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Celebrity Chefs' Favorite Restaurants Around the World

Celebrity Chefs' Favorite Restaurants Around the World


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When it comes to uncovering the best dining spots around the world, who better to ask than some of the culinary industry's top celebrity chefs?

See Celebrity Chefs' Favorite Restaurants Around the World Slideshow

Whether filming Food Network favorites, opening up restaurants, or whipping up meals in the kitchen, celebrated chefs in the culinary world are awarded the opportunity to treat their palettes to cuisines and dishes from eateries all over the world.

So, The Daily Meal is rounding up a savory slideshow of celebrity chefs' favorite restaurants around the world, dishing out some of the best places to grab a bite according to Mario Batali, Anne Burrell, Tyler Florence, Nadia G., Robert Irvine, and Buddy Valastro.

Find out which restaurant Florence spent $173 to get to and where Irvine would go for his last feast on earth. Both Andrew Zimmern and Nadia G. single out eateries in Montreal, while Mario Batali boasts he is blown away by a vegetarian tasting menu in Monte Carlo.

From casual sandwich shacks to suit-and-tie fine dining, check out Celebrity Chefs' Favorite Restaurants Around the World to discover which restaurants these celebrity chefs remember sampling some of the greatest grub.

Clare Sheehan is a Junior Writer for The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @clare_sheehan.

Heather Cheney contributed the interview with Mario Batali and the corresponding content to this story.


10 of the World’s Most Famous Chefs and Their Signature Dishes to Try in 2021

2020 may not have served us the finest days of our lives, but let’s admit it, food helped us find happiness in this pandemic-struck year. And now that we have officially said goodbye to it, we suggest you celebrate it with a grand feast cooked by some of the world’s most famous chefs.

From Japan to India and Italy to America, it’s the love for distinct flavours that keeps us akin. But the art of cooking is intricate – it’s all about coming up with something that soothes the taste buds and soul alike – something a few chefs around the world have nailed.

To feed the unique and endless appetite of foodies, we have rounded up 10 of the world’s most famous chefs and their lip-smacking signature dishes that are worth a shot in 2021.


Quarantine Cooking: MICHELIN Chefs Share Recipes On Social Media

Top chefs around the world like Eric Ripert, Massimo Bottura and Guy Martin are taking to social media during their restaurant downtime to share recipes and videos from their own home kitchens.

As millions around the world do their part to fight the Covid-19 pandemic by staying home and practising social distancing to slow the spread of the disease, more are picking up their pans and cooking at home before sharing their creations online. Professional chefs, too, are rising to the occasion and doing what they do best — cooking in the time of coronavirus. The top toques of MICHELIN-star restaurants around the world like Eric Ripert, Massimo Bottura and Guy Martin are taking to social media during their restaurant downtime to share recipes and videos from their own home kitchens.

Whether you're a novice just getting started or looking to level up behind the stove, indulge in some feel-good home cooking and find some culinary inspiration here.

#MICHELINGUIDEATHOME
Chefs and MICHELIN inspectors alike have contributed their favourite home cooking recipes on the official MICHELIN Guide Instagram under the hashtag #michelinguideathome. You'll find straightforward recipes in easy-to-follow steps, such as Stephanie Le Quellec's (La Scene, two stars) Green Pea Spaghetti With Iberian Ham, Gordon Ramsay's (Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, three stars) Marinara Sauce and an anonymous inspector's Citrus Marmalade, complete with cute illustrations and helpful metric conversions.


&hellip and coming soon

Heston Blumenthal

The long-awaited Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is scheduled to open when the The Royal Atlantis begins welcoming guests towards the end of the year. Expect contemporary dishes inspired by historic gastronomic recipes dating back to the 1300s, including the iconic &lsquoMeat Fruit&rsquo, which looks like a mandarin but is actually made from chicken liver parfait.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences, coming 2021.


Elena Arzak

The fact that the legendary chef of the Basque cuisine is Juan Mari Arzak's daughter may actually explain her interest in the food. Elena Erzak, who helped family meals in her own kitchen at the age of 11, gained experience in many restaurants to prove herself. When she proved herself to her father, she started working in the family restaurant. Kitchen is a passion for supply and there is no time to work. She also took part in The Restaurant Show in London, England in 2011. In addition to making a food show, she opened the show with Rachel Quigley. She was nominated for Restaurant Veuve Clicquot award for the Best Woman Chef of the World in the same year, but won the award in 2012 the following year.


