Just for the nice compliment, I'll rate Chrose as #1!
#2 and #3 I can't even begin to answer. There are so many great chefs, then there are equally talented pastry chefs and bakers. And then do I choose only chefs whose food I've tasted? Or those whom I know have a wealth of food knowledge? Or those who are pioneers/innovators?
What a great, albeit difficult, question. I started to come up with the answer in my head, but realized my rankings would be different depending on my mood, and what cuisine "struck my fancy" at the time. There are so many greats out there. Pierre Franey, no discussion of serious food in America is complete without him, Larry Forgione, and Alice Waters (and a host of others) that helped create, define, and rediscover American Cuisine. Julia Child (though maybe not technically a chef) who help make Fine cuisine accessible to the masses. Jacque Torres, for helping to elevate the art of pastries to the status it deserves. Then there are all the unknown chefs out there that I have worked with. Many, great in their own right. And I too cannot forget all the wonderful chefs where on Cheftalk. Each one a wonderful chef in his/her own right. The accumulated knowledge of all the chefs here is awe-inspiring.
Having just been praised for my wit by cape chef, I find myself at a loss for words! Had I been as gracious as momoreg, I would have returned the gesture and placed chrose at #1 as well, but then no one else is deserving of a lesser spot. I'm #3, the cape chef, or fearless leader Nicko, and everyone else on this board at #1. Call me later for #2!
That's like asking what is one's three favorite foods or wines!!??
Not having the privilege of being trained by, or worked beside, the best (like Cape Chef and many others here); nor laying claim to anything approaching recognized talents; I will pay homage to the woman who inspired me to use the raw knowledge I got at home: Julia Child. Although my mom and grandmother imparted their fundamental skills and sensibilities to me, it was Julia who awoke the culinary enthusiasm I treasure in my life now. Without her inspiration I would not have sought out this community or met such fantastic people. :chef:
Very hard question Thomas Keller is top of the list def no#1. No#2 even harder Marco Pierre White in his day no#3 Chef Nobu god there is so many, Heston Blumenthal at the minute is doing amazing food, Ell Bulli in Spain too. No can i change my list just to hard. Happy cooking
And the dish washer and everyone around me at work. Thats my inspiration. Those of you who admire these TV chefs are kidding yourselves. (really) Don't you ever wonder where they get all thier info, research teams of course! You don't think they come up with this stuff on thier own, do you? OHHHHHH!!!!! Was I ranting. I'm just mad cause I don't have my own show. No, really though, I admire Alice Waters (very aclectic women and chef). But my all time favorite chef would have to be.................?
1. Julia Child. Yes, she had a TV show but she learned to cook in France and earned her stripes numerous times. I also cited her for "trailblazing" which in and of itself deserves a great deal of respect - she truly put cooking on the mainstream map.
2. Mario Batali. Yes, he has a cooking show. But I've actually eaten at a restaurant he owned in New York City called Po. It was on a really small, winding street in lower Manhattan or SOHO. I have the matchbook someplace...LOL. The place was TINY. Our party's reservation was for very early because it was after work - but when we left (full of incredible food and wine), it was a standing room only wait. As for his sources of research - the guy knows every nook and cranny of Italy (and believe me, there is no shortage of nooks and/or crannies).
3. As for Windows on the World, I was one of the lucky people to have experienced this place on a pretty regular basis, both for business and personal dinners. Like I said, it was always better than the critics claimed. I downright mourned for the restaurant when it was destroyed.
Man, you are the smartest man I know! I think that it's all good to have inspiration from famous people, BUT in my experiences all of the best influences have been the people I have worked with. A local guy that has owned and operated successful restaurants/bussiness is way more of a hero to me then someone I have never met, and or worked with! My favorite chef right now is----------------------------->Peter Selaya a local guy that has just been around for ever. He may not be Julia Child, but I bet you, if any of us went up to him and tried to have a conversation he would love it! The man has so much good experience and is such a nice guy it amazes me. That is a desirable attribute in a chef to me! My $.02!
This one is very difficult... but I will answer from my heart
#1 Jean Louis Palladin...with whom I had the pleasure to work during my college years in Washington D.C... Someone that taught me a lot and made me laugh...and made me mad.
#2 Juan Mari Arzak.. For his vision and development of the Nueva Cocina Espanola,and so much more.
#3 Koldo Royo; Mallorca, Spain ... For his unending imagination, and creativity. Also for the opportunity he has given so many new chefs and for being a wonderful human being that remind us every day that we are cooks before we are chefs.
Then again you only asked for three... tough one!!!
My good friend Christopher Koetke(formerly of Les Nomades in Chicago and now a top instructor at Kendal College) is by far one of the greatest Chefs I have ever know and had the pleasure to work with. His humility and love for excellent food has continued to amaze me over the years.
From the celebrity arean I would have to pick Freddy Girardet, and Mark Verra.
I for one am suprised nobody said Martin Yan. Okay well he is really funny. Actually I just credit him with my earliest interests in professional cooking. As far as culinary ability it would be absolutely impossible to rank chefs. You would only pick people you know personally or that have obtained some type of celebrity. The #1,2, or 3 could be some chef in Cambodia, we would never know.
Ok. Since I wouldn't flat-out name a chef on this site I'll just tel you in a roundabout way who's my favorite. My "Basics" (or "Skills" if you're into CIA lingo) instructor. I know you may not know of him but he's phenomenal in the kitchen. His knife skills even served him well enough to win over an ACF Certified Master Chef in competition. Since my instructor (at the local CC) was pitted against the CMC (instructor at the Art Institute) it, to me felt like one of those "My dad can beat you dad" situations.