Famous American Restaurateurs

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Find out more about the greatest American Restaurateurs, including Justin Timberlake, Nas, Wayne Gretzky, Colonel Sanders and Henry Hill.
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 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 
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.
 4 
David Chang
(American Restaurateur and Founder of the Momofuku Restaurant Group)
David Chang
3
Birthdate: August 5, 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Arlington County, 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.

 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 
Nate Robinson
(Former Basketball player at Point guard position)
Nate Robinson
4
Birthdate: May 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States

Nate Robinson is a former professional basketball player who has played in the NBA for the New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics,  Golden State Warriors, and Chicago Bulls. He went professional in 2005 and became the NBA's first three-time slam dunk champion in 2010. He retired in 2018. He now runs a restaurant in Rainier Beach.

 7 
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.

 8 
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.
 9 
Richard McDonald
(Were American entrepreneurs who founded the fast food company McDonald's)
Richard McDonald
4
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. 

 10 
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.
 11 
Eddie Huang
(Chef and Co-Owner of "BaoHaus", a Gua Bao Restaurant)
Eddie Huang
3
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.
 12 
Michael Symon
2
Birthdate: September 19, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
 13 
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.

 14 
Maurice McDonald
(Entrepreneur)
Maurice McDonald
1
Birthdate: November 26, 1902
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Manchester, New Hampshire, United States
Died: December 11, 1971
 15 
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.
 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 
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.

 18 
Joe Theismann
(American football player)
Joe Theismann
3
Birthdate: September 9, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
 19 
Grant Achatz
3
Birthdate: April 25, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Clair, Michigan, United States
 20 
Jim Ross
(Commentator)
Jim Ross
3
Birthdate: January 3, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fort Bragg, California, United States
 21 
Alan Hale Jr.
3
Birthdate: March 8, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: January 2, 1990
 22 
Rick Bayless
(Chef, Restaurateur)
Rick Bayless
2
Birthdate: November 23, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oklahoma City
 23 
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.
 24 
Jon Taffer
(Entrepreneur)
Jon Taffer
3
Birthdate: November 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Great Neck, New York, U.S.
 25 
Rocky Aoki
(Restaurateur)
Rocky Aoki
3
Birthdate: October 9, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Died: July 10, 2008
 26 
Geoffrey Zakarian
3
Birthdate: July 25, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts, US
 27 
Ming Tsai
(Restaurateur, Squash player, Actor)
Ming Tsai
2
Birthdate: March 29, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newport Beach
 28 
Frederick Trump
(Businessman)
Frederick Trump
1
Birthdate: March 14, 1869
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kallstadt, Germany
Died: May 30, 1918
 29 
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.

 30 
Graham Elliot
3
Birthdate: January 4, 1977
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States
 31 
Paul Prudhomme
(Chef, Restaurateur, Non-fiction writer, Businessperson)
Paul Prudhomme
2
Birthdate: July 13, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Opelousas
Died: October 8, 2015
 32 
Tom Colicchio
2
Birthdate: August 15, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States
 33 
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
 34 
Carl Ruiz
(Chef)
Carl Ruiz
1
Birthdate: April 4, 1975
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Passaic, New Jersey, United States
Died: September 21, 2019
 35 
Bill Rancic
(Writer, Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Author, Restaurateur)
Bill Rancic
2
Birthdate: May 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago
 36 
Sean Tuohy
(Sports Commentator)
Sean Tuohy
3
Birthdate: November 23, 1959
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
 37 
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
 38 
S. Truett Cathy
(Business Person)
S. Truett Cathy
2
Birthdate: March 14, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Eatonton, Georgia, US
Died: September 8, 2014
 39 
Charlie Trotter
(Restaurateur, Chef)
Charlie Trotter
1
Birthdate: September 8, 1959
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wilmette
Died: November 5, 2013
 40 
Antonia Lofaso
1
Birthdate: November 23, 1976
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
 41 
Dan Barber
1
Birthdate: March 12, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
 42 
Fred DeLuca
(Businessman)
Fred DeLuca
2
Birthdate: October 3, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: September 14, 2015
 43 
Marcus Samuelsson
(Celebrity Chef and Restaurateur)
Marcus Samuelsson
0
Birthdate: January 25, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ethiopian Swedish chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson currently works as the head chef of Red Rooster in Harlem, New York. Fascinated by his grandmother’s cooking, he studied at the Culinary Institute in Göteborg to learn the nuances of food preparation. In the ensuing years, he gained recognition as a world-class chef. He is also an award-winning cookbook author.

 44 
Fatima Ali
(Chef, Restaurateur)
Fatima Ali
1
Birthdate: August 8, 1989
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Died: January 25, 2019
 45 
Junior Bridgeman
(Basketball player, Businesspeople)
Junior Bridgeman
1
Birthdate: September 17, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: East Chicago, Indiana, United States
 46 
Tom Monaghan
(Businessperson)
Tom Monaghan
2
Birthdate: March 25, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
 47 
Glen Bell
(Entrepreneur)
Glen Bell
1
Birthdate: September 3, 1923
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lynwood, California, United States
Died: January 16, 2010
 48 
Jon Paul Steuer
2
Birthdate: March 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Escondido, California, United States
Died: January 1, 2018
 49 
Anna Olson
(Television show host, cookbook author, and pastry chef)
Anna Olson
2
Birthdate: May 4, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
 50 
George Crum
1
Birthdate: July 15, 1824
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saratoga County, New York, United States
Died: July 22, 1914