The 10 Most Famous Celebrity Chefs in the World

Let me start this off by saying there are a whole lot of extraordinarily talented, very well known chefs that did not make this list. I tried to only choose celebrity chefs who have become known outside of the world of cooking. Because I am such a big fan of all things related to food, I had a hard time choosing what celebrity chefs to include on this list and what celebrity chefs not to include so I ran all the names on my very lengthy list past my husband whose interest in food does not go past eating it. In order to survive the cut, the chef had to be someone my husband knew by name. That meant a lot of people I felt deserved a spot got cut but it seemed like the only fair way to do things. This one was tough for me – probably the toughest list I’ve ever done but I think the ‘cut or keep’ process I used resulted in a list that included the most famous celebrity chefs in the world and that’s what I was going for so I suppose I can’t complain too much. One more note before we dive in: the list is in alphabetical order by first name. In other words, this list is not in order by talent or level of fame. Felt that was important to point out. Okay, enough talk – let’s take a look at the ten most famous celebrity chefs in the world.

image source: famenetworth.com

10: Wolfgang Puck

Born: Wolfgang Johannes Topfschnig on July 8, 1949 in Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria
Style: California, French, Fusion
Notable Restaurants: Spago, Wolfgang Puck, Wolfgang Puck Grille, Wolfgang Puck Express
Cookbooks: Modern French Cooking for the American Kitchen (1980), The Wolfgang Puck Cookbook (1986), Adventures in the Kitchen with Wolfgang Puck (1991), Pizza, Pasta and More (2000), Live, Love, Eat (2002), Wolfgang Puck Makes it Easy (2004)

By far one of the most successful celebrity chefs of all time, Wolfgang Puck is still one of the most recognizable names in the food industry. He’s taken that fame out of the kitchen though, like many of the other celebrity chefs on this list, by appearing on many different television shows including: Hell’s Kitchen, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Next Food Network Star, Top Chef: New York, Top Chef: Las Vegas, Celebrity Cooking Showdown, Las Vegas, The Simpsons, Iron Chef: America: Battle of the Masters and Frasier.

09: Rachael Ray

Born: Rachael Domenica Ray on August 25, 1968 in Glens Falls, New York
Style: simple dishes that can be prepared quickly
Notable Restaurants: not applicable
Cookbooks: 21 titles including 30 Minute Meals (1999), Rachael Ray’s Open House Cookbook (2000), Comfort Foods (2001), Veggie Meals (2001), 30 Minute Meals 2 (2003), Get Togethers: Rachael Ray 3o Minute Meals (2003), Cooking Rocks: Rachael Ray 30 Minute Meals for Kids (2004)

Rachael Ray gets a lot of criticism but she also deserves a lot of credit. She made cooking accessible to a lot of people who may not have bothered to try their hand at it otherwise. She’s also incredibly honest about what she can and can’t do admitting she can’t make coffee or bake and has been known to burn bread under the broiler. She has also done a lot of good, founding Yum-O, a non-profit organization that hopes to help families learn how to cook and help educate people about food.

08: Paula Deen

Born: Paula Hiers on January 19, 1947 in Albany, Georgia
Style: Southern
Notable Restaurants: Lady & Sons, Paula Deen Buffet
Cookbooks: 4 titles including Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cooking (1997), The Lady & Sons Country Cooking 2 (1997)

Paula Deen has certainly made a name for herself in the world of cooking. Despite facing harsh criticism about the rather unhealthy nature of many of her recipes, she has become one of the most recognizable, most successful women in cooking today. Her show, Paula’s Home Cooking has proven so popular, she’s done two additional shows for the Food Network, Paula’s Party and Paula’s Best Dishes. She’s also appeared on numerous other shows including Chefography, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Top Chef, Oprah’s Next Chapter, Who Do You Think You Are and MasterChef. Paula has also appeared on her son Bobby’s show on the Cooking Channel. His show, Not My Mama’s Meals, features recipes similar to his mother’s but with variations to make them healthier and more appealing to health conscious eaters.

07: Mario Batali

Born: September 19, 1960 in Seattle, Washington
Style: Italian
Notable Restaurants: various restaurants around the world
Cookbooks: 11 titles including Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages (1998), Mario Batali Holiday Food: Family Recipes for the Most Festive Time of the Year (2000), The Babbo Cookbook (2002)

Although I’m not quite as familiar with Mario Batali as I am with some of the other chefs on our list, I certainly know he’s accomplished a lot and done a lot of good through his position in the spot light. I have to give the man serious credit for that. Throughout his career, Mario has won a number of awards, appeared on tons of television shows and has really become one of the premiere names in Italian food. That isn’t even mentioning his successful restaurants, his work with various charities and his string of successful cookbooks that help make proper Italian cooking more accessible to the every day home cook.

image source: cakeduchess.com

06:Julia Child

Born: Julia Carolyn McWilliams on August 15, 1912 in Pasadena, California
Style: French cuisine
Notable Restaurants: not applicable
Cookbooks: 18 titles including the legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961)

Julia Child will always be the first woman I think of when I think of cooking. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that. Rachel Ray is great. So is Paula Deen. In fact, there are lots of great female celebrity chefs out there that just didn’t make it to this list. None of them will every compare to the iconic Julia Child. I can’t even begin to get into her accomplishments here. I just don’t even have the space to offer up the highlights. When Julia passed away on August 13, 2004, a mere two days short of her 92nd birthday, it was truly a sad, sad day. Julia’s importance wasn’t just limited to teaching people how to cook. She taught people how to really love food. To Julia, food was one of life’s great pleasures and she shared her passion for food with the world. That alone makes her worthy of inclusion here. If this list were in order by important, Julia would be in the number one spot for sure.

