Which Chef has the Most Michelin Stars?
Thousands of restaurants around the world are awarded the prestigious stars every year by the dozens of Michelin Guides. Today, the collection covers 28 titles in more than 25 countries meaning there is amply opportunity for ambitious chefs to reach for the stars.
While there are also thousands of starred chefs in the world, only a handful of them are known to run numerous restaurants that are consistently recognised by the prestigious Michelin Guide, which naturally leads to the question, who is the chef with the most Michelin stars?
The chef with the most Michelin stars: Alain Ducasse
Alain Ducasse is the chef with the most stars in the world. French-born, Monegasque chef Ducasse, has a total of 20 stars (see below for the full list of his starred restaurants).
Born in 1956 on a farm in the Landes region, Ducasse developed a taste for locally grown produce from a very young age.
He started working in the kitchen in his teens and developed a fascination with Provençal cuisine in the late 1970s while working at Le Moulin de Mougins. He won his first Michelin star as head chef at La Terrasse at the Hotel Juana in Juan les Pins.
Since then, he has built a business empire that spans the globe from Las Vegas to Tokyo, at over 72 locations, of which 36 are restaurants.
In 2005 Ducasse also became the first chef to own three restaurants with three Michelin stars in three different cities at the same time.
Chef Ducasse’s flagship restaurants include Louis XV at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, both of which have three Michelin stars.
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Ducasse's food remains anchored in its terroir and he has profound respect and interest in his suppliers and fresh produce.
In 2017 "The Quest of Alain Ducasse" was released, a film following the French culinary genius as he travelled the world for 18 months visiting his suppliers and restaurants in preparation for opening luxury restaurant Ore in the Palace of Versailles. Here's the trailer;
Aside from his running his restaurant empire Ducasse is also engaged in a number of social projects including; The initiator of the "Tous au Restaurant" ("Everyone to the Restaurant") project, Alain Ducasse also supports civic projects like "Femmes en avenir" ("Women for the future"), and "L'Envol" ("Takeoff"), the Banque Postale's integration campus dedicated to young French students from challenged backgrounds.
In addition, he also supports the industry and future of French gastronomy with a number of initiatives. He is the co-founder of the French Culinary School, as well as being a member of the Grandes Tables du Monde and of the Comité Colbert, he also initiated "Good France", an annual event that brings together 2000 chefs, 150 embassies and almost 250,000 people to celebrate the identity, vitality, tradition and diversity of French cuisine and lifestyle. He has even worked for the European Space Agency to develop astronaut meals to be taken into space!
Ducasse’s starred restaurants
Alain Ducasse's restaurants span six countries, with France retaining the majority of his addresses, with three in Paris and two in Provence. In addition, has one in Monaco on the French Riviera and one the other side of the English Channel, in London. He also has restaurants further afield in Asia, in Japan, Macao and Hong Kong.
See the full list of Ducasse restaurants below:
- Benoît Paris (Paris 4ème) : 1*
- Le Meurice – Alain Ducasse (Paris) : 2*
- Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée (Paris) : 3*
- La Bastide de Moustiers (Moustiers-Sainte-Marie) : 1*
- L’Hostellerie de l’Abbaye de la Celle (La Celle) : 1*
- Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris : 3*
- Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester : 3*
- Beige Alain Ducasse Tokyo, Tokyo : 2*
- Benoît Tokyo, Tokyo : 1*
- Rech by Alain Ducasse – InterContinental Hong Kong : 1*
- Alain Ducasse at Morpheus : 2*
Other chefs with multiple Michelin stars
Until his passing in 2018, Joël Robuchon was the chef with the most stars in the world, with 32 Michelin stars over several restaurants throughout his career. The French chef was named the “chef of the century” by the prestigious Gault et Millau restaurant guide in 1990 and his empire of restaurants reached as far as the USA, Paris, Hong Kong, and Bangkok.
Other starred chefs that follow legendary chefs Joel Robuchon and Alain Ducasse include Gordon Ramsay (16 stars), Martin Berasategui (10 stars), Pierre Gagnaire (10 stars), Thomas Keller (7 stars), Umberto Bombana (7 stars), and Heston Blumenthal (6 stars).
What is the Michelin star classification system?
Michelin inspectors visit and assess restaurants based on five criteria; quality of the ingredients used, mastery of flavor and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in their cuisine, value for money and consistency between visits.
Restaurants can be ranked from zero to three stars, classified as follows;
One star: A good place worth a stop on your journey, indicating a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard.
Two stars: A restaurant worth a detour, indicating excellent cuisine and skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality.
Three stars: A restaurant worth a special journey, indicating exceptional cuisine where diners eat extremely well, often superbly. Distinctive dishes are precisely executed, using superlative ingredients.