New Map Reveals Each Country’s Most Popular Chefs among Global 20 Power list

  • Sanjay Thumma is the world’s most popular chef from India, ranking among the top 3 most-searched Indian chefs
  • Other popular chefs across the world include Indian chef Kunal Kapur, Maneet Chauhan and Gaggan Anand. 

Whether it’s authentic local dishes or new restaurant openings, food hugely influences where we want to travel. In recognition of the global influence of the culinary world, food and drink tour operator Explore Worldwide has released new research that reveals the chefs that are cooking up a storm in the hearts of food lovers everywhere.

Map Revealing Each Country's Most Popular Chefs
Map Revealing Each Country’s Most Popular Chefs

Explore’s new research dives into Google search data from the past year to reveal most popular chefs from each country have made the biggest impression across the globe in the last year. The chef with the most online searches across the world in the last 12 months has been crowned that country’s most popular chef.

10 Most Searched Popular Chefs from Asia

Rank Chef Nationality Last Year’s Google Searches
1 Tariq Helou Singapore 1,620,000
2 Vicky Lau China 1,320,000
3 Sanjay Thumma India 726,000
4 Chef Wan Malaysia 397,200
5 Jiro Ono Japan 397,200
6 Kunal Kapur India 325,200
7 Maneet Chauhan India 266,400
8 Gaggan Anand India 217,200
9 Madhur Jaffrey India 177,600
10 Masaharu Morimoto Japan 177,600
Most Popular Chef

Tariq Helou emerged as the most Googled popular chef from Asia, with over 1.6 million searches on Google for his name last year. The chef is known for blending traditional Singaporean flavours with modern cooking techniques, and his creations can be found in his various culinary ventures in Singapore.

Chef Vicky Lau takes the second spot on the list. Chef-owner of Tate Dining Room in Hong Kong, Lau’s approach to cooking combines the richness of Chinese culinary history with modern gastronomic techniques, particularly French, making her dishes a form of delicate edible art that awarded her the title of Asia’s Best Female Chef in 2015.

Sanjay Thumma is one of six Indian chefs who make the top ten list of most searched chefs from Asia. Known for his easy-to-follow cooking style and engaging personality, Thumma has brought the essence of Indian kitchens to a global audience through his online cooking tutorials.

Reflecting a blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and indigenous Bornean influences, Chef Wan from Malaysia took the fourth spot on the list with 397,200 searches last year. Considered the food Ambassador of Malaysia, his charismatic approach to cooking has made him a beloved figure, allowing him to host numerous cooking shows across Asia.

Completing the top five is Japan’s 98-year-old Jiro Ono, also with 397,200 global Google searches last year. One other Japanese chef joins him on the list, but Ono stands as the epitome of mastery in sushi preparation. His Tokyo restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, has received three Michelin stars, and the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” reflects his meticulous and disciplined approach, along with a profound respect for traditional sushi techniques.

World’s 20 Most Searched Popular Chefs of the Year

Rank Chef Name Country of Origin Year’s Google Searches
1 Gordon Ramsay Scotland 12,000,000
2 Jamie Oliver United Kingdom 4,416,000
3 Guy Fieri Ohio 4,416,000
4 Nigella Lawson United Kingdom 2,952,000
5 Giada De Laurentiis Italy 1,980,000
6 Bobby Flay New York 1,980,000
7 Tariq Helou Singapore 1,620,000
8 Gino D’Acampo Italy 1,620,000
9 Hilda Baci Nigeria 1,320,000
10 Vicky Lau China 1,320,000
11 Wolfgang Puck Austria 1,320,000
12 Alain Ducasse Monaco/France 1,086,000
13 Buddy Valastro New Jersey 1,086,000
14 Sanjay Thumma India 726,000
15 Heston Blumenthal United Kingdom 726,000
16 Emeril Lagasse Massachusetts 726,000
17 Katie Lee West Virginia 726,000
18 Ainsley Harriott United Kingdom 594,000
19 Curtis Stone Australia 594,000
20 Andrew Zimmern New York 594,000
20 Most popular chefs searched in the year

These chefs globally are typically well-known international TV personalities, with the likes of Gordan Ramsay, Nigella Lawson and Guy Fieri featuring at the top end of the 20 most popular chefs last year. However, the research also indicates that the world is showing great interest in fine dining pioneers that don’t frequently grace our TV screens, such as Singapore’s Tariq Helou and China’s Vicky Lau.

There is significant worldwide interest in European chefs known for classic Italian and French cooking, such as Giada De Laurentiis and Alain Ducasse, both in the top 20. However, the global rankings also reveal an interest in different regional cuisines, with Nigeria’s Hilda Baci coming in as the 9th most looked-for chef last year, and India’s Sanjay Thumma in 15th.

World’s Top Five Most Googled Chefs

Gordon Ramsay: Whilst many people are familiar with Gordan Ramsey thanks to his phenomenally popular TV shows, including ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ and ‘Kitchen Nightmares,’ the Scottish-born chef has owned an incredible 58 restaurants across Europe, Asia, and North America during his career, many of which have been awarded fine dining accolades. Currently, Ramsay’s Michelin-starred restaurants include Le Pressoir d’Argent (two stars) in Bordeaux, Petrus by Gordan Ramsay (one star) in London and the three Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, also in London.

Jamie Oliver: At the turn of the millennium, Jamie Oliver became a celebrity sensation with his show The Naked Chef. His cheeky Essex-boy persona kept Oliver on TV screens throughout the noughties, helping him launch his chain of Jamie’s Italian restaurants. In the early 2000s, Oliver used his platform to highlight the poor nutritional value of the UK’s school dinners, before taking his activism efforts to the USA with his show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Jamie Oliver has also dominated the publishing world with a series of record-breaking cookbooks; his 30-Minunte Meals book is one of the bestselling Food & Drink titles of all time.

Guy Fieri: This charismatic presenter from Ohio is technically not a trained chef – despite being one of the most popular chefs in the restaurant world. Guy Fieri owns several restaurants including Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen and Bar and is well-loved for his TV Appearances on shows such as Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy’s Grocery Games. Despite his lack of formal training, he has extensive kitchen experience since, as a child, his father encouraged him to cook, and even built him a pretzel cart, from which a young Feiri made enough money to eventually study abroad.

Nigella Lawson: The first female foodie to rank on the global list, Nigella Lawson isn’t known for restaurant ownership, but she’s a hugely celebrated food writer and TV personality. Born in London and the daughter of a Baron, Lawson boasts several best-selling cookbooks and her eloquent and sensual presenting style on Nigella Bites and Nigella’s Kitchen has made her immensely popular across the world.

Giada De Laurentiis: Born in Rome, De Laurentiis is an Italian-American chef and TV personality, who regularly appears on the USA’s Food Network and NBC’s Today. She is also a hugely successful cookbook author and restaurateur, with two businesses in Las Vegas – the Giada restaurant at The Cromwell and Pronto by Giada at Caesars Palace. De Laurentiis was presented with a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lifestyle Host in 2008 with her first show Everyday Italian and won two further Emmys in 2020.

Michael Edwards, Managing Director at Explore, added:

“From the innovative creations of Wolfgang Puck to the warm flavours of Hilda Baci’s Nigerian cuisine, this research has certainly given us a deeper appreciation for the culinary diversity that enriches our world. Food inspires travel in so many ways, from trying authentic local dishes to visiting famous fine dining establishments. We hope our study inspires explorers to find out more about the food heritage and artistry that can be found in their destination.”

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