05: Jamie Oliver

Born: James Trevor Oliver on May 27, 1975 in Clavering, Essex
Style: Italian
Notable Restaurants: Jamie’s Italian
Cookbooks: 17 titles including Something for the Weekend, The Naked Chef, The Return of the Naked Chef, Happy Days with the Naked Chef, Jamie’s Kitchen, Jamie’s Dinners, Jamie’s Italy, Jamie’s Ministry of Food: Anyone Can Learn to Cook in 24 Hours, Jamie’s America, Jamie’s Great Britain, Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals

I am a big Jamie Oliver fan. While I was already starting to discover my interest in cooking when I learned about Jamie, he definitely helped that passion for food blossom. Many of his recipes are simple enough that even novice chefs can prepare them and the focus on fresh, organic food definitely appeals to me personally. I also love the good work Jamie does via his various charitable ventures. This is a man who is not only helping people discover their love of food but is also doing good things with his position in the spotlight. I admire that. Plus, he’s not too hard on the eyes which is always nice.

04: Gordon Ramsay

Born: Gordon James Ramsay on November 8, 1966 in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Style: French, Italian, British
Notable Restaurants: many notable restaurants around the world
Cookbooks: 21 titles including Gordon Ramsay’s Passion for Flavor (1996), Gordon Ramsay’s Passion for Seafood (1999), Gordon Ramsay A Chef for all Seasons (2000), Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course (2012)

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who isn’t familiar with Gordon Ramsay. He has parlayed his passion for food into a lucrative career in not only the food service industry but also in the entertainment industry. Gordon has even made a cameo on The Simpsons, playing up his legendary temper and his penchant for nicknames, calling Marge ‘Big Blue’. Gordon’s television shows, Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, MasterChef, Hotel Hell and numerous others in the UK have propelled him to a level of stardom rarely enjoyed by chefs. It hasn’t been without its price though as Gordon has been the star of many, many scandals over the years. It doesn’t seem to deter him though, with the fiery chef coming back for more time and time again. While his persona tends to get more attention than his cooking skills, he’s definitely no slouch in the kitchen. His cooking show, Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course, most definitely made me into a better chef. His instructions were clear, his recipes delicious and his ‘tips and tricks’ absolutely vital. The man can be a jerk of the highest order but his heart is usually (often? sometimes?) in the right place and if you pay attention, you might actually learn a thing or two to make you a better cook.

image source: themortonreport.com

03: Emeril Lagasse

Born: Emeril John Lagasse on October 15, 1959 in Fall River, Massachusettes
Style: Cajun, Portuguese, Creole, French
Notable Restaurants: Emeril’s in New Orleans, Louisiana and several more throughout the United States
Cookbooks: 12 titles including Emeril’s New Orleans Cooking (1993), Louisiana Real and Rustic (1996), Farm to Fork: Cooking Local, Cooking Fresh (2010)

Bam! I know, overplayed now but you can’t write about Emeril without getting a ‘Bam!’ in there at least once. When I was but a young thing, Emeril Lagasse absolutely fascinated me. I had never considered cooking a career that could make someone famous but them Emeril came along and all that changed. Of course, there were many celebrity chefs before him (Julia Childs, Wolfgang Puck to name just two) but for me, Emeril was really the first celebrity chef I was actually familiar with. He made cooking look exciting and fun and while it would be a few years before I really got interested in the craft myself, it was certainly Emeril that planted the seed in my mind.

image source: laimyours.com

02: Bobby Flay

Born: Robert William Flay on December 10, 1964 in New York City, New York
Style: Mexican, Southwest
Notable Restaurants: Mesa Grill, Bar American, Bobby Flay Steak, Bobby’s Burger Palace
Cookbooks: Several titles including Bobby Flay’s Bold American Food (1994), Bobby Flay’s Boy Meets Grill (2004), Bobby Flay’s Grill It! (2008)

I’m not going to lie. I’m not Bobby Flay’s biggest fan but I do love his recipes. Most of them are simple enough that even novice cooks can make them but delicious enough to please even the pickiest eaters. I’m not sure what it is that I don’t like about him but I suppose it’s just a personal preference thing. He certainly knows what he’s doing and knows how to get his audience excited about cooking and I can’t hate on him for that.

01: Anthony Bourdain

Born: Anthony Michael Bourdain on June 25, 1956 in New York City, New York
Style: French
Cookbooks: several titles including Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000), A Cook’s Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal (2001), No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach (2007)

I’m a big Anthony Bourdain fan but I recognize his inclusion on this list may be somewhat controversial among some readers. Some feel Anthony isn’t really a chef. Anthony himself is rather unimpressed that he’s considered a celebrity chef as he’s often spoken about the fact that he isn’t thrilled with the idea of ‘celebrity chefs’ in the first place. To the first point I’d say that Bourdain is most definitely a chef. To the second point, I’d say that’s a big part of the reason he’s become such an intriguing figure in the industry. He is outspoken and honest. He isn’t interested in everything that comes along with being a celebrity chef, even though he did offer up his voice for an episode of The Simpsons. The truth of the matter is that Anthony isn’t like most of the other chefs on this list and that is endlessly appealing. I had to include him for that reason along. Aside from that, this is a man that is truly passionate about food and that deserves celebration, even if he doesn’t feel it deserves celebrity.


