Famous American Restaurateurs

Find out more about the greatest American Restaurateurs, including Justin Timberlake, Nas, Wayne Gretzky, Colonel Sanders and Henry Hill.

This 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 American Restaurateurs

 1 Ray Kroc

Ray Kroc.
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Famous As: Founder of the McDonald’s Corporation
Birthdate: October 5, 1902
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, U.S.
Died: January 14, 1984

Ray Kroc was the man who helped expand McDonald's into a global franchise, eventually turning it into the most successful fast food corporation. Not surprisingly, he was mentioned in Time magazine's Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century list. He was also the owner of the popular baseball team San Diego Padres.

 2 Colonel Sanders

Colonel Sanders.
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Famous As: Founder of KFC
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.

 3 Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri.
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Famous As: Restaurateur, Cookbook Author
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.

 4 Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan.
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Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: February 17, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

A superstar, a legend and the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan is all this and much more. Very few athletes can match up with his level of popularity and impact. And if that is not enough, he is also the richest former professional athlete in the world.

 5 Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay.
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Famous As: American chef
Birthdate: December 10, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S
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.

 6 Richard McDonald

Richard McDonald
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Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: February 16, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Manchester, New Hampshire, United States
Died: July 14, 1998

 7 Nate Robinson

Nate Robinson
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Famous As: Basketball player, American football player, Businessperson, Restaurateur
Birthdate: May 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Seattle
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 8 Olivia Culpo

Olivia Culpo.
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Famous As: Model
Birthdate: May 8, 1992
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cranston, Rhode Island

Olivia Culpo is an American social media personality and fashion influencer. She gained international recognition after winning the Miss Universe beauty pageant in 2012. As a fashion influencer, she has collaborated with many fashion and beauty brands, such as Kipling and L'Oréal. She also owns a restaurant in Rhode Island.

 9 Eddie Huang

Eddie Huang.
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 1, 1982
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Chef and food expert Eddie Huang co-owns the gua bao restaurant BaoHaus in Lower Manhattan. He has hosted shows such as Snack Off and Huang's World. His bestselling memoir, Fresh Off the Boat, was made into a sitcom of the same name. He has also been a food blogger.

 10 Howard Schultz

Howard Schultz.
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Famous As: Chairman & CEO of Starbucks
Birthdate: July 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn
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.

 11 Debi Mazar

Debi Mazar.
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 13, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jamaica, New York, United States
Debi Mazar is known for films such as Goodfellas and Little Man Tate and series such as L.A. Law and Civil Wars. She has also appeared in several videos by Madonna. She is married to Italian celebrity chef Gabriele Corcos and co-hosts the show Extra Virgin with him.

 12 Joe Bastianich

Joe Bastianich.
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Famous As: Restaurateur
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.

 13 Mario Batali

Mario Batali.
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Famous As: Chef
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.

 14 David Chang

David Chang.
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Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: May 8, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Virginia, United States

David Chang revolutionized the culinary world with his brand Momofuku, which owns several noodle bars across the world, including a 2-Michelin-star restaurant. He has produced the Netflix shows Ugly Delicious and Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Several issues of his food magazine Lucky Peach have been NYT bestsellers.

 15 Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann
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Famous As: American football player
Birthdate: September 9, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States

 16 Jim Ross

Jim Ross
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Famous As: Restaurateur, Podcaster, Wrestler, Sports commentator
Birthdate: January 3, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fort Bragg

 17 Wilson Bethel

Wilson Bethel.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 24, 1984
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hillsboro, New Hampshire

Wilson Bethel is an American actor known for playing important roles in popular TV series, such as The Young and the Restless, Hart of Dixie, and All Rise. Apart from being an actor, Wilson Bethel also contributes as an executive producer and writer every now and then.

 18 Geoffrey Zakarian

Geoffrey Zakarian
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Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: July 25, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts, US

 19 Alan Hale Jr.

Alan Hale Jr.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 8, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: January 2, 1990

 20 Tilman Fertitta

Tilman Fertitta.
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Famous As: CEO of Landry's Inc
Birthdate: June 25, 1957
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Galveston, Texas, United States
Entrepreneur Tilman Fertitta is the CEO and owner of Landry's, Inc., one of the largest hospitality brands in the U.S., which owns multiple restaurants, casinos, and hotels. He is also the owner of the NBA team Houston Rockets and has his own reality series, Billion Dollar Buyer.

