New York City restaurateur who originally partnered with Tom Colicchio in the early 90s to establish New American Fine Dining at Gramercy Tavern. His other notable restaurants are Eleven Madison Park, The Modern, and Shake Shack.
New York City chef turned restaurateur (and head judge of top chef). Originally famous from Gramercy Tavern but now is the head of the Craft empire of restaurants.
Korean american wunderkind of the NYC restaurant world (momofuku), named best new NYC chef in the James Beard awards and responsible for the newest interpretations of asian influences in american food.
Old School classics french restaurateur and chef, who helped establish the bar for fine dining in NYC in the 90s and 2000s (Daniel, Bar Boulud). He's now moved on to more "downtown" ventures like DBGB.
The authority in new French cuisine (particularly with the asian accents of his various wives). Both a restauranteur and a chef, Jean-Georges is one of the few international chefs known primarily by his first name only. His children have become head chefs in many of his NYC restaurants.
As far as any food person is concerned, Eric Ripert knows more about seafood and fish than anyone. Le Bernadin is the most famous (classic french) fish restaurant in NYC. But he's branched out to give his name to a variety of cheaper institutions lately.
The most famous name in Molecular gastronomy in NYC right now (also know for his facial hair). WD-50 is the height of deconstructed dishes in NYC.
The man who made farm to table dining really happen outside of the West Coast. Blue Hill at Stone Barns took the understanding of what simple vegetables could be to the michelin star level.
Ethiopian adopted by Swedish parents who moved to harlem and became a famous chef. He's known for his amazing Scandinavian food but more recently his modern interpretations of soul food and african food.
The most revered modern american french chef in the US. Thomas Keller started the French Laundry (and Per Se) and is probably responsible for training most of the currentl crop of chefs in some way.
The mastermind behind Alinea in Chicago, which championed what Grant called "progressive american cuisine" rather than molecular gastronomy. He battled tongue cancer but survived.
The grandfather of molecular gastronomy at El Bulli in Spain. He's responsible for a whole generation of chefs but closing his restaurant because it's past its prime.