The ten most famous international Michelin-starred chefs

Michelin-starred chefs: what does it take to win a Michelin star?

The Michelin-starred chefs are real stars acclaimed all over the world and protagonists of events such as the Celebrity Chef Nights organized by Forte Village Resort in Sardinia.

The Michelin star is the most coveted award by chefs, but how do you win the Olympic Cuisine Medal? Restaurants can receive from one to three stars depending on the quality of the food, and according to the following criteria:

  • quality of ingredients used
  • mastery of taste control and cooking techniques
  • personality of the chef in his kitchen
  • value and consistency between the various table tests carried out

The allocation of stars does not include the decor of the restaurant, the way the table is set, and the quality of service that define the degree of comfort of the place.

The Michelin Guide, from 1926 to the present, is one of the world’s most important reference for assessing the quality of restaurants and hotels at a national and international level. Most of the Michelin inspectors have studied at the best hotel schools in the world, and have built-up work experience in several countries.

The job of a Michelin inspector, who could  judge more than 40000 restaurants and hotels in 24 countries, and 3 continents, must respect six fundamental principles:

  1. anonymity
  2. independence
  3. expertise
  4. passion for food
  5. quality
  6. reliability

The evaluation of a restaurant is based on the opinions of several inspectors obtained in several visits. Also, the inclusion in the Michelin guide is free.

Let’s find out which are the ten most famous international starred chefs.

Michelin-starred chefs: 10 chefs who have conquered the Olympus of world cuisine

Here are the ten most famous Michelin-starred chefs in the world:

