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Top 10 Michelin Star Chefs in the World

top michelin star chefs in the world

When it comes to ratings and recognition in the culinary world, if Michelin Star is considered as the Oscars then Michelin Star Chefs are the celebrities that take home the awards. 

Michelin Stars are a world renowned rating systems that are used to grade restaurants based on quality. According to the Michelin Star Guide, a single star means that the restaurant is very good, two means that it has excellent dishes while three means that the cuisine is exceptional.

We even put together an in-depth article as to the meaning of Michelin stars and the now iconic rating system for those not yet familiar with the guide.

When it comes to rating chefs, Michelin Stars can help to highlight chefs with the best skills offering an exceptional culinary experience. That being said, who are the most starred chefs currently? 

Well, here is our review of the top 10 Best Michelin Star Chefs in the World 2020:

1.  Alain Ducasse

  • Nationality: French
  • Michelin Stars: 21
  • Location: France
  • Specialization: French Cuisine

Alain Ducasse is currently the only living chef to hold 21 Michelin stars. Earning the top spot as the most awarded Michelin Chef, Ducasse’s recognition comes after years of hard work in the kitchen and dedication to prepare different dishes.

The French citizen was educated on the farm-side area of Castel-Sarrazin. At the age of 16, he started his apprenticeship in a Bordeaux Hotel before working professionally at L’amandier in 1980. Alain Ducasse has specialized in making outstanding dishes with a forward-thinking approach. His journey as a chef has been decorated with various awards including being the first chef with three restaurants awarded 3-Michelin stars.

2.  Gordon Ramsay OBE

  • Nationality: British
  • Michelin Stars: 16
  • Location: Britain
  • Specialization: French, British, and Italian Cuisines

This is the most decorated chef in the history of Britain. Born in Scotland and raised in England, the influential chef started a career in this field after his ambition of becoming a professional footballer was twisted by an injury.

Even though he holds a total of 7 Michelin stars currently, Ramsay has been awarded a total of 16 Michelin stars in his career. This arguably makes him the finest Michelin chefs in the UK. He first rose to fame during the Boiling Point miniseries in 1998 and by the early 2000s, he’d become a household name in Britain. Apart from hosting numerous TV shows and producing his own cooking shows, Ramsay has a fleet of restaurants in different parts of the world, from Europe to North America.

3.  Martin Berasategui

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Michelin Stars: 10
  • Location: Spain
  • Specialization: Basque Cuisine

Coming in close after Ramsay and Ducasse is Berasategui. Although he first worked in his parent’s restaurant, when Berasategui began his professional career there weren’t Michelin star restaurants in his region. So, he moved to France at the age of 17 where he trained as a pastry chef before taking over his parent’s restaurant at the age of 20.

After working for five years, he earned his first Michelin star. Over the years, he has been awarded more stars making him the third alive person to have the most stars in the Michelin world. In Spain, he’s the most awarded Michelin chef with no competitor.

4.  Thomas Keller

  • Nationality: American
  • Michelin Stars: 7
  • Location: US
  • Specialization: American Cuisine

Thomas Keller has perfected the art of blending different culinary types that make American cuisine. He’s versatile, well-versed with different cooking techniques around the world, and he’s not afraid to try something new.

Keller was inspired by his mum, a restaurateur who frequently employed him, especially when she got sick. after the divorce of his parents, Keller spent his summer holidays as a teen working at the Palm Beach Yacht Club as a dishwasher before moving up the ranks and becoming a chef.

The American is one of the top-rated Michelin chefs in the world after being awarded seven stars (six of which he has). Besides that, Thomas Keller is the first American to be awarded three-star Michelin ratings twice concurrently for his different restaurants. The chef and restaurateur owns Napa Valley restaurant, a landmark building with a global reputation

5.  Carme Ruscalleda

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Michelin Stars: 7
  • Location: Barcelona
  • Specialization: Catalan Cuisines

Making an outstanding entry among the top Michelin chefs is Carme Ruscalleda. Even though these “Oscar” awards for those who belong in the hospitality industry seem to be dominated by men, Carme is the first female with a 7-star rating.

She’s a renowned chef in Barcelona who began her interesting career as a girl who loved cooking. After completing her studies in Charcuterie technics and commerce, she opened her first restaurant in 1888 and within three years it received its Michelin star guide.

Her impeccable skills revolve around preparing Catalan dishes using seasonal products. Even though she still oversees the operations of her restaurants, Carme Ruscalleda is currently the head chef at Mandarin Oriental located in Barcelona.

