We are suspicious, but French cuisine is an endless source of inspiration for those who love gastronomy. Over the decades, many French people took the kitchen to another level, and we’ll bring you 14 stories like these to be inspired.
Whether Chefs are men or women, new or older, alive or unfortunately already deceased, these chefs have marked their names in history, and knowing their life history will bring you a fresh look under the kitchen.
French Chefs to Inspire!
Discover these stories by following the reading in order or jumping directly to a chef by clicking on the interactive index below:
Born in Castel-Sarrazin and naturalized in Monaco, France, Alain Ducasse is one of the most renowned French chefs in the world. His biggest inspiration comes from the way of life of his contemporaries. He was raised on a farm in Southwest France and today has more than 20 restaurants spread across seven countries.
Three of them have already received three Michelin stars, making him the first chef to have three restaurants with the maximum star award at the same time. The first three stars were achieved at a restaurant in Monaco, Le Louis XV, at the Paris hotel, in 1990.
In all, Ducasse has already accumulated 21 Michelin stars and continues to be successful worldwide. It is considered a correspondence between nature and the consumer. According to him, his trademark is the Cookpot, which is a recipe made with seven types of vegetables slowly cooked in a casserole dish.
Alain Passard is a French chef and owner of L’Arpège, a Paris-based restaurant with three Michelin stars. Born in 1956, in La Guerche – de – Bretagne . His career began in 1971 when he worked at the Le Lion d’ Or restaurant for award-winning chef Michel Kéréver.
At 26, he received two Michelin stars while working at the restaurant Le Duc d’ Enghien at the Enghien Casino in 1980. He was again awarded two stars in 1984 at the Carlton of Brussels.
Passard is inspired by the year’s seasons to plan and compose his menu. From the year 2000, vegetarian cooking became part of their recipes. In addition, Passard uses natural and organic ingredients that he cultivates in his preparations.
In this way, L’Arpège became the only restaurant producing natural ingredients. In addition, he was known for his courage in being one of the first great chefs to remove red meat dishes from his menu.
A three-star Michelin chef, Pacaud was born in 1947 and grew up in an orphanage. His career in the culinary world began in 1962 when he was only 15, and his first contact was helping the chef Eugénie Brazier in his restaurant.
In Brazier’s kitchen, Bernard received the first training to become an expert in the culinary field. But it was when he worked at chef Claude Peyrot’s three-star Michelin restaurant Vivarois. He came to learn techniques for pursuing his career.
His first restaurant, L’ Ambroisie , opened in 1981 in Paris, on the rue de Bièvre . In it, Pacaud won his first Michelin star in 1982. The following year he got the second star, and the third star was received in 1986, keeping them until today.
At the Hotel de Luynes in Paris, he opened his second restaurant, a branch of L’ Ambroisie. Its classic culinary style conquers the most demanding palates.
Éric Frechon is a French chef with three Michelin stars. Born in 1963 in Corbie, France, he is in charge of the Hotel Le Bristol restaurants, particularly the Epicure. His most famous dish is macaroni. Also, Frechon is known for mixing unusual ingredients in his dishes, making the recipe more original.
Before assuming the restaurants of Le Bistrol , Frechon had its own restaurant La Verrière d’Eric Frechon. The Epicure received its second Michelin star in 2001 and the third in 2009, maintaining it for ten years.
Robuchon was a renowned French chef. He was born in 1945 in Poitiers, France, and died at the age of 73 in Geneva, Switzerland. He was known for the 32-star Michelin brand, he being the most starred chef in history. In addition, he received the title of Cook of the Century.
At 15, he entered the culinary world as a confectioner’s apprentice to chef Robert Auton. In Paris, in 1981, he opened his first restaurant, Jamin. In 1994, also in Paris, he opened the first restaurant bearing his name.
Besides being a chef, Robuchon was also an entrepreneur, and in 2003 he created a new concept: L’atelier Joel Robuchon, which raised him to the level of his brand, leading him to open more than 3 8 restaurants around the world. In 2016, he won his second Michelin star.
His cuisine had his main characteristic, the simplicity in the choice of ingredients, becoming well known in 1980 for its recipe for mashed potatoes. His biggest specialty was improving traditional dishes.
Jacques Pic was a renowned chef who lived between 1932 and 1992. He decided to become a chef to work at his family’s restaurant, Maison Pic, in Valencia, France. During his childhood, his father earned three Michelin stars for his restaurant.
The son of chef André Pic saw his father’s restaurant lose its stars, so he decided to dedicate himself to the family business and regain the stars. In addition, he was one of the pioneers of the French nouvelle cuisine (new cuisine) movement, which was characterized by more delicate and more aesthetically elaborated dishes.
His father saw his son regain the stars before he passed away. Today, the family restaurant is run by their children, Alain and Anne-Sophie Pic, with Anne being the fourth chef to earn three Michelin stars.
Anne Pic is a chef known for running her family’s restaurant, Maison Pic in France, which previously belonged to her grandfather André Pic, and later to her father, Jacques Pic. In 1995, Maison Pic lost its third Michelin star won by its father.