  • Alain Ducasse: was born in 1956 and raised in a village called Castel-Sarrazin, 100 km from the Spanish border. Ducasse is the chef who holds the highest number of Michelin stars. His journey began at the age of 16 with an apprenticeship at the Pavillon Landais restaurant in Soustons. After the internship, he worked with Michel Guérard, a symbol of French cuisine, and the legendary pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre. In the late seventies, he was an assistant at the Moulin de Mougins, the restaurant by the famous chef Roger Verge and creator of the cuisine du Soleil, and discovered a love for Provencal cuisine and collaborated with a great personage of Nouvelle Cousine: Alan Chapel. In 1980, just 24 years old, Ducasse became chef at the restaurant L’Amandier and won the first of a long series of Michelin stars. A few years later, he took over the management of Louis XV of Monaco, which was awarded 3 stars after 33 months, at the same time Ducasse turned 33. In 1995 chef Ducasse opened his first restaurant in Paris, on Avenue Raymond Poincaré, and after just 8 months three more stars were added to his palmarès. Chef, entrepreneur, author of over 100 books, Ducasse in his incredible career has received overall a total of 21 Michelin stars, and his cuisine between simplicity and tradition never ceases to surprise.
  • Yannick Alléno: Born on December 16th, 1968, in Puteaux, just outside Paris, Yannick Alléno began his career at the Royal Monceau, working with Gabriel Biscay before entering the Sofitel Sèvres Hotel and working closely with chefs Roland Durand and Martial Henguehardm. But it is the experience in Drouant, under the leadership of Louis Grondard, which consolidates his skills in the industry and allows him to become the chief chef of the Scribe’s kitchen. In 2003 he was chef at the Michelin-starred restaurant of the Hotel Le Meurice, and in 2008 he led the brigade of Le 1947, refined restaurant of Hotel Cheval Blanc. That same year, he founded the Yannick Alléno group focused on French concepts and products in luxury catering at an international level. On July 1st 2014, Yannick Alléno took command of the kitchens at the Pavillon Ledoyen and won three Michelin stars. A year later, he was elected chef of the year 2015 by Gault&millau15. In 2017, the restaurant Le 1947 was also awarded three Michelin stars, a milestone that allowed Alléno to enter the narrow circle of chefs with two three-star restaurants. Founder of a kitchen magazine, YAM (Yannick Alléno Magazine, the chef’s magazine) and author of numerous books, chef Alléno has a visionary approach to the culinary art that drives him to experiment endlessly combining knowledge, excellence and boldness to find the purest flavours.
  • Martin Berasategui: born in 1960 in San Sebastián, Berasategui is a Spanish chef with the most Michelin stars in Spain. His training as a cook, and much of his life, is linked to the Bodegón Alejandro, a popular restaurant run by his parents and aunt, located in the old part of San Sebastian, where he got his first Michelin star. Between the ages of 15 and 27, Martín toured France and worked in Bayonne with Jean-Paul Heinard, while in Anglet he worked with André Mandion. He learned the art of butchery with François Brouchican in a village called Ustariz and learned to cook with Bernard Lacarrau in Labatut. But above all, it is with Didier Oudil, first head chef of the seaside glamour of Les Prés D’Eugénie with Michel Guerard, that Martin comes into contact with haute-cuisine, and later with Alain Ducasse at the Louis XV restaurant in Munich. On the 1st of May 1993, he and his wife Oneka Arregui opened the restaurant named after him in Lasarte-Oria, 7 km from San Sebastián, and just six months after the inauguration, he received his first Michelin star. Three years after he received the second, and in November 2001 the third. His career is studded with awards and prizes, his cuisine is based on technique, its avant-garde and makes use of high quality natural raw materials.
  •  Heinz Beck: is one of the best-known exponents of international gastronomy and is known as the “eighth king of Rome”. Heinz Beck is the award-winning chef who bases his gastronomic philosophy on two simple words: food and health. Born on the 3rd of November 1963, in the German town Friedrichshafen, on the northern shore of Lake Constance, Beck studied at the Passau Hotel Institute and continued his training in Munich, where he worked for a catering company with a Michelin star. In 1986, he was chef de partie at the Colombi Hotel in Fribourg, in 1989 he moved to Tantris, a restaurant with three Michelin stars in Munich, and in 1991 he was the sous-chef at the Tristan in Mallorca, Spain. Back in Germany, he worked at the Residenz in Aschau and 1992 he obtained the title of “master of cooking” at the school in Altötting, Bavarian city. When he arrived in Italy for work, he met his future wife Teresa Maltese and with her, in 2005, he founded Beck and Maltese consulting, a company with which they manage several restaurants both in Italy and abroad. The kitchen of chef Beck represents the ideal combination of harmony and lightness, the perfect marriage between textures, colours and fragrances. Raw materials are great protagonists of creative recipes that enhance the taste and organoleptic qualities of each ingredient.
