What’s the difference between a chef and a cook? Chefs would probably argue that cooking is their profession, one that they spent years cultivating in culinary schools and respected kitchens. But a growing number of chefs are spending just as much time in front of the camera as they do behind the stove. There has been no shortage of celebrity chefs flowing from the kitchen to Hollywood. Anthony Bourdain, Mario Batali, and Bobby Flay have all had their turn in the spotlight, with numerous cooking shows, cookbooks, and guest appearances, but these days it seems the term "celebrity chef" is taking on a whole new meaning.
A number of celebrities are stepping off the red carpet and onto linoleum, exchanging gowns and tuxes for aprons in hopes of being recognized for their talents in the kitchen as well. They may not have formal culinary training, but armed with fancy warming ovens, family recipes, and secret tricks, they’re establishing a niche for themselves on the cooking scene.
Of the many ways to a fan’s stomach, TV seems to provide the most opportunities. Heck, even shows like Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off give celebrities like former *NSYNC singer Joey Fatone the chance to fight for culinary glory. Spoiler alert: Fatone was eliminated but he can always follow Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria and open a restaurant, or write his own cookbook like a number of stars on our list.
Gourmet cooking can never fully escape the health-conscious mindset of Hollywood, though. That’s where healthy eating "gurus" Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Seinfeld come in, to remind Paula Deen fans that there is such a thing as too much butter and too many carbs.
Whether it’s with quinoa and smoothies or barbecue ribs and roast chicken, here are 10 culinary stars who give the term "celebrity chef" a new meaning.