William Bradley

Chef William Bradley is among San Diego’s most decorated chefs. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that Bradley, who originally hails from California, is part of the extremely select group of chefs that hold the title of Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef. If that’s not enough, Bradley also happens to be the 2014 winner of Robb Report ’s Culinary Masters Competition.

At Addison Restaurant, located north of the city near Del Mar , Chef Bradley shares his artisanal approach to food. Each meal is an amalgam of local ingredients, sprinkled with contemporary French influences. Diners rave about the ten course tasting menu. While there, don’t miss pairing your meal with a glass (or bottle) of wine from the restaurant’s extensive list.

“I’ve dined all over the world, in the finest of restaurants, and this is my favorite food yet,” one diner happily exclaimed. “We enjoyed the ten-course tasting menu immensely. The wine selection is literally tremendous. Addison’s atmosphere is stunning, the food is extremely creative and delectable, but what makes this establishment truly shine is the staff.”


Signature Dishes from Top Chefs -- United States

Squid Ink Risotto Helene Darrzone has been hailed as the Best Female Chef in the World She is an Inspirational fourth-generation chef who cooks ingredient-led food with French soul. Pomme Puree Joel Robuchon won his Michelin stars with his famous pommes puree (mashed potatoes)--It is now served at all his restaurants. Robuchon was the first culinary superstar of the post-nouvelle cuisine era. Salmon with Sorrel Sauce Who would think such a simple dish to prepare would become such a star. Troisgros amazed the culinary world when he first served this undercooked salmon.

Quarantine Cooking: MICHELIN Chefs Share Recipes On Social Media

Top chefs around the world like Eric Ripert, Massimo Bottura and Guy Martin are taking to social media during their restaurant downtime to share recipes and videos from their own home kitchens.

As millions around the world do their part to fight the Covid-19 pandemic by staying home and practising social distancing to slow the spread of the disease, more are picking up their pans and cooking at home before sharing their creations online. Professional chefs, too, are rising to the occasion and doing what they do best — cooking in the time of coronavirus. The top toques of MICHELIN-star restaurants around the world like Eric Ripert, Massimo Bottura and Guy Martin are taking to social media during their restaurant downtime to share recipes and videos from their own home kitchens.

Whether you're a novice just getting started or looking to level up behind the stove, indulge in some feel-good home cooking and find some culinary inspiration here.

#MICHELINGUIDEATHOME
Chefs and MICHELIN inspectors alike have contributed their favourite home cooking recipes on the official MICHELIN Guide Instagram under the hashtag #michelinguideathome. You'll find straightforward recipes in easy-to-follow steps, such as Stephanie Le Quellec's (La Scene, two stars) Green Pea Spaghetti With Iberian Ham, Gordon Ramsay's (Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, three stars) Marinara Sauce and an anonymous inspector's Citrus Marmalade, complete with cute illustrations and helpful metric conversions.


Is Francis Mallmann the Most Interesting Chef in the World?

Yes, he's a famous chef, but not for any of his nine restaurants around the globe. Francis Mallmann is famous for being Francis Mallmann, an elusive, complex, honest man who does his own thing&mdashin the kitchen and in life. And nowhere does his primal style of hospitality burn brighter than on his private island in the heart of Patagonia.

It is not easy to get to the island. From Miami you fly to Buenos Aires. In Buenos Aires you wait around for half a night, change airports, and catch a 4:00 a.m. flight to Comodoro Rivadavia, a city whose mellifluous name tricks you into thinking you&rsquore about to land at some Patagonian beach resort. Instead, you arrive in a place encircled by oil fields and slag heaps&mdashin the haze of a slow sunrise, the landscape is a postapocalyptic study in gray and beige.

From there, a driver takes you far west, across the expanse of the Argentine province of Chubut. The drive lasts about five hours. What you see from the truck is desolate. You want to text a picture to a friend but your phone has stopped getting a signal. When you get out of the truck to take a whiz, the wind that whips around you is strong enough to feel like a shove. Now and then, as you ride along in a trance, you see a herd of wild horses emerging from the hills and watching the road like sentries.

You are drifting deeper into the wild and farther from anything you know. You are heading toward the Andes. &ldquoThe lake is beyond the mountains,&rdquo the driver says in Spanish. The wind blows the truck so hard that it causes the chassis to give off a ghostly whistle. Eventually you arrive at a dock. Its wooden slats are slick with ice, so you have to step carefully in your boots. You wrap yourself in layers of clothing&mdashhat, gloves, scarf, parka. It&rsquos June here in Patagonia, which means winter is moving in, but you don&rsquot really grasp how cold it is until you climb into the rubber raft and the engine roars and you begin scudding across the frigid whitecaps of a lake called La Plata. The raft slams up and down on top of the water. For about ninety minutes, cold spray hits your face and the seat of your jeans gets wet. You hold tight to whatever looks secure. Mountains rise all around. There seem to be minimal signs of human occupation. When the raft begins to slow down and curve to the left, you have been traveling for something like twenty-five hours straight.

