Top-Rated Italian Chefs

Why Italian Chefs are Amongst the Highly Rated in the World 

Italian chefs are highly-regarded worldwide. Most of them have traveled widely, while others have moved to other countries. If you love top quality food, then you must be aware that Italy produces some of the best chefs in the entire world.

In this post, you’ll read about five of the best Italian chefs ranked. You will also get to know their best recipes and other interesting facts about them. Do you have a favorite Italian chef? Read on to find out whether they made the list!

The Top-Rated Italian Chefs

5. Giorgio Locatelli

Giorgio Locatelli, Top-Rated Italian Chefs - The Proud Italian
Giorgio Locatelli, Waterstones, Piccadilly, London, 6 December 2018. Author Edwardx, source – own work.

Giorgio Locatelli is a renowned TV star that has featured on several TV kitchen shows. Examples of shows he has featured in include Pure Italian in 2002, which was aired on the UK Food channel. He was also on BBC2 on Tony and Giorgio, Sicily Unpacked, and Italy Unpacked shows. The Tony and Giorgio show was joined by a tie-in book.

He also published his own cookbook, which was distributed in September 2006. Made in Italy got the Best Food Book grant at the Glenfiddich Food and Drink Awards 2007. In September 2011, he distributed a cookbook, Made in Sicily.

Giorgio received the Commendatore OMRI in October 2016 from the Italian Ambassador for administrators to Italian gastronomy as top 10 chefs in Italy. The commendation can be likened to a British Knighthood.

Best Recipe – Sardine Beccafico

Preparation Time -30 minutes

Cooking Time – 10 minutes

Serves – 6


For the Sardines

  • 6 Medium-sized sardines, filleted
  • 12-16 fresh bay leaves

For the stuffing

  • 75g/3oz white breadcrumbs, and 25g/1oz extra for topping
  • 50g black olives
  • 50g capers
  • 4 anchovies
  • 40g raisings
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 20g almonds
  • 1 lemon, juice, and zest
  • 1 orange, juice, and zest
  • 10g fresh parsley
Sardine Beccafico, Top-Rated Italian Chefs - The Proud Italian


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Blend all the stuffing ingredients in a food processor until well mixed with a firm consistency.
  3. Roll the stuffing mixture into small balls. Put one ball at one end of every sardine fillet and roll the meat around the stuffing. Use a cocktail stick to pierce each through the center. Garnish each with a bay leaf.
  4. Sprinkle a little olive oil into an ovenproof dish. Put the fish onto the dish and scatter over the extra 25g/1oz breadcrumbs. Drizzle with a little more olive oil.
  5. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes and serve with a lightly dressed green salad.

4. Gennaro Contaldo

Gennaro Contaldo is one of the best Italian Chefs in the world. He is regarded as the chef who showed Jamie Oliver many secrets of the Italian kitchen. Gennaro works at Jamie’s Italian Restaurant that has around 60 branches around the world. He is known to spend his free time in his bungalow in Norfolk cooking with friends. 

Other people he works with include Bertolli with Butter and an Italian occasion organization called Citalia. What makes him one of the top Italian chefs is that he has inspired many aspiring chefs to become great at preparing Italian dishes.

Best Recipe – Trompetti with chestnut and pancetta sauce

Preparation Time – 30 minutes

Cooking Time – 30 minutes

Serves – 4


  • 360g trompetti pasta
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 80g pancetta, finely chopped
  • 300g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
  • 140g mascarpone
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Grated pecorino to serve
Trompetti with chestnut and pancetta sauce, Trompetti with chestnut and pancetta sauce - The Proud Italian


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, then cook the trompetti pasta for 10 minutes until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water.
  2. In the meantime, heat the extra virgin oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the leek and pancetta and heat for around 5 minutes. Mix in the chestnuts and rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with a lid and cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Mix the mascarpone with some of the pasta cooking water in a bowl to loosen it up a little. Add the pasta to the chestnut mixture, stir in the mascarpone and mix well. You can add more reserved pasta cooking water if necessary.
  4. Serve with a sprinkling of grated pecorino.  

3. Fabio Viviani

Chef Fabio Viviani is one of the most known Italian chef’s names. He grew up in Florence, Italy, and is renowned for his expertise in food ingredients. His time at IPSSAR Saffi helped him to master Italian and Mediterranean food. He has also worked with Saverio Carmagini and Alessandro Panzani.

