10 Celebrity Chefs Who Actually Cook in Their Restaurants Slideshow

April Bloomfield: The Breslin, The John Dory, The Spotted Pig (New York)

Arthur Bovino

The knife-wielding, tattooed badass chef (literally, she's on The Daily Meal's Top 10 Badass Women Chefs in America) who favors rich, meaty, buttery foods has circled around the mini-empire she runs with co-owner, Ken Friedman.


Bloomfield's New York adventure started at The Spotted Pig in the West Village before opening the menu-bending The Breslin and The John Dory, both conveniently located in Midtown's ACE Hotel. You may not find her in all three restaurants every night, but she's regularly seen behind the pass in The Breslin's open kitchen.

Marc Vetri: Vetri, Osteria, Amis (Philadelphia)

Marc Vetri is the working man’s celebrity chef. He’s got the culinary chops, persona, and acclaim to join the good old boys fraternity of Iron Chefs (he beat Michael Symon in Battle: Veal). Instead, he has remained content to stay in his hometown of Philadelphia, man the kitchen at his namesake restaurant, and slowly open two other nationally-recognized local trattorias (Osteria and Amis).

Gabrielle Hamilton: Prune (New York City)

Even before (but also in the wake of) her best-selling memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter, Hamilton had a wide-open path to going national, whether by opening another restaurant, exporting Prune beyond New York City, or creating her own brand of television schtick. She bypassed all options, preferring to helm her perpetually-packed neighborhood stalwart.

Stephen Pyles: Stephen Pyles (Dallas)

Arthur Bovino

It’s a good sign for diners when someone who is considered the founding father of Southwestern cuisine only owns one outpost. That means he’ll be directing the kitchen, like Pyles was on a random October weeknight when I last visited. Not only that, but he made the rounds of all of the tables, ensuring that VIPS and regular joes were enjoying their meals.

Grant Achatz: Alinea, Next, The Aviary (Chicago)

Arthur Bovino

The spotlight in American dining is shining brightly on Achatz these days. Alinea's success is well-known, and there has been plenty of praise for The Aviary. Earlier this month when he introduced Next's tour of Thailand menu through its online reservation ticketing system, he had more than 20,000 unique hits. To support the mind-boggling demand (and stay true to his roots) Achatz continues to be seen conducting Alinea's kitchen in a gastronomic orchestra and makes appearances in his dining room, plating desert for guests at their tables.

Floyd Cardoz: North End Grill (New York City)

OK, so given that Tabla closed, he technically doesn't have a restaurant to cook in at this very moment. But given the reputation of Top Chef Masters most recent winner, you can expect Chef Floyd Cardoz will be in his kitchen with lots to prove at Danny Meyer's new spot, North End Grill, which is slated to open late 2011 (and in contrast to its name, it will be on Manhattan's southern tip).

Elizabeth Faulkner: Citizen Cake and Orson (San Francisco)

The platinum-haired owner of Citizen Cake bakery, and now Orson, in San Francisco has always been accessible to customers, even if she has appeared on her share of television programs. This summer she’s even inviting her followers over to Citizen Cake for weekly cooking classes.

Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken: Border Grill (Los Angeles)

These original Food Network stars of Two Hot Tamales got left behind amid the new wave of concept-driven television superstars. But television’s loss has been diners’ gain, as one of the two is usually almost always at one of their Border Grill restaurants.

Dean Fearing: Fearing’s (Dallas)

After rising to national prominence during his 20-year career at Mansion on Turtle Creek, the Texan now has his own establishment in Dallas that boasts an open kitchen. Fearing is easy to spot, just look for colorful cowboy boots — he wears them on his feet and embroidered on his chef’s jacket.