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November 28, 2016updated Dec 01, 2016

Top 10 Most Influential Chefs of the Past and Next Decade

By Chris Boyle

daniel-boulud_courtesy-daniel-krieger-770With the help of our Fine Dining Expert Andy Hayler, Elite Traveler takes a look at the most influential Chefs of the past and next decade; whether they head up a successful international chain or are preparing extraordinary food from the kitchen of the smallest of village restaurants.

Nicknamed “The Michelin Man”, Andy Hayler has reportedly eaten at every three Michelin star restaurant in the world, and is well placed to judge the world’s most influential chefs.

From the chef who put poetry on a plate to the pioneers of molecular gastronomy, take a look at our selection of masterminds that have changed the way we eat forever, or are set to make a large impact on the culinary scene.
Most influential chefs of the past decade

Thomas Keller


With six US restaurants and seven bakeries to his name, Thomas Keller tops the list of the most influential chefs of the past decade in the US.

Keller towers over the US fine dining scene with his renowned restaurants; The French Laundry in Yountville and Per Se in New York – both of which have earned three Michelin stars each. He is the only US chef to be awarded two Michelin star ratings simultaneously.

Having been the recipient of several awards himself, many of his protégés look set to follow suit, with plenty now boasting shining careers of their own.

Most influential chefs of the past decade

Dan Barber

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Head chef and co-owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns and author of The Third Plate, Dan Barber’s opinions on food and agriculture have appeared in the New York Times, amongst several other notable publications.

Food critic Andy Hayler commented: “Dan Barber’s ‘farm to table’ approach is having a wide rippled effect on American cuisine.”
Most influential chefs of the past decade

Charlie Trotter


Also featured on the list of the most influential chefs of the past decade includes Charlie Trotter, responsible for single-handedly putting Chicago on the culinary map.
Most influential chefs of the past decade

Daniel Boulud


Daniel Boulud is the owner of an entire empire of restaurants that span across the globe.

In 2010, his flagship restaurant Daniel was awarded the three star Michelin award shared by only five other Manhattan restaurants.
Most influential chefs of the past decade

Jean Georges Vongerichten


Jean Georges Vongerichten, owner of Jean Georges at Trump International Hotel & Tower New York, is responsible for popularizing Asian influences on traditional cooking.

Most influential chefs of the next decade

Dominique Crenn


Topping the list of influential chefs of the next decade – and the only female chef to be featured on either list – is Dominique Crenn.

At her San Francisco restaurant, the menu is presented in the form of a poem, while her influence is described by Andy Hayler as “going well beyond her cooking.”

Most influential chefs of the next decade

Grant Acahtz


Grant Acahtz is already a world renowned chef, but Andy Hayler expects plenty more great things to come: “With his cutting edge cuisine at 3 star Michelin Alinea and the regularly changing culinary themes at Next, Grant Achatz is hugely influential at the cutting edge of high end cooking.”

Most influential chefs of the next decade

Daniel Humm

Daniel Humm

Also on the list is chef and owner of three Michelin starred Eleven Madison Park. Since joining Eleven Madison Park eight years ago, Swiss chef Daniel Humm has forged a reputation as one of New York’s culinary masterminds. His sophisticated cuisine has seen him gain numerous accolades globally.

Most influential chefs of the next decade

David Chang


Chef and owner of Momofuku is on the list of the most influential chefs of the next decade. His Momofuku restaurants have a huge influence – his fusion dishes being widely copied elsewhere.

Chang has worked in the kitchens of world renowned chefs such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulud.

Most influential chefs of the next decade

Joshua Skenes

Joshua Skenes Saison San Francisco, California (July 17, 2014) the ulterior epicure | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Bonjwing Photography

After training with Jean-Georges Vongerichten in New York and then in Boston, Joshua Skenes moved to San Francisco and earned high praise for his cooking at Chez TJ.

He now has his own restaurant Saison, which has now graduated from pop-up to permanent and has earned three Michelin stars.

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