You come to the island and Francis Mallmann is there to greet you at the door of his house. &ldquoSo here we are,&rdquo he says. &ldquoA glass of wine?&rdquo

It is fitting that you have to venture so far off the grid to get to Francis Mallmann. He is a man whose approach to cooking and living feels like an homage to a forgotten time and place. While many of the most influential chefs around the world have engaged in an escalating competition to be cast as creative and forward-thinking leaders in gastronomy, Mallmann has swerved in the opposite direction, forsaking the trappings of haute cuisine and focusing instead on a primal style of hospitality whose core comes down to one-syllable words: smoke, fire, air, stone, salt, rain, meat, wine. He runs nine restaurants around the world, mostly in South America and also in France and Miami Beach, but unlike Massimo Bottura, Daniel Humm, or René Redzepi, Mallmann is not associated with the visionary menu of one particular establishment. He is known for being Francis Mallmann, the Patagonian dandy who can put together a royal repast in a clearing in the forest, using little more than a few sticks tied together and a smoldering flame surrounded by stones. You can go to the restaurants and get a standardized rendition of Mallmannism, sure, but there&rsquos no getting around the nagging feeling that if you want to experience the essence of his cooking or study fire at his elbow, as countless chefs have, you need to come to the island.

Like a lot of people, I developed a deeper interest in Mallmann&mdashokay, maybe a bit of an obsession&mdashafter I watched the Chef&rsquos Table episode about him on Netflix in 2015. Shrouded in woodsmoke and striding around his Patagonian refuge like a deposed king, Mallmann, who turns sixty-two in January, came across as the protagonist of a robust, honest, and highly complicated life. He, like Gregg Allman and Bob Marley, had fathered a multitude of offspring from an array of different relationships&mdashsix children, four mothers. The little girl frolicking about in scenes from Chef&rsquos Table turned out to be not his grandchild but his daughter Heloisa, whose mother is Vanina Chimeno, a chef in her thirties who had begun working in one of Mallmann&rsquos kitchens when she was nineteen. (Chimeno and Mallmann got married in 2016.) Throughout the episode, Mallmann expressed no pretense of monogamy. There had been romantic entanglements in his past he had no intention of reeling them in. He and Chimeno still live separately and both are free to stray as they wish.

He is, you might say, his own strange island. Even before the Chef&rsquos Table debut, Mallmann&rsquos influence had been growing&mdashalmost in direct proportion to his desire to distance himself from the culinary upper crust and do his own thing. When you walk into an American restaurant these days and you see theatrically flickering flames, it&rsquos a good guess that the chef can cite his most recent books, Seven Fires and Mallmann on Fire, as an inspiration. The Dabney in Washington, D.C. Martina in Minneapolis Roister in Chicago the Charter Oak in Napa Valley Mettā in Brooklyn Hartwood in Tulum, Mexico Mallmann&rsquos own Los Fuegos at the Faena hotel in Miami Beach&mdashthe fires are burning everywhere you look. But Mallmann himself is elusive, rarely a participant in the festivals that chefs flock to throughout the year. He has several homes in South America, but he is most comfortable here on an island on a lake, beneath the snowy crowns of the Andes, in a place so far away that there is no way to call anyone, aside from a satellite phone that Mallmann has on hand for rare emergencies.

Go ahead, check your handheld&mdashit has flatlined. You&rsquore going to have to readjust to the rhythms of human conversation and the shock of looking up into the night sky at a dense splash of stars. You are not, however, exiled from the pleasures of civilization. Here in their escape compound, Mallmann and his brother Carlos&mdashshould you want to visit chez Carlos, you&rsquoll have to hike up a hill even deeper into the woods&mdashhave laid in a stockpile of luxury goods. &ldquoWe have huge supplies of everything,&rdquo Mallmann says. &ldquoIt is quite civilized, to be here.&rdquo If the medieval Irish monks could have devoted themselves to the task of preserving the best of what Western civilization has given us lately, their cloister might look a lot like this.

There is an abundance of cheese and wine, but there are also shelves full of films on DVD, many of which tap into the polymorphous mythology that Mallmann likes to feast on: 81𕓔, Like Water for Chocolate, Blue Velvet, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life. April Bloomfield, the British-born chef with restaurants in New York and Los Angeles and San Francisco, once stayed on the island for ten days. &ldquoWhen April was here, we did an extensive course in film&mdashevery night we did two films,&rdquo Mallmann says. Before long, she too had fallen under Mallmann&rsquos Prospero-like spell. &ldquoHe&rsquos such a romantic, isn&rsquot he?&rdquo she says. &ldquoHe loves to recite poetry. He loves to paint. He is quite possibly the most interesting man in the world.&rdquo On his farm in Uruguay, he has about four thousand books of poetry, but there&rsquos a strong selection here, too, as well as a library of food books, including milestones by Bloomfield and Gabrielle Hamilton, M. F. K. Fisher and Diane Ackerman. Mallmann believes that female chefs have a better handle than men do when it comes to what cooking is all about. &ldquoThey&rsquore the best,&rdquo he says. &ldquoWhen they&rsquore good, they&rsquore much better than us. They&rsquore stronger than us. They make better decisions.&rdquo

