Never has cooking been more dominant on TV than it seems to be today. With that in mind, then, the chances are you can reel off at least half a dozen names of top UK chefs with little to no thought. But what about the chefs making waves in France; can you name just as many? The fact is, chefs in France are some of the world’s biggest, with hundreds of thousands flocking to the country to try out their delicious cuisine.
If you’re a fan of morning television you may have heard of Jean-Christophe Novelli, but how many others do you know? Let us refresh your memory with our top picks, below:
Jean-Christophe Novelli – The aforementioned chef began baking from the age of 14, before developing his skills to eventually become a personal head chef to the renowned family of Elie de Rothschild. At the time, Jean-Christophe was just 19 but he’d already spent years honing his craft in various restaurant jobs. Spending some time as head chef at The Maltsters pub, owned by Keith Floyd, the top chef later moved to Britain where he opened a handful of London-based restaurants. Running his acclaimed Novelli Academy, the French cook saw his chefs’ school feature in the top 25 culinary schools in the world.
Raymond Blanc – Born in Eastern France, celebrity chef Raymond Blanc takes his inspiration from his mother and the recipes she introduced him to when he was growing up. Today promoting the use of seasonal fruit and veg in order to whip up some of the best dishes foodie fans everywhere can enjoy, he is also the head chef and owner at Le Manoir – a two Michelin-star country house hotel in the UK.
Paul Bocuse – Highly respected for his numerous contributions to French cooking, Paul Bocuse has spent decades in the culinary industry – and it shows. One of the founders of ‘Nouvelle Cuisine’ (known for its use of fresh ingredients), Paul also set up Bocuse d’Or – one of the most prestigious foodie awards in the cooking arena. Paul’s most famous restaurant is l’Auberge, which serves some of the tastiest French cuisine around.
Rougui Dia – At the forefront of French cooking, Rougui Dia’s heritage is in Senegal. Experimenting with flavours from an early age, Rougui is another chef to take influence from her parents’ cooking, after picking up tips from her mother. Joining 144 Petrossian in Paris back in 2001, Rougui was later made head chef in 2005. Specialising in caviar, the restaurant – under the guidance of Rougui – offers an imaginative and inventive menu you must check out if you’re ever in Paris.
Hélène Darroze – Want to follow in the footsteps of this celebrated French chef? Training to get to this level is intense, but it’s worth knowing that you’ll need to put in the hard work to have a chance of competing with the best. Hélène Darroze, A two Michelin-star chef, trained under Alain Ducasse following her university course in 1990. From a family of chefs, she was clearly introduced to cooking from a young age, but is known for her incredible drive to succeed. Today, she owns two restaurants and is a busy mum to two young children.
Want to be as well-known as some of these top French chefs? It all starts with a cookery course; take a look around the Internet to discover the most suitable one for you and get started