  • Gordon Ramsay: An active 7-star Michelin cook, television personality, entrepreneur, and British writer, Gordon Ramsay was a youth player for the Ranger Football Club. In the early eighties, he became passionate about cooking and, after abandoning his football career due to some injuries, he devoted himself to it. The path that took him to the Olympus of chefs began in the Roxburgh House Hotel, where he was the sous-chef, and continued London by Marco Pierre White. Chef Ramsay then continued his training in Paris and once back in London, he opened the first restaurant in the Chelsea district and won three Michelin stars. In the early 2000s, the Boxwood Café opened at The Berkeley in Knightsbridge, followed by the opening of other restaurants in various parts of the world: from Dubai to Tokyo, from New York to Los Angeles and Versailles for a total of over twenty restaurants worldwide. Ramsay’s cuisine is a mix of experience and boldness that winks at simplicity.
  • Enrico Bartolini: originally from Castelmartini, Tuscany, in his biography we read that Bartolini is “the only chef in the history of the Michelin Guide to have won four Stars in one fell swoop, two of them at the restaurant that bears his name inside the MUDEC-Museo delle Culture in Milan”. Intuition, creativity, seriousness, ambition and passion are the characteristics that allowed Bartolini to stand out first abroad, in the kitchens of Paolo Petrini and Mark Page, and then in Italy where he earned his first Michelin star at only 29 years old while working under the guidance of Massimiliano Alajamo at the restaurant Le Robinie in Oltrepò Pavese. In 2010 chef Bartolini left Oltrepò to take care of the Devero Restaurant and Dodici24 Quick Restaurant in Cavenago Brianza where, at 33 years, he received the second star in addition to the Tre Cappelli de L’Espresso and the Tre Forchette del Gambero Rosso. In April 2016, he opened Ristorante Enrico Bartolini on the third floor of the MUDEC and at the same time inaugurated the Casual Restaurant in Bergamo and took over the management of L’Andana restaurant in Castiglione della Pescaia. In September of that same year, Ristorante Glam was opened in Venice.
  • Anne Sophie Pic: Decorated French chef Anne Sophie Pic was named Best Female Chef by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2011. For Anne Sophie Pic, the dish is a living matter, and every bite must provide a different emotion, sometimes powerful, sometimes delicate, sometimes sweet, and others still bitter. The search for perfection and balance, the aromatic complexity and the delicacy that transpires from her creations give life to a cuisine that never reveals itself at first but reaches those who know how to listen, look and take time to savour the complex combinations of flavours in the dishes of Pic chefs. Born in France on July 12th, 1969, and raised in the Maison Pic family restaurant, Anne is a daughter and niece of art: her father is chef Jacques Pic while her grandfather Andrè Pic, was one of the most famous French chefs and among the first to be awarded by the Michelin guide.
  • Seiji Yamamoto: considered the most important exponent of Japanese avant-garde cuisine, chef Yamamoto is inspired by the principle of Wa harmony and offers bold and creative dishes that look to tradition and demonstrate his homeland. After working eleven years with Hirohisa Koyama at the Aoyagi restaurant, Seiji opened his first restaurant in Tokyo in 2003, where he mixed kaiseki ryori and molecular cuisine. Five years later, the restaurant boasts two Michelin stars, and in 2010 it was among the top 50 restaurants in the world, three years later it reached the 22nd position. In his restaurants, Yamamoto employs staff from different countries so to teach his students the secrets of Rising Sun cuisine and take them to other countries. Only in this way, according to the chef, Japanese cuisine can continue to grow and evolve.
  • Umberto Bombana: nicknamed “the king of the white truffle” and owner of the restaurant 8 ½ Eight and a half in Hong Kong, Bonara was the first Italian to conquer three stars outside Italy. Born in 1963 in Clusone, a town in the province of Bergamo, after studying at the hotel chef Bombana, he began his training in the field at the restaurant Antica Osteria del Ponte in Cassinetta in Lugagnano near Milan. In the early eighties, he moved to Los Angeles to work at Mauro Vincenti’s Rex, and ten years later, he was in Asia at the Tuscan restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Hong Kong. In 2006 he was elected Ambassador in the world of the white truffle of Alba by the Regional Enoteca Piemontese Cavour Grinzane Cavour, and the following years he opened 8 ½ Eight and a half also in Shanghai (two Michelin stars) and Macau (one Michelin star). Bombana is a creative and contemporary cook with an all-Italian taste.
  • Carlo Cracco: the career of the most beloved chef in Italian television begins his career in the year 1986, in which he began to collaborate with the famous Gualtiero Marchesi in Milan. Followed by experiences at the kitchen of Meridiana, in Garlenda in the province of Savona, and three years in France at the court of Alain Ducasse and Lucas Carton Alain Senderens. Back in Italy, he became the head chef at the Enoteca Pinchiorri and returned to work with Marchesi. During the following years, the restaurant Le Clivie in Piobesi d’Alba opened, as well as the restaurant Cracco Pek in Milan and also the bistro Carlo and Camilla in Segheria, in the Navigli area. In 2016 he opened his first restaurant abroad, OVO by Carlo Cracco in Moscow, while in 2018 he founded Cracco in Galleria, the new restaurant inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. The cuisine of chef Cracco is a tribute to the Italian gastronomic tradition, a game of balance between memory and taste for modernity told through the careful combination of flavours and contrasts.

Do you want to live a dreamy holiday in paradise and discover the creative cuisine of the best-starred chefs? Book a stay at Forte Village Resort in Sardinia.

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