With no phone to squander time on, Mallmann has ample hours on the island to watch movies and read books and paint and strum the guitar over in the corner. He&rsquos looking forward to a week of that. He likes to revel in the overabundance of it all. Clothes strewn everywhere, empty wine bottles, overflowing ashtrays&mdashthis, for Mallmann, is the ideal domestic setting. &ldquoThe thing about a beautiful house is to make it untidy every day,&rdquo he says. &ldquoI wake up in the morning and I see the mess and I love it. That&rsquos the way that I like to live.&rdquo

But first, lunch. As you&rsquoll come to see, meals on this island of misfit Renaissance men seem to be served with the assumption that you&rsquove just come back from a hike across the Chilean border, or a fishing expedition on the lake, or a twenty-five-hour journey from one continent to another. &ldquoI eat a steak every day,&rdquo Mallmann says. &ldquoSometimes twice a day. I love steak.&rdquo Lunch today is a steak milanesa, a South American staple, although instead of making it the way you expect, with the fillet of beef sliced thin and pounded even thinner, Mallmann presents a high round milanesa in which each piece of meat has the girth of a couple hockey pucks stacked one on top of the other. He panfries the steaks with a crust of bread crumbs and cheddar cheese. How good is the milanesa? You inhale two of the steaks and seriously consider eating a third.

Eat all you want. No one here is going to judge you for enjoying a steak. No one even knows where you are. Francis and Carlos Mallmann call the house on the island La Soplada, which can be translated as &ldquothe blown away.&rdquo

Mallmann&rsquos life has been marked by a fair share of blowing away&mdashand blowing off&mdashwhat has been built up. His father, a prominent physicist, raised the family in Patagonia, and Mallmann speaks of his childhood with a reverence that slips into unbridled romanticism. He used to hitchhike home from school and would chew on bark and grass that he found in ditches. &ldquoThere were lots of lemony tastes,&rdquo he says. &ldquoMy parents were always angry at me because my mouth was green.&rdquo In the mornings as a boy, he had the same breakfast that he has now: toast, butter, jam, cheese. He remembers the way his father would join him for breakfast before drifting away to his office to listen to West Side Story and work on equations.

Mallmann was restless from the start. School bored him. He would bring a pillow to class, place it down on his desk, and sleep. He slunk around in pink pants and high-heeled boots (&ldquoMy father thought I was gay&rdquo) and became enraptured by music&mdashNeil Young, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, the denim-troubadour balladry of the American sixties. He moved out of the family home at the age of thirteen, already possessed of a desire for freedom that would cancel out any of the other pressures tugging at him, and at sixteen he emancipated himself from his parents and transplanted to San Francisco. He bought a vintage MG for $723 and cruised around the California coast, soaking up music and working as a carpenter. &ldquoIn those days I was a beach bum, sort of,&rdquo he says. &ldquoI never did drugs&mdashI don&rsquot know why. I feel that I&rsquom drugged all day long, so what else do we need? I&rsquom in love with so many things that inspire me so much.&rdquo

At first he had no intention of becoming a chef, but he drifted back to Argentina to open a restaurant with a friend, and circumstances eventually led him to Paris, where he became as smitten with French culture as he had been with the music of the Pacific Coast. &ldquoThe way the French people live,&rdquo he says. &ldquoAnd love. The ladies are so unfaithful. I love that.&rdquo He was twenty. The year was 1976. During the next couple decades, he would pay his dues in some of the top kitchens of France, learning alongside chefs such as Roger Vergé, Raymond Oliver, and Alain Senderens, and gradually advancing toward a level of success that would enable him to . . . blow it all up. &ldquoThe International Academy of Gastronomy&mdashthe most prestigious culinary organization in the world&mdashhad invited me to prepare a meal for them,&rdquo he writes in the introduction to Seven Fires. &ldquoI was in great company&mdashsuch European superstars as Alain Ducasse, Ferran Adrià, and Frédy Girardet had received the same invitation, and I would be the first New World chef.&rdquo But Mallmann was seized by an imp of the perverse. Instead of dutifully serving up a delicate ode to Gallic glory, he dispatched an associate to Peru and asked him to secure a thousand pounds of potatoes. The potatoes traveled from South America to Frankfurt, Germany, where the gods of gastronomy were to assemble. Mallmann, in a tribute to the continent of his birth, served the audience nine courses of potatoes. The response to the tuber-centric repast was unexpectedly positive. According to Mallmann&rsquos account in Seven Fires, an Italian leader of the academy, who had gone into the dinner with &ldquonightmares of indigestion&rdquo imagining &ldquomany potatoes soaked in oil,&rdquo proclaimed that &ldquowhat I have eaten today, I truly believe, was food made by the angels.&rdquo That reaction helped give Mallmann the confidence to move into more primordial modes of cooking. &ldquoFor inspiration, I turned to the methods of the frontier, of the gauchos and, before them, of the Indians,&rdquo he has written. To this day, he considers himself a humble student of the indigenous people of Patagonia, many of whom were systematically wiped out by outside invaders.

