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Famous Chefs Who Didn't Attend Culinary School?


johnsmith45678
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I was reading one of Mario Batali's posts where he gave advice to somebody to "attend college while cooking in high-end restaurants, after graduating you'll have enough experience you won't need to go to culinary school." What successful/famous chefs do you know of that didn't attend culinary school? All I know of off the top of my head is:

Mario Batali

Gordon Ramsay (if he did, I think he dropped out)

Scott Bryan (dropped out)

Japanese? chef in "A Cook's Tour - Down Under" who worked up from dishwasher

Any others?

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Chef Masaharu Morimoto received nearly eight years of culinary training in Hiroshima at a restaurant specializing in sushi and traditional Kaiseki cuisine.
biography no formal training but apparently his hands-on training was just terrific! :wink:

Michael Romano of Union Square Cafe.

Michael Chiarello

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Alice Waters

Charlie Trotter

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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i'm pretty certain chiarello met his first wide at the cia...could be wrong.

As a young boy, Chiarello worked the land with his grandfather and at age 14 he apprenticed in local restaurant kitchens. He attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, graduating in 1982. Then he studied hospitality management at Florida International University, graduating with a B.A. in 1984. Chiarello spent time in Italy and then, in 1985, opened The Grand Bay Hotel, in Coconut Grove, Fla., in partnership with Italy’s CHIGA Group. He also opened, as Executive Chef, Toby’s Bar and Grill, which specialized in new American cuisine. That year, 23-year-old Chiarello was honored as Chef of the Year by Food and Wine magazine.
bio hereYou are so right! Thanks!

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I don't know if she attended later, but wasn't Julia Child self -taught through writing her first book?

Julia Child went to Cordon Bleu in Paris right after WWII. I think that counts. Julia never worked in a professional kitchen, however (except after she was famous for photo-ops).

Others who did not go to cooking school: Paul Bocuse, Jacque Pepin (Columbia U), Jacques Torres, Andre Soltner, Michel Richard, Craig Clairborne (does he count?), Pierre Franey, Craig Shelton (Yale), Alice Watters (UC Berkeley)...

He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau
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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall ...River Cottage in Dorset where an English cooking television series was filmed

Clarissa Dickson-Wright ... of The Two Fat Ladies and Jennifer Paterson!

Raymond Blanc ... chef and owner of Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons

Ainsley Harriott of BBC Two's Ready Steady Cook

Madhur Jaffrey

Graham Kerr

Delia Smith

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall ...River Cottage in Dorset  where an English cooking television series was filmed

Clarissa Dickson-Wright ... of The Two Fat Ladies and Jennifer Paterson!

Raymond Blanc ... chef and owner of Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons

Ainsley Harriott of BBC Two's Ready Steady Cook

Madhur Jaffrey

Graham Kerr

Delia Smith

Pretty sure Ainsley Harriet did our equivalent of Westminster College same as Jamie Oliver maybe wrong!

All Missed though no longer cooking Nico Ladenis!

Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!
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Westminster College is not a cooking school but a regular college, if memory serves me. I certainly could be wrong but that isn't how I understood it ... sorry if I am in error.

Its classed as the best college in this country for catering all catering in this country is at this level! But if you look at the competitions this college have won over the years and the placements its full time students get, they are at our better establishments(Also believe Gary Rhodes is also an ex-student)!

In this country less chefs take a PHD or such like in catering it is generally done at a vocational level seems there's a difference between countries! If a catering degree is done they rarely end up in the kitchen I could probably mention more chefs with irelavent degrees than I could catering degrees! I'm not sure I could mention a chef with a catering degree, I know Philip Howard at The Square has a molecular biology degree!

Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!
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A thousand pardons, effendi! :huh: I am wrong and fully admit the error .. but I live on the other side of the 'pond' and have to apologize profusely. :biggrin:

but I was right about the others, I'll bet ... :rolleyes:

Best wishes,

The Groveling Gourmet

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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