6.  Yoshiro Murata

  • Nationality: Japanese
  • Michelin Stars: 7
  • Location: Kyoto, Japan
  • Specialization: Japanese Cuisine

While we might want to define renowned chef and author Yoshihiro Murata with his 7-star Michelin rating, well, he is a wholesome individual who is an agent for change. The living icon is respected in the culinary field thanks to his hard work in promoting Japanese cuisine to the world.

While Murata has been at the center of the culinary exhibition for 50 years, age isn’t slowing him down any time soon. Even though he was considered a 3rd-generation restaurant owner, Murata didn’t enclose himself to his Japanese origins. He flew to Paris to study the French cooking style during his early 20s but later decided to focus on Japanese food because he thought it was important to have an idea about his culture. He owns a total of four restaurants.

7.  Heston Blumenthal OBE

  • Nationality: British
  • Michelin Stars: 6
  • Location: Britain
  • Specialization: British Cuisines

The accomplished author and chef has a global reputation with his name being known far and wide. With a 6-star Michelin rating, Blumenthal is a significant driving force, especially when it comes to the British food movement.

His young beginnings started in London. However, his path to chef-dom was only triggered when he visited a restaurant in Provence when he was 16. The exposure to the unique and sweet world of gastronomy consumed him and when he got back home, he started to work in London kitchens.

Even though his journey to stardom wasn’t smooth, Blumenthal opened his first restaurant and named it the Fat Duck. After 9 years in the market, it was awarded a 3 Michelin star and the Best Restaurant in the world the subsequent year.

Heston Blumenthal stands from the crowd due to the fact that he’s mostly interested in the chemical composition of most kitchen ingredients. As a result, he’s also a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

8.  Anne-Sophie

  • Nationality: French
  • Michelin Stars: 5
  • Location: France/Switzerland
  • Specialization: French Cuisine

The list of the top 10 best Michelin Chefs can’t be complete without this amazing British women. Anne-Sophie is one of the few chefs to have a Michelin star rating of 5. It should be noted that she’s the number 4 female to have a restaurant receive a 3-star Michelin rating.

The French chef was born in Valence and her background which involved working at her family’s restaurant influenced her career path. It’s worth noting that her grandfather was also a chef and this could be something that definitely runs in the family.

Anne-Sophie has a vast experience in the culinary field. She has traveled and worked in the US and Japan as an intern, however, she eventually returned to Maison Pic in order to work under her father. Even though she still manages the family business, she has her own restaurant that’s known as Restaurant Anne-Sophie Pic.

9.  Kei Kobayashi

  • Nationality: Japanese
  • Michelin Stars: 3
  • Location: France
  • Specialization: French Cuisine

Kei is the Japanese chef in France with a 3-star rating! The son of the Kayseri chef has worked to earn this distinction over the years, thanks to his unique way of cooking French meals. His background which involved growing up surrounded by food” has significantly influenced him. However, his interest in food saw him explore different cuisines but it’s the French cuisine that he has grown to love the most.

The most unique thing about Kei’s culinary skills is that his dish pairings as well as combination still come with the Japanese influence. The ingredients as well as the flavor perfectly highlight his enthusiasm for creating quality edibles.

While still on the journey to becoming one of the best Michelin chefs in the world, Kei had trained with several prestigious restaurants. This includes the likes of Plaza Athenee and L’Auberge du Vieux Puits restaurant

10. Clare Smyth MBE

  • Nationality: Irish
  • Michelin Stars: 2
  • Location: Britain
  • Specialization: Irish Cuisine

Gordon Ramsay, one of the most decorated Michelin chefs, told Clare Smyth that she would just last a week in his kitchen. Well, Clare has grown to become one of the best in handling various culinary delights and joining him as one of the best female chefs in the “Emmys” of the food industry.

Born in the countryside of County Antrim, Claire’s background in a way shaped her current specialization. She used to work at a local restaurant as a teenager during holidays and this inspired her to become a chef. After high school, she joined Highbury College in Hampshire to study catering.

The owner of the Core by Clare Smyth, a restaurant in Notting Hill, London has had a delightful career that saw her win an MBE in 203 for services to the hospitality industry. She has appeared as a judge in one of the UK’s cooking shows and was named as the World’s Best Female Chef in 2018.

Who are your favorite Michelin Star Chefs?

Becoming a Michelin Star Chef is one of the prestigious awards that a mastery of cookery ever gets. It’s the seal of approval that you are recognized globally. This is the epitome of excellence that most chefs die dreaming off. The above-mentioned chefs definitely deserve to feature on this list. They are knowledgeable, experienced, and have the right skills of how to run a world-class restaurant.

And don’t forget to check out our List of 25 countries with the Most Michelin Stars to see where your country ranks.

Chef Deno

Follow my journey as I explore food culture around the world - easily from the comfort of your own home. Proud of your food scene? I travel often and we can plan to meet up so you can share the food culture in your town.

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