Francis Mallmann is South America’s most popular chef

A recent online investigation placed him at the top of search rankings for cooks in the region. Mauro Colagreco is sixth on the list

Argentine chef Francis Mallmann is the most popular chef in South America, followed by Rodrigo Oliveira (Brazil) and Carolina Sánchez (Ecuador), according to a ranking published by British travel organization Explore Worldwide. The list also features Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco at number six and famed Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio at number eight.  

Explore Worldwide also published its findings regarding the most popular chefs worldwide. Scottish chef Gordon Ramsay came in first, followed by Jamie Oliver (United Kingdom) and Guy Fieri (United States). Other notable figures also included in the ranking were British chef Nigella Lawson (number 4) and Austrian Wolfgang Puck (11). 

The ranking is based on an analysis of online searches. According to the investigation, there were 325,200 searches for Mallmann in 2023, more than double the 145,200 Oliveira had. In the worldwide ranking, Ramsey registered 12,000,000 searches, while Andrew Zimmern, number 20 on the global list, had 594,000 hits.

Raised in the Patagonia region of southern Argentina, Francis Mallmann’s cooking career began in the 1980s. Although he initially worked in the line of French haute cuisine, he later changed courses to pursue an approach based on experimenting with open-fire cooking. He is considered one of the key figures who helped place traditional Argentine cuisine on the international stage. 

In addition to cooking, Mallmann has also built a solid media presence. He has published books and hosted television programs around the world, including an appearance on the hit Netflix show “Chef’s table” in 2015. He currently runs restaurants in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, France, and the United States, which feature his trademark style of cooking meat cuts and vegetables with different roasting techniques. 

The chef made headlines in September 2023 when he took to Instagram to rail against Michelin’s star system and its effect on dining culture. His words were in response to the announcement made by the Argentine government that the country would become the first Spanish-speaking country in Latin America to be included in the French tire company’s famous guide. 

“Today first page of The NY Times [sic],” Mallmann wrote in reference to a New York Times report titled “Michelin’s Coveted Stars Can Come With Some Costs.” “Argentina as well recently paid the 600K fee to Michelin to be part of the guide. They said that they will give stars to restaurants in Buenos Aires and Mendoza (where I have my restaurant 1884) that has been open for 25 years [sic].”

“After almost 50 years of cooking professionally, I truly wish we don’t get a star,” Mallmann continued. “If so, I would not accept it. But let us share bread, thoughts, and romance. Holding hands till the end of hope.”

You may also be interested in: A star is born: Michelin makes its first selections in Argentina


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