She decided to devote herself to the family restaurant, and in 2007 regained the lost star. Anne, then, was known for being the fourth female chef to win three Michelin stars, being the only one in France to achieve this feat. Furthermore, in 2011 she was named the best female chef by the British magazine Restaurant.
Anne Pic adapted the entire menu to give the restaurant its own culinary identity despite working in the family restaurant. According to her, it was necessary to focus on the future and not on the past.
Michel Bras is a French chef born in 1946 in Gabriac, France. His restaurant has been named one of the top ten globally several times. In 1999, he won three Michelin stars for his restaurant in Laguiole, in Aveyron, France.
He was known for his recipe biscuit tiède de chocolate leotard, a warm melted chocolate cake, which later inspired the creation of the petit gâteau by his son Sébastien Bras.
His cuisine is creative, composing beautiful dishes with flowers, plants, and herbs, using natural ingredients, a colorful stamp to its words.
His son, Sébastian Bras, was known for refusing the three stars he had won. For Michel Bras, the best stars are the customers. He has authored several books, including The Essential Cuisine cookbook, published in 2002.
Bocuse was a French chef who lived between 1926 and 2018. Paul was born and raised in a family of cooks, which led him to pursue a career as a chef, later becoming known as the pope of cuisine. He was the creator of the nouvelle cuisine (new cuisine).
His culinary style is simple but sophisticated. Paul insisted on using fresh and easy-to-find ingredients in his recipes instead of following the traditional French concept of the time, which consisted of dishes made with heavier ingredients.
His most famous dish is the VGE soup, made with truffles, foie gras in chicken broth, and covered with a puff pastry. Despite being recognized for his delicious dishes, his most significant contribution to the culinary world was a mentor to renowned chefs such as Alain Ducasse.
Alexandre Coiullon is a French chef born in 1975. Noirmoutier’s restaurant, La Marine, is awarded two Michelin stars in France on the island. In addition, he was named chef of the year in 2017 by the Gault & Millau guide.
But its popularity increased, and his story was told in a Netflix documentary, Chef’s Table France, in episode 2. People worldwide travel to Noirmoutier Island to taste its delicious dishes, besides staying at your hotel, La Maison Moizeau.
Its cuisine is mainly based on local products and fish from the island, fished right in front of the restaurant, and vegetables harvested from the garden itself.
The Troigross family is a family of renowned chefs recognized around the world. Pierre Troigross lived between 1926 and 2020 in France. Jean Troigros created the famous dish Saumon to l’oseille and took his father’s restaurant, Maison Troigros.
Maison Troigross was created by his parents, Jean Baptiste and Marie, in 1930, earning his first Michelin star in 1955, the second in 1965, and the third in 1968. The three stars have been maintained for over 40 years, which is an unusual feat. And in 1972, it was named the best restaurant in the world by Gault & Millau.
Pierre is also the father of two famous French chefs, Michel and Claude Troigros. Claude has resided in Brazil since 1979, being well known not only for his dishes that mix French Brazilian cuisine but also for participating in reality shows, such as O Mestre do Sabor.
Michel Troisgros is a French chef, son of famous chef Pierre Troisgross and brother of Claude Troisgros, who resides in Brazil. Michel comes from a family of renowned and world-renowned chefs.
He was born in 1958 in Roan n e, France, and today he takes over the Maison Troisgros restaurant, which belonged to his father and uncle Jean Troisgros. He met his wife Marie-Pierre at the École hôtelière in Grenoble. They married in 1983 and had three children together.
He seeks in his cuisine the simplicity that is the trademark of the Troisgros family but always tries to innovate. Today he works together with his son, Cesar Troisgros. He has already been voted the best chef globally through a poll organized by Le Chef magazine in 2018.
His story was also told by the documentary Chef’s Table France on Netflix and Inventing Cuisine: Michel Troisgros on Amazon.
Dominique Crenn is a French chef born in 1965 in Versailles and resides in the United States of America, in San Francisco, California, where she opened her Atelier Crenn restaurant. She became the first female chef in the United States whose restaurant received two Michelin stars.
Her work earned her the award Better Chef of the world on the women’s list of the 50 Best World Restaurants in the British magazine Restaurant in 2016. In addition, Michel Troisgros and Alexandre Couillon had a special episode telling his story in the Netflix documentary Chef’s Table France.
Crenn owns three restaurants in San Francisco: the Petit Crenn, Bar Crenn, and Atelier Crenn. Owner of a unique sympathy and great sensitivity, Dominique considers herself an artist of poetic cuisine.
Adeline Grattard is a French chef who was born in Dijon, France, in 1978. She studied at the Ferrandi French Cooking School. Today, besides being the owner, she runs the kitchen of the Yam’Tcha restaurant in Paris, which has already received a Michelin star in 2010.
Grattard is recognized for combining the flavor and ingredients of French cuisine with techniques of Chinese cuisine. In addition, she is passionate about tea, which is served in her restaurant for a fixed price with the meal.
She became involved in Chinese cuisine while traveling to Hong Kong to learn more about teas. She then had the innovative idea of uniting concepts as different as French and Chinese cuisine, and her restaurant Yam’Tcha became popular quickly.