8 Famous Chefs of India & Their Culinary Magic

India is home to some of the most renowned chefs in the world. Famous for unleashing their innovative takes on classic dishes, they present a combination of flavors and textures that highlight the country’s cultural heritage in fresh and exciting ways. Check out the list of some of the most famous chefs of India.

Famous chefs of India

In today’s food culture, chefs are more than just the expert practitioners of their craft. They are leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs who continue to drive the food industry forward. The popularity of cooking shows and the availability of new streaming services have made it easier than ever for anyone with access to a kitchen to become their own chef.

Shows like The Great British Bake Off, MasterChef and Hell’s Kitchen have shown us that cooking can be fun and exciting while paving the way for the world-famous chefs to reach our homes and teach us new recipes. MasterChef is a cooking competition show where hopeful chefs compete for a chance to become the next ‘MasterChef’ whereas Hell’s Kitchen is a cooking show that follows a group of chefs as they compete for a chance to come out as the winner.

Indian cuisine is often considered to be among the finest in the world. Due to its distinctive cooking style and flavors, people throughout the world have grown to admire and enjoy Indian food. Indian chefs are known for creating some of the best recipes in the world, as well as adapting them to local tastes and ingredients. Let’s take a look at the most famous chefs of India that wowed the world with their delectable dishes.

1 – Vikas Khanna

Vikas Khanna is a Michelin-starred world famous Indian chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and philanthropist. The MasterChef judge’s quest of culinary arts started in his grandmother’s kitchen in Amritsar. Khanna graduated from the Welcomgroup School of Hotel Administration in 1991 and then continued his education at the Culinary Institute of America and New York University. In acknowledgment of his great contributions to the fields of culinary arts and philanthropy, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by GD Goenka University. Khanna is the author of many books, the most well-known of which is ‘Buried Seeds: A Chef’s Journey: The Story of Vikas Khanna’. He owns and operates his restaurant in New York called ‘Junoon’ and has launched ‘Kinara’ and ‘Ellora’ restaurants in Dubai. Khanna has a net worth of around $10–15 million.

Awards & Recognition: In 2011, Khanna was recognized with the Rising Star Chef Award by Star Chefs for his significant contribution to shaping the future of American cuisine. Additionally, he was named one of the top ten chefs in the world by both Deutsche Welle News and Gazette Review.

2 – Sanjeev Kapoor

Born in 1964, Sanjeev Kapoor is one of the most famous and well-liked chefs who has received several accolades. He is an entrepreneur, media personality and celebrity chef who operates a 24-hour food and lifestyle channel ‘Food Food’ that debuted in 2011. In 2017, he was awarded the Padma Shri which is the 4th highest Indian national honor. Sanjeev Kapoor has an estimated net worth of $125 million approximately.

3 – Garima Arora

Garima Arora became the first Indian woman chef to receive a Michelin star in 2018. She completed her studies at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in 2010. In 2019, World’s 50 Best Restaurants recognized her as Asia’s Best Female Chef for the year. The chef and proprietor of Restaurant ‘Gaa’, Arora celebrates a contemporary tasting menu employing conventional Indian methods. According to several estimations, the new MasterChef judge is worth close to Rs 40 crores.

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4 – Ranveer Brar

Masterchef India judge, restaurateur, philanthropist & one of the most famous chefs of India, Ranveer Brar is a well-known celebrity chef from India. Young Brar was encouraged to pursue his passion for cuisine by the neighbourhood kebab sellers. Brar is not just a chef but also an author and food columnist. He has launched several restaurants in India and abroad under the names – Morisco, Il Camino, Fishtail and Banq. The celebrity chef is estimated to be worth about $5 million.

Awards & Recognition: As an Honorary member of the James Beard Foundation, Brar has been acknowledged for his remarkable culinary contributions. In addition to this, he has received recognition from various other institutions, including AIWF and AICA, as well as the Mayor of Boston, for his outstanding contributions to diverse cuisines.

5 – Hari Nayak

Hari Nayak is a restaurateur, writer and culinary expert residing in New York City. For his distinctive cooking approach, Hari Nayak is currently one of the world famous Indian chefs. Beginning his culinary career at the Culinary Institute of America, Nayak is a shrewd restaurateur who oversees the management and operation of several restaurants all over the world. He is also the author of seven best-selling cookbooks, including My Indian Kitchen and Modern Indian Cooking. At the age of 48, his net worth is projected to be around $1-5 million.

6 – Shipra Khanna

Shipra Khanna is one of the most famous chefs of India, a restaurateur, a television personality and an author who is best known for taking home the title of MasterChef at the age of 29. After winning, Shipra went on to feature in several televised cooking shows and had a programme as a celebrity chef on ‘Food Food’. She was recognized as a “Women Chef taking taste beyond boundaries” by the SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council (SCWEC), and she also received the 2017 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for “Best Television Chef Book outside Europe.” The estimated range of Shipra Khanna’s net worth is $1-5 million.

7 – Atul Kochhar

Born in 1969, Atul Kochhar is an Indian-born British chef, restaurant owner and media personality who received a Michelin star in 2001. He started his career as a chef in India at The Oberoi Group hotels. Kochhar was one of the country’s first two Michelin-starred chefs. In 2007, he founded his own restaurant ‘Benares’, which earned him a 2nd Michelin star. He is a frequent guest on television and the author of several cookbooks, including Curries of the World, Simple Indian, and more. Kochhar’s net worth is considered to be approximately $4 million.

Awards & Recognition: Atul Kocchar was named Chef of the Year at The Asian Curry Awards, in recognition of his exceptional talent and expertise in 2017. He has also been the recipient of the TMG Cordon Bleu Award, further solidifying his status as a highly respected and accomplished chef.

8 – Vineet Bhatia

Vineet Bhatia is one of the most famous chefs of India, author, restaurateur and television personality. He is the first Indian chef to get a Michelin star. Bhatia has appeared in a number of television programmes both domestically and globally. He most recently served as a judge for the Netflix programme ‘The Final Table’ and ‘Masterchef India’. Currently, he owns eleven restaurants, including ‘KAMA by Vineet,’ his flagship restaurant in London. He is the author of the cookbooks – Rasoi: New Indian Kitchen and My Sweet Kitchen. Bhatia was chosen in 2021 to serve as the campaign’s culinary ambassador for Great Britain & Northern Ireland. His estimated net worth is $10 million.

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