Regardless of the thousands of brilliant restaurants in London, without celebrity chefs the dining scene would be a very dull place. Flash back a decade or so ago and British food was still suffering from a bad case of international PR quoting it as dull, tasteless, and all together too stodgy. Along came our band of celebrity chefs who made a merry song and dance about how great our food was, or at worst shouted and swore a lot to get attention, and now the world tunes in to see what our kitchens are up to. No wonder we love them so much.
1 Gordon Ramsey
Celebrity Chefs don’t come fiercer than Gordon Ramsey. Still, these days it seems that his tough reputation, hanging out with the Beckhams, or getting hair implants gets more attention than his food. For those who need reminding, Britain’s most famous chefs has 11 restaurants in London as well as a handful scattered throughout the world, which have earned him a total of twelve Michelin Stars. Stories circulate about his current financial difficulties but with more TV programmes, endorsements, books, and no doubt more tabloid stories to come, this is one chef, love him or loathe him, who will be around for a while.
2 Jamie Oliver
Everyone’s favourite cheeky-chappie Jamie Oliver has been a regular to our screens since his down-to-earth Naked Chef TV Show in 1998. Jamie has been accredited with bringing cooking to the masses and led to a nation of wannabe chefs marching into the kitchen. Ever the philanthropist Jamie launched the Fifteen restaurant in east London and filmed the battle to train its staff of unemployed teens. He then campaigned on school dinners, exposing their nutritional poverty and putting the issue on the political agenda. The outcry prompted the Government to increase funding by £280m. What a nice guy.
3 Marco Pierre White
The original celebrity chef. Known for his food and his temper Marco reputedly arrived in London with no qualifications, "£7.36, a box of books, and a bag of clothes," before beginning his classical training under Albert Roux and Michel Roux at Le Gavroche. At 24, Marco became Head Chef and joint owner of Harveys with a kitchen staff that included the young Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal. He was awarded his third Michelin star at the age of 33 - the first British and youngest chef ever to achieve this.
4 Heston Blumenthal
Pioneer of the scientific approach to cooking, often described as "molecular gastronomy", Heston Blumenthal's unusual dishes include egg and bacon ice cream and snail porridge. One of Britain's four chefs with three Michelin stars, Blumenthal is self-trained and was inspired after sampling stunning food at a restaurant in France during a family holiday. He started investigating the science of food and visiting fishmongers and butchers. He bought an old pub in Bray, Berkshire, called The Bell and renamed it - The Fat Duck opened in 1995. Heston still works with scientists to develop new techniques and dishes.
5 Tom Aikens
Award-winning, Michelin-starred Tom Aikens became the youngest British chef to hold two Michelin stars at 26, while his three London restaurants have earned an impressive eight AA Rosettes.Tom’s Kitchen is a relaxed but bustling brasserie serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The lunch and dinner menus offer a wide range of tasty meat, fish, and pasta dishes. His signature restaurant Tom Aiken is a more formal affair that also offers private dining which has received numerous prestigious critical accolades.