 21 Emeril Lagasse

Emeril Lagasse.
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Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur
Birthdate: October 15, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fall River, Massachusetts
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.

 22 Rocky Aoki

Rocky Aoki
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Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: October 9, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Died: July 10, 2008

 23 Graham Elliot

Graham Elliot
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Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: January 4, 1977
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States

 24 Jon Taffer

Jon Taffer
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Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: November 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Great Neck, New York, U.S.

 25 Cynthia Germanotta

Cynthia Germanotta.
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Famous As: Philanthropist
Birthdate: August 30, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wheeling, West Virginia, United States

Cynthia Germanotta is an American activist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. She is credited with co-founding Born This Way Foundation, for which she also serves as the president. She also plays an important role as an advocate for mental health; in 2019, she served as the World Health Organization's ambassador for mental health.

 26 Michael Symon

Michael Symon
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Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: September 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

 27 Bill Rancic

Bill Rancic
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Famous As: Writer, Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Author, Restaurateur
Birthdate: May 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago

 28 Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas.
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Famous As: American businessman
Birthdate: July 2, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Died: January 8, 2002

 29 Rick Bayless

Rick Bayless
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Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur
Birthdate: November 23, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oklahoma City

 30 Jimmy John Liautaud

Jimmy John Liautaud.
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Famous As: Founder of Jimmy John Gourment Sandwich Chain.
Birthdate: January 12, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Arlington Heights, Illinois, United States

 31 S. Truett Cathy

S. Truett Cathy
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Famous As: Business Person
Birthdate: March 14, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Eatonton, Georgia, US
Died: September 8, 2014

 32 Jon Paul Steuer

Jon Paul Steuer.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Escondido, California, United States
Died: January 1, 2018

 33 Thomas Monaghan

Thomas Monaghan
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Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: March 25, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ann Arbor, Michigan

 34 Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio
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Famous As: Restaurateur, Chef
Birthdate: August 15, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Elizabeth

 35 Paul Prudhomme

Paul Prudhomme
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Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur, Non-fiction writer, Businessperson
Birthdate: July 13, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Opelousas
Died: October 8, 2015

 36 Fred DeLuca

Fred DeLuca
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Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: October 3, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: September 14, 2015

 37 Rocco DiSpirito

Rocco DiSpirito
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Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: November 19, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jamaica

 38 Ming Tsai

Ming Tsai
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Famous As: Restaurateur, Squash player, Actor
Birthdate: March 29, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newport Beach

 39 J. Willard Marriott

J. Willard Marriott
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Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: September 17, 1900
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Marriott Settlement, Utah, U.S.
Died: August 13, 1985

Born in Utah, Marriott founder J. Willard Marriott grew up helping his parents on their family farm. The hotel tycoon began his career selling root beer and gradually launched a restaurant chain. The first Marriott hotel was basically a motel and eventually grew into a US$4.5 billion empire.

 40 David Hackworth

David Hackworth
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: November 11, 1930
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ocean Park, California, U.S. (now Santa Monica, California Santa Monica, California, U.S.)
Died: May 4, 2005

 41 Bobby Deen

Bobby Deen
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Famous As: Restaurateur, Chef
Birthdate: April 28, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Albany

 42 Glen Bell

Glen Bell
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Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: September 3, 1923
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lynwood, California, United States
Died: January 16, 2010

 43 Steve Ells

Steve Ells
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Famous As: Business person
Birthdate: September 12, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.

 44 Adam Senn

Adam Senn
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Famous As: Model
Birthdate: April 10, 1984
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France

 45 George Crum

George Crum.
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Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: July 15, 1824
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saratoga County, New York, United States
Died: July 22, 1914

 46 Charlie Trotter

Charlie Trotter
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Famous As: Restaurateur, Chef
Birthdate: September 8, 1959
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wilmette
Died: November 5, 2013

 47 Dan Barber

Dan Barber
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Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: March 12, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

 48 Jay Pritzker

Jay Pritzker
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Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: August 26, 1922
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 23, 1999

Hyatt Hotels co-founder Jay Pritzker was the patriarch of a $15 billion empire with about 200 companies under him. A qualified lawyer, he was initially associated with his family law and holding firm. He also launched the Pritzker Architecture Prize and was the owner of Braniff Airlines.

 49 Andrew Cherng

Andrew Cherng
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Famous As: Businessperson
Birthdate: March 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Yangchow, Kiangsu, China

 50 Pat Neely

Pat Neely
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Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: July 20, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Detroit