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Study abroad : Subject Guides

Top 3 famous self-taught chefs

culinary school

There are great culinary schools for aspiring chefs, but we’ve decided to inspire you further with some top chefs who made it without any professional culinary qualification…


Charlie Trotter

With training experience in 40 restaurants before opening up Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago in 1987, Trotter’s restaurant was a huge hit which gained him a 2-star Michelin rating. He also owned other restaurants and went on to star in PBS series The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter. The legend also won many James Beard awards.


Lennard Yeong

Good-looking with serious technical skills in preparing precise home-cooked meals, Lennard Yeong has over 35,000 Instagram followers. Yeong showcases his culinary creations on Instagram and says Heston Blumenthal is his inspiration. The chef who counts cookbooks, Youtube and Instagram as resources, has created visually stunning dishes. Among them, he’s very pleased with his beef dish inspired by the TV show Hannibal, which is seared beef tenderloin served in red wine reduction paired with beetroot puree, mushroom duxelles and pickled shallots. He was also a contestant at MasterChef Asia.


Jamie Oliver

The Naked Chef has a National Vocational Qualification in home economics but no formal culinary school training. Jamie Oliver started as a pastry chef and was discovered by the BBC after making an appearance in a documentary about The River Café where he worked. It wasn’t long before the BBC gave the young cook whose enthusiasm is contagious his own show and The Naked Chef debuted in 1997. He owns several restaurants throughout Great Britain, has hosted over a dozen cooking shows, written 17 cookbooks and worked tirelessly to change the school lunch program in the UK. In 2010 he came to the US with Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and cooked to change residents’ eating habits and health.



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