Famous 20th Century Restaurateurs

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 20th Century Restaurateurs
 1 
Colonel Sanders
(Founder of the Fast Food Chicken Restaurant ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken’ (KFC))
Colonel Sanders
4
Birthdate: September 9, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Henryville, Indiana, United States
Died: December 16, 1980

Colonel Sanders is the man who revolutionized the American fast food industry by founding the restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Establishing a style trademark by wearing a white suit and black string tie, Sanders went on to become a symbol of the KFC brand. Such is the popularity of the brand, the symbol is recognized all over the world.

 2 
Bobby Flay
(Celebrity Chef Known for His Work with 'Food Network' & Owner of 'Bobby's Burger Palace', 'Mesa Grill')
Bobby Flay
4
Birthdate: December 10, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay is best known for his Food Network shows, such as the Emmy-nominated Hot Off the Grill with Bobby Flay. He launched many restaurants, such as the Las Vegas-based Mesa Grill and 19 outlets of Bobby's Burger Palace. He has also taught at the French Culinary Institute.
 3 
Jamie Oliver
(Chef and Restaurateur)
Jamie Oliver
4
Birthdate: May 27, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clavering, U.K.

Jamie Oliver is an English restaurateur and chef who gained international recognition after appearing on popular TV shows, such as Jamie's Kitchen and The Naked Chef. In 2005, his Feed Me Better campaign helped introduce several children to healthier foods. He also established a charity restaurant called Fifteen, which employs disadvantaged young people.

Recommended Lists:
 4 
Flavor Flav
(Rapper)
Flavor Flav
3
Birthdate: March 16, 1959
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Roosevelt, New York, United States
Rapper and hip-hop “hype man” Flavor Flav co-founded the rap group Public Enemy. Known for his signature style of wearing clocks as ornaments and for his screams of "Yeah, boyeeeeee!” in his songs, he has also starred in several reality shows. He owned two restaurants, which closed down unceremoniously.
 5 
Mario Batali
(American Celebrity Chef and Restaurateur)
Mario Batali
3
Birthdate: September 19, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States

Mario Batali is an American chef, restaurateur, writer, and media personality. He started hogging the limelight after appearing on some of Food Network's shows, such as Iron Chef America and Molto Mario. Also a well-known philanthropist and social activist, Batali established the Mario Batali Foundation in 2008, which funds pediatric disease research and various children's educational programs.

 6 
Wolfgang Puck
(Celebrity Chef and Restaurateur)
Wolfgang Puck
3
Birthdate: July 8, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria

Wolfgang Puck is an Austrian-American restaurateur. In 1973, Puck moved to the US and opened a restaurant named Spago in 1982. He then established himself as a respected restaurateur by opening several other restaurants. In 2013, he was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame. Also an actor, Puck has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 7 
Emeril Lagasse
(Celebrity Chef & Restaurateur Known for His Show 'Essence of Emeril' on The Food Network)
Emeril Lagasse
3
Birthdate: October 15, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fall River, Massachusetts, United States
Celebrity chef Emeril Lagassé is known for his signature New New Orleans style of cooking and his catchphrases such as “Bam!” He owns several restaurants, has written many cookbooks, owns a non-profit for underprivileged children, and has also hosted Food Network shows such as Essence of Emeril and Emeril Live.
Heston Blumenthal
5
Birthdate: May 27, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Shepherd's Bush, London, England, United Kingdom

Heston Blumenthal is a British celebrity chef whose unusual recipes, such as Scotch eggs and triple-cooked chips have been widely imitated. He is considered a pioneer of multi-sensory cooking and his scientific approach to cooking has earned him honorary degrees from several universities. In 2004, he won the prestigious Chef Award, joining the likes of Phil Howard and Gordon Ramsay.

 9 
Michael Symon
2
Birthdate: September 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
 10 
Kimbal Musk
(The Founder of 'The Kitchen Restaurant Group' and Co-Founder of 'Big Green' a 501 non profit organization)
Kimbal Musk
3
Birthdate: September 20, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa
Kimbal Musk, the younger brother of business tycoon and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, owns the community restaurant chain known as The Kitchen Restaurant Group. He also co-founded the non-profit Big Green, which builds outdoor classrooms, and Square Roots, which specializes in urban farming. He is also a prime Tesla shareholder.
 11 
Salt Bae
(Restaurateur)
Salt Bae
12
Birthdate: August 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Erzurum, Turkey
 12 
Guy Fieri
(American Restaurateur and Host of Several 'Food Network' Television Shows)
Guy Fieri
2
Birthdate: January 22, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Primarily a restaurateur, Guy Fieri is a testimony to the fact that any professional can become famous if they are passionate enough in doing what they do best. From being a restaurateur, he went on to become a TV personality, hosting shows for Food Network channel. By mid-2010, he had become the face of the network.

