Every year, Time Magazine releases their list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. For 2012, two of the worlds greatest chefs are on that list: Chef José Andrés and Chef René Redzepi.
Taking the time to note the accomplishments of both of these chefs would take far more time than I, or probably anyone, would have. Fortunately, the work of extolling their virtues has already been handled by people that know them best.
Anthony Bourdain wrote a great tribute to Chef Andrés. No one would ever doubt Chef Andrés chops in the kitchen, but it’s interesting to see what Bourdain points out:
“That this gift of Spain to the U.S. is best known as a great chef with a portfolio of extraordinary restaurants in Washington, Los Angeles and Las Vegas is almost beside the point. He’s bigger and more important than that. No one kitchen — or 10 — can contain him. He is advocate, promoter, entrepreneur, philanthropist, artist. Keep up with him at your peril.”
Chef Andrés is a James Beard Award winning chef. He currently has eight restaurants (and counting) located in Washington, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, with plans to open restaurants in Miami and Puerto Rico.
For the tribute to Chef Redzepi, we hear from Ferran Adrià. Chef Adrià was the head chef at El Bulli in Spain, which was considered for years the best restaurant in the world. In 2010, El Bulli was dethroned by Noma, in Coppenhagen. The head chef of Noma? René Redzepi. Adrià states:
“Today he is at the apex of the culinary world. We often talk about the best chef in the world when in reality, cuisine — like other activities — cannot be measured, quantified or calculated. There is no such thing as the best. But it is possible to point out something much more important: the chef who is the most influential, the one who establishes the way forward. René occupies this position.”
Chef Redzepi is the head chef at Noma, a two-Michelin star in Coppenhagen, which is at the very forefront of the emergent New Nordic cuisine.