&ldquoA feeling of resolve came over me,&rdquo he writes. &ldquoI was through with the fancy sauces and the elaborately arranged ingredients piled high on the plate like one of Marie Antoinette&rsquos coiffures. I wanted to create a cuisine based on my Andean heritage.&rdquo

He had grown up around fire. In the Michelin-starred kitchens of France, he missed the fragrance of smoke and the bitter funk of a good char. &ldquoI was forty and I had been doing French food for twenty years,&rdquo he says. &ldquoI realized that I didn&rsquot have a voice of my own, and I was losing interest. One day I realized that all those fires from my childhood were very deep inside of me.&rdquo

Pretty soon the fires seemed embedded in him&mdashfor real. He would board planes and passengers would ask to change seats, so pungent was his cologne of burning wood. In South America, he built up a reputation as a shaman of smoke. &ldquoThey were all laughing at me when I started,&rdquo he says. &ldquoI just went against the current.&rdquo He became a TV star in South America&mdashfamous for his combat-savoring talk-show appearances and a newspaper column that often drifted into erotica&mdashand his empire of restaurants grew. But the beggar&rsquos banquet of potatoes was only the start of his mischievous contrarianism. He became an outspoken critic of movements like molecular gastronomy&mdash&ldquoI don&rsquot give a shit about who gets mad,&rdquo he says&mdashand a refusenik on the topic of marathon tasting menus, meals in which conversation must cease with the breathless arrival of each new dish. &ldquoThe only reason to eat and drink is to have better conversation,&rdquo he says. Even though 1884, one of his restaurants in Mendoza, Argentina, has made appearances on an influential annual list of the fifty best restaurants in the world, Mallmann resigned in 2013 from the organization that chooses the list. He had grown opposed to the whole enterprise.

He does not deny that his romantic fires have, along the way, left behind a trail of ash. &ldquoWhen you live as I did, you leave some harm on the way,&rdquo he says. &ldquoIt&rsquos not only roses. It&rsquos a bit selfish, in a way. But for me there&rsquos no way out.&rdquo In the United States these days, sexual harassment and abuse are being exposed as a plague on the restaurant industry in the wake of allegations that brought down the New Orleans&ndashbased celebrity chef John Besh (and later chef Mario Batali, as well as Bloomfield's business partner, Ken Friedman), critics are excoriating toxic manifestations of masculinity in the kitchen. No such controversy has surfaced regarding Mallmann. His reputation as a hopelessly romantic ladies&rsquo man, though, is no secret&mdashin fact, he&rsquos happy to tell you all about it. At a certain point in his life, he stopped even trying to hide his infidelities, and he told Chimeno as much when they fell in love.

&ldquoThe first time we slept together, I said, &lsquoI&rsquom fifty. I&rsquove been unfaithful all my life. I&rsquove lied all my life. I don&rsquot want to lie anymore,&rsquo &rdquo he says. &ldquoI love women and I love to have them around.&rdquo

Every year, usually at Easter, Mallmann tries to bring all six of his children together on the island. With his scorched-earth approach to life, how has he kept from scarring them? &ldquoYou do,&rdquo he says. &ldquoYou scar them. They&rsquore scarred.&rdquo One of his sons, Andino, who is entering his teenage years, recently asked him, &ldquoWhy don&rsquot we have a normal family, Dad?&rdquo He told Andino, &ldquoI have led a special life. I have fallen in love many times.&rdquo &ldquoMy path of freedom has not made everybody happy,&rdquo Mallmann admits. &ldquoThere&rsquos a price you pay. But I&rsquove been truthful with my children about all of it.&rdquo He has watched friendships wither along the way. &ldquoI see friends caught in these webs of duty and they can&rsquot get out of them and I can&rsquot see them anymore&mdashI can&rsquot respect them,&rdquo he says. &ldquoThey&rsquore frightened. &lsquoWhat will happen to me?&rsquo Fucking sell the house. Move to a hole and be happy.&rdquo Mallmann has seen so many things go soplada in his own life that he appears to have shed the normal anxieties about radical change.

&ldquoI&rsquom not afraid of anything,&rdquo he says. &ldquoIf I have to start again, I can start anywhere&mdashcleaning bathrooms. The worst enemies of man? Fear. And routine. They paralyze us. They&rsquore the worst enemies we have.&rdquo

&ldquoLet me go see how the beast is doing,&rdquo Mallmann says.

