meeting and marrying a crepe chef, Petit and his wife opened the Close des Sens in 1992.
It took eight years, but Michelin finally discovered Petit and awarded him with a star. A second star followed in 2007, and following a complete renovation, the restaurant received its third star in 2018.
5: René Redzepi, Denmark
Where You'll Find Him: Copenhagen, Denmark
Signature Dish: The hen and the egg
Named the world's best restaurant in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014, René Redzepi took the world by storm when he opened Noma in Copenhagen.
Redzepi grew up in Denmark, Macedonia and Yugoslavia before enrolling in cooking school at age 15. Upon graduation, he apprenticed for four years at the Michelin-starred Pierre Andre. He continued to work mostly in Copenhagen restaurants when he was asked, at age 24, to be the head chef of the new Noma restaurant.
Known for making Nordic cuisine, Redzepi forages for ingredients to create his fresh dishes, and he also plays with fermentation and dehydration methods. Redzepi received two Michelin stars for his creations.
Watch Redzepi make his signature dish here.
4: Emmanuel Renaut, France
Restaurant: Flocons de Sel
Where You'll Find Him: Megeve, France
Sample Dish: Biscuit of pike, bouillon of onions and Achillee infused with melisse (shown)
Outside of Copenhagen, the remaining top five chefs are found in France. Getting his start in Paris, Emmanuel Renaut worked at illustrious restaurants such as Le Crillon and L'Aubege. After working at Claridge's in London, he returned to the mountains of France.
This is where Renaut grew up: skiing in the winter months and enjoying the nature around him year-round. When the Meillur Ouvrier de France chef opened Flocons de Sel, he enjoyed turning to local producers for his ingredients.
Leaving the city behind was the right choice. In 2006, Renaut won two stars from Michelin and a third in 2012.
Check out Renaut's recipes here.
3: Arnaud Donckele, France
Restaurant: La Vague d'Or
Where You'll Find Him: Saint-Tropez, France
Signature Dish: Scarlet summer ham flowers (shown)
When Alain Ducasse takes you under his wing and pronounces you "the next him," you know you must be one of the best. And this is exactly what happened with the third-best chef in the world, Arnaud Donckele.
Donckele heads up the Cheval Blanc Saint-Tropez's La Vague d'Or, but his beginnings are more humble. Working with his caterer father from the age of 12, he began his apprenticeships and eventually met Ducasse at Monaco Le Louis XV.
At 35, Donckele was named the Best Chef in the World in 2019. He has held three Michelin stars since 2013 at the "dazzling" La Vague d'Or.
2: Christophe Bacquie, France
Restaurant: Christophe Bacquie
Where You'll Find Him: Le Castellet, France
Sample Dish: Stuffed zucchini flower (shown)
Attending the Ecole Hoteliere from age 16, Christophe Bacquie chose to follow a back-of-the-house position and train in cooking. Following graduation, he worked for 12 years on the island of Corsica, where he had been raised.
While working for La Villa, Bacquie achieved his first Michelin star. In five years, he earned his second.
Moving on to the Hotel & Spa du Castellet in Provence, he received two stars for his work at what was originally Monte Cristo. Five years later, the restaurant was renamed for him, and in 2018, Bacquie was rewarded with a third star.
1: Mauro Colagreco, France
Where You'll Find Him: Menton, France
Signature Dish: Oyster
The world's top chef in 2020 is connected to a French restaurant but is actually of Italian and Argentinian descent. Mauro Colagreco was trained in Buenos Aires and worked in the Argentinian capital's best restaurants.
After his training, however, he flew to France to learn from the best, initially working under Bernard Loiseau. For years, he worked with distinguished chefs such as Alain Passard and Alain Ducasse.
In 2006, Colagreco opened Mirazur. He was named the "Revelation of the Year" and won his first Michelin star. Within three years the restaurant landed in the World's 50 Best Restaurants list, and Colagreco was named Chef of the Year — the first time a non-French chef earned the title. A second Michelin star followed, and Colagreco was named Grand Chef Relais & Chateaux.
Check out Colagreco's recipes here.