 13 
Eric Ripert
2
Birthdate: March 2, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Antibes, France
 14 
Richard McDonald
(Were American entrepreneurs who founded the fast food company McDonald's)
Richard McDonald
6
Birthdate: 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Manchester, New Hampshire, United States
Died: July 14, 1998

Richard McDonald was an entrepreneur who co-founded the fast-food company McDonald's with his brother, Maurice. Their father ran a food stall. As young men, Richard and Maurice took over their father’s business and redesigned the restaurant. The restaurant was highly successful, and the brothers began franchising their system. The first McDonald's restaurant has now been converted into a museum. 

 15 
Grant Achatz
3
Birthdate: April 25, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Clair, Michigan, United States
 16 
Joe Bastianich
(Restaurateur & Winemaker Who Co-owns 30 Restaurants in Four Countries)
Joe Bastianich
3
Birthdate: September 17, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Astoria, New York, United States
Restaurateur and winemaker Joe Bastianich co-owns 30 restaurants across four countries, with his mother, Lidia Bastianich. His ventures include the Michelin-star-rated Babbo and the Pizzeria brand of eateries in Los Angeles. He has been a judge on the MasterChef franchise and has also authored several cookbooks and a bestselling autobiography.
 17 
Rick Bayless
(Chef, Restaurateur)
Rick Bayless
2
Birthdate: November 23, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oklahoma City
 18 
John Schnatter
(Founder of 'Papa John's' Pizza Restaurant Chain)
John Schnatter
3
Birthdate: November 23, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jeffersonville, Indiana, United States

Entrepreneur John H. Schnatter, also known as Papa John, established Papa John's Pizza in the 1980s, using the money he got after selling his car. He resigned as the CEO of his company in 2018, following a controversy regarding his comments about protests by NFL players.

 19 
Dick Clark
(Radio and Television Personality Best Known for Hosting ‘American Bandstand’ and the 'Pyramid' Game Show)
Dick Clark
3
Birthdate: November 30, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mount Vernon
Died: April 18, 2012
Emmy-winning radio and TV personality Dick Clark is best remembered as the host of American Bandstand for more than three decades. He had also hosted shows such as The $10,000 Pyramid and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. He also appeared in movies and co-owned theaters and music-themed restaurants.
 20 
Prue Leith
(British-South African Restaurateur, Chef, Television Presenter, Journalist, Cookery Writer)
Prue Leith
3
Birthdate: February 18, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: South Africa

British-South African chef and culinary expert Prue Leith had begun her career with a lunch-supplying business. She later launched her Michelin-starred restaurant Leith's in Notting Hill and a culinary school. Best known as a judge on The Great British Menu, she is also associated with various charitable initiatives.

 21 
Maurice McDonald
(Entrepreneur)
Maurice McDonald
1
Birthdate: November 26, 1902
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Manchester, New Hampshire, United States
Died: December 11, 1971
 22 
Joe Theismann
(American football player)
Joe Theismann
3
Birthdate: September 9, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
 23 
Jim Ross
(Commentator)
Jim Ross
3
Birthdate: January 3, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fort Bragg, California, United States
 24 
Alan Hale Jr.
3
Birthdate: March 8, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: January 2, 1990
 25 
Ming Tsai
(Restaurateur, Squash player, Actor)
Ming Tsai
2
Birthdate: March 29, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newport Beach
 26 
Rick Stein
3
Birthdate: January 4, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Churchill, Oxfordshire, England

Celebrity chef Rick Stein has managed the U.K.’s Stein Hotel and Restaurant with his first wife, Jill Stein. He later became the head chef and co-owner of Rick Stein at Bannisters in Australia, with his second wife, Sarah. He has authored cookbooks and presented culinary shows such as Seafood Odyssey.

