The mother – indeed, grandmother – of all celebrity chefs, Julia Child has been immortalized in museums, biographies and on the big screen, with the 2009 hit Julie & Julia. She made French cooking accessible and popular with Americans and, throughout a television career which spanned three decades, cemented her place in popular culture with her buoyant, no-frills attitude. Today, she is a household name, while her death in 2004 was marked by the sincere mourning of millions.
When Bravo first premiered its cooking competition show Top Chef in 2006, there was no way for producers to know that Tom Colicchio, the relatively unknown owner of the Craft restaurants, would become the show’s headliner. Handsome, tough yet fair and instantly recognizable to anyone who has watched Bravo for five minutes, Colicchio has transcended reality TV fame and is now one of the most well-respected chefs in the world.
Another chef celebrity who rose to widespread fame via television, Bourdain, a misfit from New York City with a penchant for prose, first came onto the pop culture radar with his no-holds-barred memoir Kitchen Confidential in 2000. His strong personality (to put it lightly) but willingness to indulge in self-deprecation on his wildly popular show No Reservations made him an alternative mouthpiece for chefs and cooks who love what they do but don’t see the need to sugar coat any of it.
If the restaurant business is tough, becoming famous from it is near-impossible, yet these celebrity chefs have managed to translate their talents into big time name recognition via television programming. To try and start your own restaurant-cum-TV show empire, you can visit http://www.nisbets.com/for the tools of the trade.