If you’re looking to take a foodie tour across America or simply want to class up your local dining experiences, there are talented and well-acclaimed chefs who have perfected their culinary niches all over America. Here are the top 10 chefs in the U.S. and the restaurants they own that you’ll love to visit.
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa
Nobu Matsuhisa first became known to U.S. food enthusiasts when he opened his first restaurant in Los Angeles in 1987. Academy award-winning actor Robert De Niro was a frequent guest and offered to team up with Matsuhisa to open a restaurant in Tribeca, New York. He’s built an empire of nearly 50 restaurants worldwide, with several earning coveted Michelin stars. He’s famous for having developed a signature dish of black cod with miso.
Chef Alain Ducasse
Alain Ducasse has more than 30 restaurants worldwide, and this French-born, French cuisine master holds 21 Michelin stars to his name. He also operates two hotels and oversees a Parisian cooking school. Ducasse is the author of several successful cookbooks.
Chef Joël Robuchon
Joël Robuchon was deemed the Chef of the Century by the Gault Millau guide. He owns about 20 restaurants worldwide that collectively boast 26 Michelin stars and feature post-nouvelle-cuisine French fare. Robuchon has authored 16 cookbooks.
Chef Daniel Boulud
Daniel Boulud is a French chef who owns eight restaurants in New York City alone. He’s the author of eight books and also dabbles in food-centric retail that includes private-label wine, Champagne, and smoked salmon, to name a few.
Chef Tom Colicchio
Tom Colicchio is the co-founder of Gramercy Tavern in New York City and has won five James Beard Foundation Awards. He owns nearly 10 restaurants in Manhattan, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and South Carolina and has authored three cookbooks. He’s also the producer for the competition show Top Chef Masters. His restaurant fare ranges from American cooking to sandwiches and steakhouses.
Chef Charlie Palmer
Charlie Palmer was a chef-proprietor of Aureole and currently owns 17 restaurants that feature progressive American cuisine, steak, and craft cocktails. If you’re lucky enough to live in Las Vegas, New York, Washington D.C., or California, you’re closer to his restaurants than the rest of us.
Chef Thomas Keller
Thomas Keller is the only American-born chef who can say he’s got two three-starred Michelin restaurants, Per Se and The French Laundry. He also oversees three Bouchon Bistros, Ad Hoc, and five Bouchon Bakery locales. Keller’s food is prime American fare and baked goods, and he also dabbles in retail. Finesse is a Napa, California-based store that features Keller’s five best-selling cookbooks, home and garden fare, and cookware.
Chef Rick Bayless
Rick Bayless is an American chef who knows Mexican cuisine like the back of his hand. He’s written eight books on Mexican cooking and owns several Mexican restaurants, including locations in Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Orlando. He’s entering his 11th season as host to a PBS show called Mexico: One Plate at a Time.
Chef Masaharu Morimoto
Masaharu Morimoto first became known to America on the Food Network’s hit series Iron Chef. He currently owns 13 restaurants in Florida, California, Hawaii, Japan, and India as well as Las Vegas and New York. The cuisine is Japanese fusion and he’s also created a line of branded specialty beers.
Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Jean-Georges Vongerichten is the author of five cookbooks and claims to be the chef who created molten chocolate cake 30 years ago. He currently oversees more than 30 restaurants and bars worldwide, including Jean Georges in Manhattan, a three-star Michelin restaurant. His cuisine features contemporary French cuisine, Thai/French fusion, and American nouvelle cuisine. You’ll find his restaurants in New York City, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami Beach, Paradise Island, Shanghai, Paris, St. Barths, Tokyo, Los Cabos, Dubai, Vancouver, and Doha.
What are you waiting for? Let’s eat!