You could talk about the ups and downs of his messy life for hours, but if you really want to be blown away, there comes a moment on the island when you need to watch the man cook. You need to watch him cook the beast. And so after a deep, phoneless sleep, you awake and squeeze into your snow boots and enter the forest, where lichen seems to shine on the trunks of the trees like candlelit Chartreuse. You amble your way over to an open-air shed made of logs. Mallmann is there, wearing a beret, an ascot, a pink oxford shirt, eyeglasses with red frames, and a gold corduroy blazer with an orange pocket square. In this dandyish attire, he and two assistants are tying the carcass of a capon lamb to a wooden cross. &ldquoIt&rsquos a bit lean, because it&rsquos winter, but it will be delicious,&rdquo he says. &ldquoIt cooks all the way through on the side of the bone. Very slowly&mdashthat&rsquos the beauty of it.&rdquo He explains that the lambs live by the sea and eat salicornia, the &ldquosea beans&rdquo that grow on the beach. Nearly everything that he and his team eat on the island&mdashlike every single nail and beam and pot and pan in the house&mdashhas made the trek, by truck and by boat, over the land and the lake.

Ash and sparks swirl through the air. The lamb is tied to the crossed sticks a couple feet away from the fire, leaning over it, but not right on top of it, so that it can yield to a patient transformation. Every now and then, impulsively, Mallmann wipes the flesh with a brush made of rosemary leaves, soaked in a brine.

&ldquoWhat time is it?&rdquo Mallmann asks. &ldquoIs it time to have a glass of wine?&rdquo He&rsquos told that it&rsquos 11:00 a.m. &ldquoPerfect,&rdquo he says. Bottles are uncorked. Glasses of water appear, too. &ldquoYou&rsquore drinking the lake,&rdquo he says. There is a long wooden table in the center of the shed. &ldquoI did my wedding lunch here,&rdquo Mallmann says. That was in 2016. &ldquoI was here for the anniversary,&rdquo he goes on. &ldquoWith a lover.&rdquo He winces. As the fire progresses, ash builds up on the surface like an off-white tablecloth, but then the winter wind blows it away. Mist floats around the mountaintops and rain patters on the lake. It becomes clear that this is what we&rsquoll be doing all day.

Here with the cinders crackling and the fat dripping down like candle wax and the splayed ribs of the lamb starting to look like a glistening harp, it&rsquos easy to regress to the mind-set of a twelve-year-old boy. You eat with your hands. You toss sticks into the fire. Somewhere far away, Mallmann&rsquos restaurants are clicking along, their harried general managers unable to contact him. What if a problem arises? &ldquoThere are never problems,&rdquo he says. &ldquoI tell my managers, &lsquoI don&rsquot know what you&rsquore doing, but Don&rsquot. Ever. Call. Me. With. A. Problem. Fix them.&rsquo And it works!&rdquo He spends a great deal of time on jets, flying from one location to another and charging top dollar for private fat-and-ashes asados that he throws for celebrities like Bono. He had been planning to travel to France in three days to visit the restaurant in Provence, but he would miss his daughter Heloisa too much, so he has changed the schedule, in his mind, without making anyone aware of that. &ldquoI never make plans,&rdquo he says. &ldquoYou can&rsquot make plans. Or you make plans just to break them. I just changed my plans an hour ago.&rdquo

His plan, for now, is to be present at this table. This is where his theory of cooking comes into full focus. Mostly he sits around waiting he does a lot of the work with his ears, his eyes, his nose, and his fingertips. &ldquoCooking is about patience,&rdquo he says. &ldquoIt&rsquos about capturing the right moment for everything. The most beautiful thing about cooking is the silent language. You can&rsquot write about it. I can&rsquot teach it. That&rsquos why there are so many cookbooks but not much success out of cookbooks.&rdquo

Here on the island, as fog rolls in over the lake and slowly burns off, Mallmann rises from a bench now and then to join his fire crew around the pit and prepare a dish. He grates potatoes and layers the shreds right onto a cast-iron plancha to make Patagonian hash browns. He gets up from the table at one point, touches his fingertips to the cavity of the lamb to see how it&rsquos coming along, and slides a knife in to snip out the kidneys, which are served salted and swaddled in fat on the tabletop. &ldquoI like brutal things,&rdquo he says. &ldquoI like brutal food.&rdquo Even dessert is brutal&mdashhe swirls batter around the plancha to form a crepe, fills it with gooey dulce de leche, folds it up, sprinkles sugar on the surface, and then cauterizes the sugar into a crust with the tip of a poker that has been heated up in the red coals.

The pièce de résistance, though, comes midway through the meal: Mallmann sears tomatoes on the hot metal and throws puffy bread directly into the coals so that it blackens. &ldquoQuite radical,&rdquo he says. &ldquoI mean, we&rsquore fucking burning it.&rdquo When the bread is sufficiently scorched, he platters it on the table, crowns it with the hot tomatoes, floods it with salt and olive oil and chimichurri sauce, and chops it all up into bite-sized chunks with a tool that looks like a drywall scraper.

&ldquoHelp yourself,&rdquo he says. We fall silent around the table as we pick up the soaked, charred bread with our fingers. It is brutally delicious.

&ldquoThis is very important,&rdquo he says. &ldquoThis mess. Look at this&mdashit&rsquos such a beautiful scene, no?&rdquo