Five Most Influential Chefs in French Cooking

Creating culinary delicacies infused with rich flavors and making some of the world's best cheese and wine is arguably what the French do best. France produces some of the most famous and expensive food known to man and takes extraordinary talent and skill to prepare, which is why the most influential chefs in French cooking deserve heaps of praise for their abilities.

Most French food is very time-consuming to make, and it takes high-level expertise to master the techniques that are involved in prepping and cooking the food. The following chefs are the five most influential chefs in French cooking and have all contributed in their own ways to make this cuisine what it is today:

Paul Bocuse

Based in Lyon, Paul Bocuse is famous for his ingenious, cutting-edge approach to French cuisine. He is the most well-known chef of the nouvelle cuisine movement, which is based on using low-calorie, high-quality fresh ingredients. Bocuse not only contributed his skills to the world of French food, but has also taught some of the most famous chefs known today. He is also a founder of the Bocuse d'Or, which has been one of the most prestigious and sought-after culinary awards since 1987.

Anne-Sophie Pic

Anne-Sophie Pic is also based in France and is the daughter of the famous chef Jacques Pic. She grew up in a culinary family, living above the family restaurant, Maison Pic. Cooking was her passion, so she shadowed and learned from her father from age 23 until he passed away. Pic is best known for receiving a three-star rating from the Michelin Guides for Maison Pic. She was the fourth female chef to ever receive a three-star rating, and in 2011, Pic became the first recipient of the award for World's Best Female Chef.

Michel Guérard

Michel Guérard is best known for his founding of the cuisine minceur style of cooking. He took traditional food famous for its heavy sauces and large portions and transformed it to cater to health-conscious Parisians. He said he was inspired by his wife, Christine Barthelemy. The two currently own three restaurants and spas in Eugénie that have received three-star Michelin ratings.

Raymond Blanc

Raymond Blanc is best known for being a successful chef in the United Kingdom. He has always been inspired by his mother, affectionately termed Maman Blanc, who taught him how to cook fresh and lively ingredients. He was inspired not only by the love she put into the food, but the fresh, local and seasonal flavors she used. Blanc opened his first restaurant, Les Quat'Saisons, with his wife, Jenny, in 1977. The restaurant was an overnight success, winning the Egon Ronay Restaurant of the Year award. In 1984, Blanc fell in love with the 30 acres known as Milton Manor. He transformed the quaint little country house into a two-star-rated hotel called Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.

Jean-Christophe Novelli

Jean-Christophe Novelli is a famous French chef known for becoming personal chef to the Rothschild family at the young age of 19. Knowing that his passion was food, he quit school at age 14 to work in a bakery. In 1996, Novelli opened his own restaurant in London called Maison Novelli. Since then, he has opened three more restaurants in France, London and Africa. He has also won a variety of awards, including European Chef of the Year.

If you dream of joining the ranks of these culinary superstars, consider enrolling in a culinary school that offers programs to teach the skills and techniques that these five most influential chefs in French cooking have mastered.

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