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Old 02-10-2007, 10:21 PM   #1
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Who is your favorite chef?

If you could just pick 1 chef that totally inspires you and you think is one of the very best Chefs out there who would it be? Whether if it is from FoodTV, magazines, or from cookbooks doesn't matter. Here are some of my requirements at least im concerned:

Someone who lives / breaths their work(i think this a lot of times comes out when they speak or when you read a book they have written). I want a sense that they truely appreciate everything and never settle for less than perfection. I think some chef's pretend they do just for the money because i think it comes out in their writing /talking about the lack of passion. They not only want to emerese you in the food but they want to emerse you in a cultural aura and want to transfer some of that passion to you. If they write cookbooks this not only is about reading recipes its about how the emerse in in the culture/food.

Ok without further adu mine would defintily be Rick Bayless. First of all i love traditional mexican food and if you have ever read any of ricks books, seen him on foodtv, or seen his show on PBS (Mexican: one plate at a time) you will know that rick for traditional mexican food. He very much emerses you in the culture of mexico and the different regions (yucatan for example). He is also an excellent writer. He takes many trips to mexico because that is his passion. I first learned about rick on foodtv and from the first book i bought i was so impressed. His cookbooks are not so much recipe books as they are stories of culture and food in mexico.

Some horoable mentions are: David Adjey, Su-mei yu, and martin yan

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Old 02-10-2007, 11:10 PM   #2
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hands down anthony bourdain. but in a close second i'd have to say thomas keller.
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Old 02-11-2007, 03:44 AM   #3
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Out of the guys I've been exposed to and it hasn't been more than two months or so, I'd go with Mario Batali.
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Old 02-11-2007, 05:19 AM   #4
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Ken Hom or Ainsley.
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:01 AM   #5
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Marcella Hazan.Her cookbooks are great. I also like Ina Garten, but I don't think of her as a chef just a really good cook.
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:29 AM   #6
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ncage,

As I was reading your post and your description of the passionate chef, Rick Bayless immediately came to mind . . . and then you mentioned him. I have all of his cookbooks. I have so many favorites chefs. Even though I don't bake much I love the pastry chef Nick Malgieri. It's so much fun to catch him on a T.V. show. I could listen to him for hours . . . another interesting, talented and passionate chef.
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Old 02-11-2007, 06:17 PM   #7
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I really like Tyler Florence and Lidia Bostianich. I judge a favorite chef by whether or not their food is easy to duplicate and if they're recipes I'd make over and over. These two fit that bill.
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:04 PM   #8
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Cantu, Keller, O'Connell, Trotter, Escoffier, Brioza, Bourdain, Wylie Dufresne
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:05 PM   #9
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I don't watch much TV, but I always liked Alton Brown's take on things.
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:51 PM   #10
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Wow some interesting responses here:

mad: i agree with you about AB. I think a lot of people like how he approaches food in a new way (scientific/nerdy).

I cooked from one of ricks books tonight...and mmm mmm mmmmmmmmm was it good. The flavor or roasted tomatoes and jalapenos then that are seared in a pan with onion that has been cooked with lard. Then add chicken broth to have one of the most wonderful tasting sauces out there. I put it on chicken fajitas. Im getting hungry again :).
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:54 PM   #11
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Alton is not only a chef, he is the awardee of numerous James beard Awards. I love the guy, but don't think of him as a Chef per say, but more of a fundamental gastronome. I love the guy, and in my opinion, is the only thing on FN worth watching.
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Old 02-12-2007, 12:04 AM   #12
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For those of you who like Alton Brown, you might like to do a The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) search of "names" for him. You'll learn about his training and his interest in the "scientific" part of cooking. Pretty interesting reading.

And, yep, I like him, too. He's a fun guy. (Fungi...in his vernacular.)
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Old 02-12-2007, 12:26 AM   #13
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My DH who is not a cook - but a bit of a brainiac - loves Alton Brown. He's interesting to me - like his personality - but I don't seem to bend towards the scientifics as much as he does. He has a brined turkey recipe that I have used for a few years now that is awesome!
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Old 02-12-2007, 12:33 AM   #14
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My all time favorite chef is Katie E.

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It's true anyway!
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:11 AM   #15
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Most of you probably don't know him, unless you've ever seen Chef at Home or Chef at Large (or his old show, The Inn Chef), but my fav is Michael Smith. I just love the way that he can cook up a crazy *** meal because he's a fancy pants chef, but yet he really loves to keep it simple and just make things work together. His dishes are very much repeatable, but also delicious (at least the ones that I've made).

I also enjoy Giada (for more reasons than that she's just too hot for chefdom). She just really seems to love food and also likes to (usually) keep it simple. She just seems like she'd be fun to chill out in a kitchen with.

I'd like to take classes from those two, actually. If I could learn from anyone, I'd enjoy them the most, I think.
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Old 02-12-2007, 08:22 AM   #16
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I had to choose high speed internet over cable TV so I don't have access to many cooking shows but my favorite from years ago when he first started on TV is Martin Yan. I was always impressed with the speed of his cleaver, I can hardly lift mine and when I did use it I cut the tip of my thumb off! It now is hanging on the wall as decoration.
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Old 02-12-2007, 08:49 AM   #17
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Mine would be Jacques Pepin, Mark Bittman (and everyone he has on his show). Pepin's cooking is very easy and different. Yes, sometimes too different, but I like his style.
The absolute worst, and I mentioned this on another post, is any recepie from Americas Test Kitchen. I have tried a few recipies from the show, but the kicker was when I spent over $100 for the crab tower recipie and it tasted like....well you know. I wouldn't even give it to my dog.
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Old 02-12-2007, 08:58 AM   #18
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Britain's Jaime Oliver aka the Naked Chef
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Old 02-12-2007, 09:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silentmeow
I had to choose high speed internet over cable TV so I don't have access to many cooking shows but my favorite from years ago when he first started on TV is Martin Yan. I was always impressed with the speed of his cleaver, I can hardly lift mine and when I did use it I cut the tip of my thumb off! It now is hanging on the wall as decoration.
The tip of your thumb or the cleaver??
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:09 AM   #20
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well, I've been to Flay's Batali's and Bourdain's restaurants...each quite different but all quite fine and worthy of repeat visits. Batali's was the most "original" at the time of visit. So as I'm east coast, I'll go with west coast for an experience and say Keller. I would enjoy such an experience.

No doubt there are many such fine chefs out there, some whose names will never be household items. I think I've met a few and certainly admired their work...one such in Wilmington DE at a place called 821. Stop in if you're in the area.
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