Today we have famous chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay, Jamie Oliver, Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray, Paula Dean and many more who you’ve likely seen with their own TV show… but what about the famous chefs who came before them?
As lover of all things retro and vintage, I share with you these 4 famous retro chefs who shaped the culinary world we now live in:
1. Philip Harben was the first TV celebrity chef. His televised cooking program aired 1946 on the BBC. And yes, it was black and white. He had a humble, friendly personality and always wore his signature striped apron. Since Britain’s population was living on war rations up until 1954, Philip Harben showed his audience how to cook with what was available at the time: for instance, he would show them how to cook chips and steak and kidney pie. He also published 21 cooking books, the most famous being Philip Harben Cookery Encyclopedia.
2. Jean & Pierre Troisgro defined extraordinary French cuisine, and yet their food was characterized by simplicity and purity. Thier restaurant, Frères Troisgros, was award their first coveted Michelin star in 1955, and their third by 1968. The dishes they developed have become much-loved classics, such as their salmon with sorrel sauce, and many young cooks who pass through their kitchen have been hailed as chefs to watch. In 1972, the brothers were awarded by critics of the Gault Millau with the title "Best Restaurant in the World" award. *You can see Pierre prepare his famous Salmon with Sorrel Sauce on Martha Stewart's show here.
3. Paul Bocuse is a world renowned French chef, famous for his restaurants of the highest quality and innovative approaches to cuisine. As one of the most (maybe even “the most”) prominent chefs associated with nouvelle cuisine (lighter, more delicate dishes and an increased emphasis on presentation), you can find his influence across the world in beautifully simplified dishes...the kind we love to see on TV.
4. Julia Child, a woman we all know and love, is most notably recognized for bringing French cuisine to America with her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, as well as her TV programs. What’s more is she co-founded the American Institute of Wine & Food, and her kitchen (which was used as the setting for three of her shows) is now on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.! But her accolades don’t end there… she’s received the French Legion of Honour, was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. There’s even a gorgeous breed of golden rose named the Julia Child Rose in her honor!