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In this day and age, many of us do not know how to cook. Quite a few are afraid to do so because they don’t have any experience or background in it. Even if we buy a cookbook or watch these great chefs on TV, we just don’t seem to get the hang of it.

This is where Rachael Ray came in. She is not a formally trained chef. She has taken no cooking courses. She just loves food and isn’t afraid to try something new in the kitchen. Add to it her perky personality, or as she puts it goofy personality, and she had people willing to give cooking a chance.

Rachael learned to cook the old fashioned way, from watching her mom cook. Her family owned a restaurant in Cape Cod. Later her mom managed restaurants in upstate New York. At home, she enjoyed the flavors of Italy and Louisiana.

Rachael began her career at the Candy Counter in Macy’s New York. She then became the manager of the fresh foods department. After Macy’s she helped open the gourmet market place Agata and Valentina, serving as both buyer and manager.

It wasn’t unitl she moved upstate that Rachel’s destiny began to shape up. She was recruited by Cowan and Label to be their food buyer. While she was there, Rachael decided to hold some cooking classes as a way to increase the christmas sales. Her 30 Minute Meal classes became so popular they caught the attention of the media.

An Albany TV station then asked her to do a weekly 30 minute meal segment as part of the evening news. The show was nominated for 2 regional Emmy awards and Rachael’s first cookbook, a companion to the show, was released selling 10,000 copies.

Now, she hosts 4 shows on the food network: 30 Minute Meals, $40 a Day, Inside Dish and Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels. She has also signed a contract with Oprah Winfrey and King World Productions to launch her own syndicated talk show, Rachael Ray, beginning September 18, 2006.

She has authored several cookbooks following her 30 minute meal concept and has her own magazine, Everyday with Rachael Ray. She has also developed her own line of cookware and cutlery.

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There is nothing as important as feeding our children. Yet food for kids isn’t exactly something that you see on TV everyday. In fact there are only a few people writing about it.

Enter Annabel Karmel. She is a household name in the UK. She is an inspirig person. She is not just a cook, she is also a mother which is why each of her recipes have been carefully tested against the best possible guage: her own kids.

Annabel Karmel studied at the Cordon Bleu school. It was the loss of her first child, Natasha, that she began to write. She believes that the one element that any parent can control that will help determine their health is what they eat. She began to create recipes that her son would enjoy eating yet still meet his dietary needs. The result: her first published book in 1991 titled The Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner.

By no means though is she a homely, matronly looking mom. She may have 3 kids but she has kept physically active. She is a fun person who enjoys skiing, tennis and roller blading. She is also a musician and singer. In fact she has performed with Liberace, Denis Waterman, Queen Elizabeth and Boy George. The instrument she has performed on is the harp, though she also plays violin. She has also had a recording career.

To date she has several books under her belt. Her recipes are all kid friendly and are fun to make. If you have a fussy eater, try some of her recipes.

She has also been seen on TV as the Foodie Godmother on the Richard and Judy Show, BBC1′s Saturday Kitchen and BBC2′s Working Lunch.

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Faggots, fish cakes, braised oxtails and bread and butter pudding – these are English dishes that Gary Rhodes is credited with reviving. He has a passion for English cooking and is a fan of Manchester United. His peers have given him the accolade the Chef’s Chef.

Gary Rhodes first discovered a love for cooking at the age of thirteen. The delight of his family over the Sunday roast and steamed lemon pudding he prepared was the spark that lit his passion for the culinary art.

He trained at the Thanet technical college. After graduation he decided that he needed to expand his knowledge and increase his culinary skills, and figured the best way to do this was by travelling. He went off to Amsterdam where he worked as a commis chef at the Amsterdam Hilton.

He has worked as a sous chef at the Reform Club, Pall Mall, at the Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge and later in the Castle Hotel, Taunton in Somerset as the head chef. The Castle Hotel is where he truly began to make his mark, earning his first Michelin Star.

He moved to the Greenhouse Restaurant in Mayfair in 1990 where he earned his second Michelin Star. By this time his reputation was well established. He was already considered a master of the culinary art. He continued to bring a personal modern touch to classic traditional British favorite dishes.

Finally in 1997 he opened his own restaurant, City Rhodes and a year later Rhodes in the Square. Both establishments were awarded Michelin Stars. He later opened brasseries called Rhodes and Co. in Manchester, Edinburgh and Crawley. The first two were awarded the Michelin Bib – the award given to good moderately priced food.

His first appearance on TV was on the show Hot Chefs while he was 27. He has had numerous shows including Rhodes Around Britain and Gary’s Perfect Christamas. He has even hosted a show for kids with recipes based on Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes.
He also has several cookbooks to his name including Gary Rhodes’ Cookery Year: Spring into Summer and Gary Rhodes’ Cookery Year: Autumn into Winter.

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Born on March 29, 1964, Ming Tsai was never a stranger to great food. His family owned a restaurant called the Mandarin Kitchen in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. Ming Tsai worked alongside his parents gaining valuable experience.

Ming Tsai has a degree in mechanical engineering from Yale. He also holds a masters degree from Cornell University where he studied Hotel Administration and Hospitality Marketing. He studied under renowned Pastry Chef Pierre Herme in Paris and he later studied with Sushi Master Kobayashi in Osaka between earning his two degrees.

Ming Tsai had been exposed to East West cooking when he was in Paris. He gained more exposure to it when he worked at Silks, the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco’s east west restaurant, as a sous chef. Later he moved to Palo Alto, California where he served as the executive chef of the Ginger Club before moving again. This time he moved to Santa Fe to serve as executive chef of the Santacafe where he was honored as best chef.

