Le Chef releases its list of the top 100 chefs in the world

 best chefs 2018

Yesterday, Le Chef magazine announced its annual compilation of the 100 best chefs in the world for 2018. Chef Michel Troisgros from Maison Troisgros restaurant in Ouches, France, was named as the  best chef in the world for 2018 The list also includes names you know and might expect, like Alain Ducasse, René Redzepi, Massimo Bottura, Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Corey Lee, and Grant Achatz. Not surprisingly for an organization based in France, the Le Chef rankings skew heavily toward European chefs.

There are a handful of Japanese and Australian chefs, but only one - Alex Atala of D.O.M in Brazil - to represent all of South America. Also glaringly absent are names from India, the entire African continent, and China. There are only five women in the rankings - one of whom, Elena Arzak, shares the honor with her father Juan Mari. The other four women are Dominique Crenn, Anne-Sophie Pic, Nadia Santini, and Carme Ruscalleda.

Without taking anything away from the tremendous accomplishments of the 100 chefs - many of whom have upended longstanding culinary conventions and have contributed greatly to the field - it is disappointing to see such entrenchment in this listing, and the companion list of the world's best restaurants. Comments on several social media posts about the rankings echo this sentiment. 

One reason the list is tilted in favor of European chefs is that it is compiled from recommendations given by two- and three-starred Michelin chefs, making it a very cozy club. Additionally, we don't know which of those chefs are actually doing the nominating, because Le Chef doesn't release the names of who it solicits for the recommendations. Unless and until the nomination process is changed, we can expect to see similar results in the future. 

1 Comment

  • Foxygourmet  on  11/29/2017 at 12:48 AM

    Yes it is very skewed to European (male) chefs, but that’s what happens to subjective lists. I think these lists are a little silly (no disrespect to the chefs), but they are a reasonable suggestion-box of places to eat when travelling to an unfamiliar land. I tend to try one or two from a list but then go by local recommendations when I’m there. Oh, & China is on the list. The chef isn’t Chinese but he works in ‘Chine’, French for China.

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