Her name could be one of those tounge twisters (try saying it fast 10 times!), but if you’ve seen Gale Gand’s show “Sweet Dreams” on the Food Network, you’ll find that there’s nothing twisted about Gale – in fact, she comes across as a down-to-earth big sister you wish you had, who’ll bake you the most deliciously moist chocolate chip cookies when you’ve been dumped.

Although today she has won numerous accolades for being a fabulous pastry chef, Gale’s first claim to fame was a photograph taken for Life magazine when she was 6 years old, as she was making mud pies.

She’s the executive pastry chef at Tru, a fancy Chigago restaurant popular with connoisseurs, and holds the same position at Cenitare restaurants, LLC, and is polularly known as the lady who makes the best desserts in the city.

Aside from her tv show, Gale has been writing cookbooks since 1997, her sixth and latest one, entitled “Chocolate and Vanilla” is due out in bookstores later this year. Her awards are many and too long to mention, but needless to say, the unassuming Gale has won the praise and respect in the culinary world for her simple talent – creating the most dreamy desserts.
Next time you’re in Chicago, drop into her casual and scrumptuous pastry/coffee bar, simply called “Gale’s Coffee Bar”, and you may bump into Gale herself in another role she loves, this time as Mom with her son Gio and 2-year-old fraternal twin girls, Ella Nora and Ruby Grace. Those lucky kids are bound to be the hit at their future school bake sales.

Michel Nischan decided that he would create a new way of cooking- based on health and well-being, when his son Chris was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 5.

Chris’s illness made me realize that floating on foie gras and bathing in butter might not be in the best interest of my customers.

This was back in 1994, and since then, Nischan has revolutionized cooking, creating a cuisine where the dishes are not just good for you and taste fantastic, but more imporatntly, the ingredients used are purely organic products.

A farmer’s son, Nischan was raised on the land, which laid the foundations for his organic understanding about food:

I was raised to understand that the soul of a vegetable comes from the soil, and the rain is its life-blood…The food we grow and eat in the place we call home defines who we are and what we care about.” He says.

His career flourished through several successful restaurants in the Mid-west, until he shot to stardom when he introduced his new concepts of organic eating at the Heartbeat restuarant at the W Hotel in New York City in 1997.

Since then, Nischan has authored two groundbreakingcookbooks on the subject of organic eating – Homegrown Pure and Simple: Great Healthy Food from Garden to Table (2005) and Taste Pure and Simple: Irresistible Recipes for Good Food and Good Health (2003), which went on the New York Times Bestseller lists as well as win James Beard Foundation awards.

His clear vision, talent and know-how on organic eating has caught the attention of people everywhere, and Nischan has been a busy man indeed, making numerous television appearances, writing for newspapers and magazines, serving as board member for Harvard Medical School‘s Center for Health and The Global Environment, is one of the key organizers of the New American Farmers Initiative (NAFI), and he takes part in helping major food companies work on their issues on sustainable food systems. He also served as host chef for a dinner for the Dalai Lama.

More recently, Nischan has opened a retaurant with another organic food advocate, Paul Newman, “The Dressing Room – A Homegrown Restaurant” in Westport, Connecticut.

If there ever was a celebrity chef to remember for the 21st century, it would be Michel Nischan.

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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.

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.


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.

Back in the 90’s, I remember flopping down on the sofa at my flat after a day of college classes, ready to be entertained by Ready Steady Cook and Ainsley Harriot.

I have to admit that the recipes didnt look as tasty as the ones you see today whipped up by Nigella or Jamie, but the sheer entertainment factor – perhaps also the silly concept of two teams (one ordinary person each, unless it was a Celeb episode) called the Red Tomatoes vs the Green Peppers racing against the clock to cook in 20 minutes, with limited ingredients and one “famous chef” each to help (Aisley being one of them), it was television at its most couch-potato enducing.

In those days, Ready Steady Cook was hosted by the rotund Fern Britton, who was replaced by Ainsley (who stole all the attention anyway – Fern just sort of waddled from one cooking station to another) in 2000. As I moved from the UK in 1997, I was quite surprised that the show was still alive and kicking on BBC 2 in the same timeslot.

And after a bit more research, I found out that some changes had been made, in addition to Ainsley’s move from chef to presenter. One was that the food budget had been raised from the �5 if a Bistro bag (�7) or Gourmet bag (�10) was used. Sensible, as I dont think 5 quid can buy you much in London these days. Also, the show’s length had been upped to a lengthy 45 minutes!

What hasn’t changed is the studio audience voting with those giant flashcards with either a red tomato or a green pepper, or the grand prize, which remains at 100 quid TWELVE years later.

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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.

The thing I like best about The Too Hot Tamales is that they are both so darn likeable. Their show, The Too Hot Tamales, was one of the first cooking shows I ever saw on television, and they just seemed more entertaining to me than say, Jacques Pepin or the Frugal Gourmet, whom I also fondly remember from that era before the Celeb Chef was born.

Both women first met in at Chicago’s distinguished kitchen of Le Perroquet, the first women ever to work in the reknowned restaurant. Feniger then went on to L.A at Wolfgan Puck’s Ma Maison, and Milliken in Paris at the Restaurant d’Olympe in Paris. Feniger later moved to France as well, working at L’Oasis, a three star restaurant on the French Riviera.

In 1981 they finally joined forces by opening the humble City Cafe on L.A’s Melrose Avenue. The city grew to become CITY, a large operation inspired by the world’s exotic flavours, which made a huge impact on the Los Angeles dining scene.

In 1994, Border Grill opened, which was quickly touted as one of the forty best restaurants by the LA Times, won the prestigious IVY Award 1997, and was called of the best restaurants in America by Gourmet Magazine.

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Last year over 400,000 people asked from reservations at El Bulli, Ferr�n Adri�’s restaurant just outside Barcelona. I’m not sure how many actually got a table, but as the famous restaurant is only open 6 months of the year, it couldn’t have been all of them.

And its not surprising, because in 2006 it was awarded top position as the world’s best restaurant. “El Bulli” rose from 2nd to 1st postion this year in the “Restaurant Top 50”, booting The Fat Duck in England from the top of the prestigious list.

All this fuss is because of the “Salvador Dali of the kitchen”, culinary genius Ferr�n Adri� who has brought unexpected creativity to his food. His inventive use of “culinary foam” and “molecular gastronomy” and play on texture and flavour are what makes him an alchemist-chef (which is actually his goal), and one who definitely has a sense of humour and irony too.

Born in Spain in 1962, Ferran began as a dishwasher in the party isle of Ibiza, and laid his roots in traditional Spanish cooking. He joined El Bulli in 1982, and transformed it into an unknown eatery into what is now what gourmets call the best restaurant in the world with no less than 3 Michelin stars.

El Bulli opens from April to September each year, leaving Ferran to use the rest of his time to travel for inspiration, research and for experimenting and perfecting new ideas at his workshop in Barcelona, El Taller.

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Art Smith — who has been Oprah’s personal chef for nearly a decade — may find himself working in the White House kitchen.

In this article, he said that he had been tapped by Barack Obama to do his catering.

So what’s Mr. Smith’s appeal? Well, he has won two James Beard Foundation awards, released two cookbooks (Back to the Table and Kitchen Life). Other clients include former Governors of Florida, Bob Graham and Jeb Bush as well as Brazilian artist Romero Britto.