 27 
Paul Prudhomme
(Chef, Restaurateur, Non-fiction writer, Businessperson)
Paul Prudhomme
2
Birthdate: July 13, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Opelousas
Died: October 8, 2015
 28 
Joël Robuchon
2
Birthdate: April 7, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Poitiers, Vienne, France
Died: August 6, 2018
 29 
Tom Colicchio
2
Birthdate: August 15, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States
 30 
Rocky Aoki
(Restaurateur)
Rocky Aoki
3
Birthdate: October 9, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Died: July 10, 2008
 31 
Jon Taffer
(Entrepreneur)
Jon Taffer
3
Birthdate: November 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Great Neck, New York, U.S.
 32 
Howard Schultz
(Businessman, CEO of ‘Starbucks’ and Co-Owner of 'Seattle SuperSonics' Basketball Team )
Howard Schultz
3
Birthdate: July 19, 1952
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Businessman Howard Schultz has served as the chairman and CEO of the Starbucks Coffee Company and as the owner of the basketball team Seattle SuperSonics. He has written several books on business, including the NYT bestseller From the Ground Up. He has also launched the Schultz Family Foundation.
 33 
John Torode
(Australian-British Celebrity Chef and TV Presenter Known for His Show ‘MasterChef’ on BBC One)
John Torode
3
Birthdate: July 23, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Australian celebrity chef and restaurateur John Torode initially worked at the U.K.-based Conran Group's restaurants. He is also known for his appearances on shows such as This Morning and the revival of MasterChef in 2005. He owned the Luxe and Smiths of Smithfield and has also authored several cookbooks.
 34 
Geoffrey Zakarian
3
Birthdate: July 25, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts, US
 35 
Jose Andres
(Celebrity Chef, Restaurateur and Founder of World Central Kitchen (WCK))
Jose Andres
3
Birthdate: July 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mieres, Asturias, Spain

Jose Andres is a Spanish-born American restaurateur and chef. Andrés, who owns restaurants in many American cities like Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York City, Las Vegas, and Chicago, is credited with introducing the concept of small plates dining to America. Jose Andres was honored with the 2015 National Humanities Medal for founding a non-profit organization called World Central Kitchen.

 36 
Sarah Willingham
(Restaurateur, Businessperson)
Sarah Willingham
2
Birthdate: December 21, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stoke-on-Trent

It is believed Sarah Willingham had begun working in the hospitality industry at age 13. Apart from managing the popular restaurants Planet Hollywood and Pizza Express, she also manages a huge portfolio that includes The Bombay Bicycle Club and The London Cocktail Club. She has also been part of Dragons' Den.

 37 
Graham Elliot
3
Birthdate: January 4, 1977
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States
 38 
Dave Thomas
(Founder and CEO of Wendy's)
Dave Thomas
2
Birthdate: July 2, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Died: January 8, 2002
 39 
Gary Rhodes
(Restaurateur)
Gary Rhodes
2
Birthdate: April 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: November 26, 2019

Best known for his appearances on shows such as MasterChef and Hell's Kitchen, Gary Rhodes later also launched his own series, Rhodes Around Britain. He owned several restaurants in the UK and the Middle East. The celebrity chef shocked everyone with his untimely death at age 59 due to brain hemorrhage.

 40 
Nobu Matsuhisa
(Japanese Restaurateur and Celebrity Chef)
Nobu Matsuhisa
2
Birthdate: March 10, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saitama, Japan

Nobu Matsuhisa is a Japanese restaurateur and celebrity chef best known for his fusion cuisine; he often blends Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients, creating a new style of cuisine. Matsuhisa owns restaurants in several countries and has also authored many cookbooks.

 41 
Carl Ruiz
(Chef)
Carl Ruiz
1
Birthdate: April 4, 1975
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Passaic, New Jersey, United States
Died: September 21, 2019
 42 
Charlie Trotter
(Restaurateur, Chef)
Charlie Trotter
1
Birthdate: September 8, 1959
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wilmette
Died: November 5, 2013
 43 
Terence Conran
(English Designer, Restaurateur and Founder of 'Design Museum')
Terence Conran
1
Birthdate: October 4, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England
Died: September 12, 2020

Best known as the founder of the Design Museum in London, British designer and restaurateur Terence Conran had begun a furniture studio while still a student. He later launched popular interior and furniture design firms such as the Conran Design Group and Habitat. He has also penned several books.

 44 
Bill Rancic
(Writer, Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Author, Restaurateur)
Bill Rancic
2
Birthdate: May 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago
 45 
Sean Tuohy
(Sports Commentator)
Sean Tuohy
3
Birthdate: November 23, 1959
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
 46 
Rene Redzepi
(Restaurateur)
Rene Redzepi
2
Birthdate: December 16, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
 47 
Sean Avery
(Former Canadian Ice Hockey Player Who Played as a Winger)
Sean Avery
2
Birthdate: April 10, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: North York
 48 
Auguste Escoffier
2
Birthdate: October 28, 1846
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Villeneuve-Loubet, France
Died: February 12, 1935
 49 
Jimmy John Liautaud
(Founder of Jimmy John's Sandwich Chain.)
Jimmy John Liautaud
2
Birthdate: January 12, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arlington Heights, Illinois, United States
 50 
Daniel Boulud
1
Birthdate: March 25, 1955
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint-Pierre-de-Chandieu, France