Fabio owned and worked in five restaurants in Florence. In Ventura County, CA, he opened Café Firenze in Moorpark, CA. His name is at the Chicago Culinary Museum and Chefs Hall of Fame. He was named Chef of the Year on 8 March 2017; the day was also named Chef Fabio Viviani Day in Chicago.

Best Recipe – Fresh Pasta with 20-Minute Sausage and Beef Bolognese Sauce

Preparation Time – 15minutes

Cooking Time – 25 Minutes

Serves 4

Fresh Pasta withSausage and Beef Bolognese Sauce, Top-Rated Italian Chefs - The Proud Italian


  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated carrot
  • ¼ cup grated onion
  • 225g mild Italian sausage, ground
  • 450g ground beef
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 large crushed tomato
  • 225g fresh pasta
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh basil
  • ¼ cup minced parsley, with some reserved garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grana Padano cheese, grated for garnish


  1. Boil four cups of salted water in a large pot.
  2. Add extra virgin olive oil in a large pot on high heat. Add carrot and onion and cook for 1 minute. Add sausage and ground beef and cook for 5 minutes until ¾ done.
  3. Add tomato paste and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Deglaze the wine and reduce for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Mix in the crushed tomato and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes until slightly thickened.
  5. Add pasta to water and cook for 3 minutes. Stir to prevent sticking.
  6. Add basil, parsley, and pasta and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add pasta cooking water if necessary to loosen the sauce to liking. Garnish with grated cheese and parsley.

2. Giada De Laurentiis

Giada De Laurentiis, Top-Rated Italian Chefs - The Proud Italian
Giada De Laurentiis at a book signing at Williams-Sonoma at the Bellevue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 22, 2010. Author kennejima, source Flickr

Giada is one of the most famous Italian female chefs. She was born and bred in Rome in a big Italian family. She is not only a remarkable chef, but she is also very stunning. Filmmaker Dino De Laurentiis is her grandfather. Giada worked in her grandfather’s restaurant dubbed DDL Food Show. She graduates with a degree in Human Sciences from the University of California in Los Angeles.  

She began as an expert preparing at a well-known restaurant in France called Le Cordon Bleu. She has also worked with Wolfgang Puck’s Spago restaurant in Beverly Hills and Ritz-Carlton Fine Dining Room.

Best Recipe – Simple Bolognese

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 45 minutes

Serves 6

Simple Bolognese Recipe, Top-Rated Italian Chefs - The Proud Italian


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 450g ground chuck beef
  • 1 28-gram can crushed tomato
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano


  1. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic when almost smoking and sauté over medium heat for around 8 minutes until the onions become very soft. Add the celery and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Raise heat to be high and add the ground beef. Sauté, stirring frequently and break any large lumps. Cook until meat is no longer pink for around 10 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, parsley, and basil, and cook over medium-low heat until sauce thickens.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

1. Massimo Bottura

Massimo Bottura, Top-Rated Italian Chefs - The Proud Italian
Author Paola Sucato from Milano, Italy, source Flickr.

Born on 30 September 1965, Massimo is one of the most famous Italian Chefs. This restaurateur and chef is regarded as the best chef in Italy. He works in a three-Michelin- star eatery in Modena called Osteria Francescana. The restaurant was ranked fifth on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards since 2010. Other awards it has won include ESPRESSO, Gambero Rosso, and other Touring Club Guides awards.

Best Recipe – Italian Salsa Verde

Preparation Time – 20 minutes


  • 2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 50g dried bread crumbs
  • 10g capers, rinsed
  • 2g olive oil-packed anchovies, drained
  • 4 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 ¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil
Italian Salsa Verde, Top-Rated Italian Chefs - The Proud Italian


  1. Mix the parsley, breadcrumbs, capers, anchovies, vinegar, and olive oil in a blender or food processor. Add 10g ice-cold water.
  2. Process until smooth and thickened to the same thickness and consistency as mayonnaise.
  3. Transfer the salsa verde to a storage container and refrigerate until ready to use. It will keep you for a single day.

The Final Say

Italian chefs are among the finest in the world. The ones discussed in this piece are best. You have also seen some of the famous Italian chefs’ recipes, which are mostly innovative yet straightforward. So, did your favorite Italian chef make the list?