Ming Tsai and his wife Polly now own their own restaurant, the Blue Ginger in Wellesley Massachusetts. It has earned many awards including three stars from the Boston Globe and Ming Tsai was honored 2002 Best Chef Northeast by the James Beard Foundation.

Ming Tsai has written three cookbooks. Blue Ginger East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai made it to the Food and Wine Magazine top 25 best cookbooks of 1999. His second book Simply Ming was published in 2003 and his third book Ming’s Master Recipes was released in 2004.

Ming Tsai first appeared on TV via the Food Network where he hosted the show East Meets West. The show won him an Emmy in 1998. Currently he hosts and produces the TV cooking show Simply Ming which was awarded the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award in 2005. You can also watch him on his other show, Ming’s Quest.

Ming Tsai is also a founding member of Chefs for Humanity, a charity organization created in response to the needs of those devastated by the tsunami in 2005. They organize fund raising and relief activities for those in need around the world.

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Bam! Kick it up a notch and Pork fat Rules! are just a few of the catch phrases of Emeril Lagasse. His light and fun style of hosting his TV shows has made him a very popular chef/host. He began with then new cable station, Food Network, in 1993 with the show “How to Boil Water”. Now he has two shows, “The Essence of Emeril” and “Emeril Live!” plus he is the food correspondent of “Good Morning America”.
Emeril Lagasse received a full scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music but his heart was in a different medium – Food. Not surprising since he began learning about cooking at a very young age from his mother. In his teens he worked in a Portuguese bakery till he went off to College at the Johnson and Wales University to earn his degree in the culinary arts. He was later awarded an honorary doctorate degree by his alma matter.

Emeril Lagasse traveled to France and polished his skills in French cuisine before coming home. He worked in fine restaurants in New York, Boston and Philadelphia before he moved to New Orleans to become the executive chef of the Commander’s Palace for eight years.

In 1990 he opened his first restaurant, Emeril’s, in New Orleans. The following year he was awarded the James Beard Award for Best Southeast chef. In 19920 he opened his second restaurant, Nola. He currently has nine restaurants in the United States situated in New Orleans, Miami, Orlando and Atlanta.

Aside from being a chef, restaurateur and TV personality and host Emeril Lagasse has authored 11 Cookbooks. The first was “New” New Orleans Cooking and the latest is Emerils Delmonico.

He also has a line of high quality stoneware with Wedgweood, a line of seasonal produce, lettuces and herbs with Pride fo San Juan and a line of clogs with Sanita clogs of Denmark.

He also established the Emeril Lagasse Foundation in 2002. Its mission is “inspire, mentor and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive and creative individuals” . It is another dream fulfilled for him since he has always wanted to enrich children’s lives. Truly he kicks things up more than a notch.

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If you want to talk American Cuisine, one of the first names to come to mind is Charlie Palmer. His steaks are a must eat if you are in Las Vegas or in DC. Of course that isn’t all he makes.

Charlie Palmer says he never really planned to become chef. Sports was what he was into. In fact he was a linebacker in high school. Thanks to a dare from a neighbor and working at the Colgate Inn Charlie found his way to cooking.

Charlie Palmer trained at the Culinary Institute of America. His style though isn’t french, it is considered progressive American. As he explains, “I realized that American cuisine was just in its infancy and I spent a lot of time thinking about what the idea of American cooking really meant to me as a chef”.

His distinctive style first began emerging while he was working at the River Cafe as its executive chef. The New York Times rated him three stars.

Now, Charlie Palmer has a great restaurant empire. His establishments include teh Aureole, ALva and Metrazur in New York. In Las Vegas he has the Aureole at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino and the Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas. He owns a boutique hotel Healsburg in California which is where his Dry Creek Kitchen is located. He also owns and operates Astra and Astra West, beautiful catering and event spaces in New York and Los Angeles respectively.

Don’t think though that he has left the kitchen. This master chef thinks nothing of jumping in and working beside his staff at anytime. He is more creative than ever and enjoying creating new recipes for his guests to savor.

Charlie Palmer has written three cookbooks: Great American Food, Charlie Palmer’s Casual Cooking and the Art of Aureole. He is also a frequent guest on the Today Show of NBC.

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How many people can say that they’ve cooked for the queen before entering their teens? Not that many, that’s for sure. James Martin was born into the life of a chef. His dad ran the catering side of Castle Howard which meant James was exposed very early to the intricacies of fine dining. He began his formal training in Scarborough technical college at age 16.

His work caught the attention of Antony Worrall Thompson who brought him to London. He worked in the kitchens of 190 Queensgate, and later in dell’Ugo. He later left England, traveling to France to increase his knowledge and culinary skills in the kitchen’s of some the grand old families of that country.

Upon returning to England in 1993, he took on the position of the Hotel du Vin and Bistro in Winshester from the time of its opening. He is known to have changed the menu there everyday. His skill and the variety apparently attracted many clients. There was an 8 week waiting list just to get a table.

In 1996, James Martin became a regular member of the TV program Ready Steady Cook catapulting him to public notice. He has now appeared on a string of TV shows including Stately Suppers, Castle in the Country, Yorkshire’s Finest and Saturday Kitchen Live. He even shoed off his dancing skills on the show Strictly Come Dancing.

James Martin also has several cookbooks under his name. His first cookbook, Eating In with James Martin, was published in October 1998. His other cookbooks include Great British Dinners and the Deli Cookbook.