Fame and fortune come to those who wait and work hard for what they wish to achieve. This can very well be the mantra for people who persevered and became successful and recognized in their field of work or business. With the internet, one can literally get the proverbial 60 seconds of fame by posting on the internet or on social networking sites. However, lasting fame is something that takes much longer to achieve, sometimes over a lifetime and even longer for posthumous recognition.
In the culinary world, fame and fortune oftentimes go hand in hand with the most popular of living chefs living on the lap of luxury–owning and operating several award winning restaurants in many countries. Some host television programs watched by millions of viewers via syndicated TV. Others publish cookbooks and/or write for popular magazines and newspapers. There are those few that have actually achieved all of the above and then some! Fame of course can be a matter of audiences specifically age and other demographics.
For a lot of people who grew up in the 1950s and several decades afterwards, Julia Child would be the most famous American culinary celebrity. She was a gourmet cook, author and even became a TV personality who gained unparalleled fame by introducing the unfamiliar world of French cooking to mainstream American households. Among her famous accomplishments were her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television series The French Chef. She became the cover of an issue Time Magazine in 1966 and would then write and host over two dozen books and TV shows before passing away in 2004. Years after her death, she continues to be an inspiration to many and has even been made into the main character of the 2009 Hollywood movie entitled “Julie and Julia” starring award-winning Merryl Streep.
In today’s modern world, who are the most famous chefs? Again based on demographics, this can vary very considerably. For those who are not at all familiar with the culinary world of fine dining Michelin star awarded restaurants, TV show chef-hosts get more recognition than those who are responsible for the most respected dining establishments.
A quick internet search for the word “chef” results in thousands of articles on Jamie Oliver, popularly known as The Naked Chef. He has gained popularity due to his accomplishments, good looks and advocacies. Other widely-searched online chefs include Gordon Ramsey, Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, Giada De Laurentiis and Mario Batali among many others. Their popularity is primarily due to the highly rated TV shows they host and/or successful business empires they run.
For those who are more educated in the history of gastronomy, the idols of the kitchen are much different that from others. Ask the seasoned chef and other names come to mind. A few of them include Fernand Point, the "Father of Novelle Cuisine", James Beard the "Father of American Gastronomy", and Auguste Escoffier, whose one great achievement among many include organizing the professional kitchen.