If you’ve really gotten into cooking during these challenging coronavirus times, you’ve probably been looking to celebrity chefs for recipe advice and culinary inspiration. Here’s a celebration of some of our favorites, complete with videos in which they demonstrate their seriously impressive kitchen skills.
Blumenthal is known for his innovative and experimental approach to food, which is why he’s a perfect judge for new Netflix show Crazy Delicious, in which contestants are really encouraged to think outside of the box with their cooking. His signature dishes include triple cooked chips, snail porridge, bacon and egg ice cream, and parsnip cereal, and his world-famous restaurant, The Fat Duck in Bray, is one of only five in the U.K. to hold three Michelin stars. Respect.
Lawson – daughter of Nigel Lawson, the U.K.’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer – is known for her linguistic flair and dropping the odd double entendre into her cookery shows. While filling potato skins during one program, she said suggestively: “My empty vessels are ready to be loaded.” She’s written 12 cookery books, served as a judge on ABC reality series The Taste, and shares a recipe a day over on her excellent website. She’s even been hailed as a gay icon.
Bourdain, who sadly passed in 2018, was both beloved chef and documentarian. Through series including A Cook’s Tour and the Emmy-winning Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, he introduced viewers to different cultures and culinary traditions all over the world. Shortly after he died, former President Barack Obama paid tribute to Bourdain on Twitter, writing: “He taught us about food – but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown.” Rest in Peace.
Chef Ramsay, as he’s often known, has seemingly limitless reserves of energy: as well as appearing on British and American shows including Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, and MasterChef, his global portfolio of restaurants have been awarded a total of 16 Michelin stars. He works so hard that it’s easy to forgive him the not-so-occasional super-sweary moment.
Since he rose to fame in the late ’90s, Oliver has hosted shows in both the U.K. and U.S., often with a view to making cooking more accessible, healthy, and ethical. His Jamie’s Italian restaurant chain went into administration last year, but Oliver has bounced back in his usual plucky fashion by making a lockdown cookery show, Jamie: Keep Cooking and Carry On, for British network Channel 4.
Hussain charmed us all when she won season six of The Great British Baking Show in 2015, and she’s since built an impressive broadcasting career in the U.K., hosting BBC shows including Nadiya’s Family Favourites and Nadiya’s Party Feasts. She’s also known for speaking eloquently about the racism she has experienced as a British Bangladeshi woman: a 2016 U.K. government report said Hussain had done “more for British-Muslim relations than 10 years of government policy.”
Thanks to her judging role on The Great British Baking Show, from which she departed in 2016 when it switched networks, Berry has cemented her status as the trusted grandmother of U.K. cookery. She’s written more than 70 cookery books since her first one was published in 1970, and at age 85, shows no sign of slowing down: she now serves as a judge on the BBC series Britain’s Best Home Cook.
On Barefoot Contessa, Food Network’s longest-running show, Garten regularly crafts lavish, multi-course meals using fresh herbs she “hand-harvests” from her backyard garden. Her painstaking recipes are probably a little time-consuming for most of us, especially at the end of a busy day, which is why her favorite time-saving tip – “store-bought is fine!” – has become a meme.
It’s no exaggeration to say that several generations of Brits learned to cook by reading and watching “Delia,” who is one-name-only famous at home in the U.K. Over the years, numerous food items and utensils she’s recommended have enjoyed a significant sales boost, a phenomenon dubbed “the Delia effect” in the press. She retired from TV cookery in 2013 but remains active as co-owner of Norwich City Football Club, a famous team who compete in England’s Premier League.
After first finding success as a model, Pascale retrained as a cook and became a specialist cake maker for iconic London department store Selfridges. She later launched her own cake shop, Ella’s Bakehouse, named after her daughter Ella Balinska who went on to become an actress and star of the recent Charlie’s Angels movie. Pascale’s own career has also gone from strength to strength and she now appears on the Food Network shows Holiday Baking Championship, Spring Baking Championship, and Worst Bakers in America.
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