International Chef Day is observed all over the world on October 20 of every year. The day celebrates chefs and spreads awareness about eating healthy. Every year, a theme is decided for International Chef Day — in 2020, it was ‘Healthy Food for the Future,’ and the same theme was repeated in 2021, although with a deeper focus on sustainability and ensuring a healthy environment for future generations. Dr. Bill Gallagher, a renowned master chef and former president of the World Association of Chefs Societies (Worldchefs), established International Chefs Day in 2004.
History of International Chef Day
Unlike most other modern professions, the chef has played a significant role in our society since the beginning of time. Food is a basic need, and experiments with food have been going on for thousands of years. In the first century A.D., a Roman gourmet called Marcus Apicius wrote the world’s first cookbook. His book was named after him: “Apicius,” also known as “The Art of Cooking.” The book contains more than 400 recipes, and Marcus traveled great distances to secure the ingredients.
In 1765, A. Boulanger opened the first business in Paris that was called a restaurant. The sign above his door said ‘restoratives,’ or ‘restaurants,’ which referred to the soups and broths that were being offered on the menu. The word ‘restaurant’ then took on the meaning, ‘a public eating place.’
In 1809, the French chef Alexis Soyer became one of the most distinguished cooks in England because he developed cheap and nutritious meals for the poor and the working class, especially during the potato famine of 1845–1849 in Ireland. He also invented a field stove called the ‘Soyer stove’ for the British soldiers serving in the Crimean War.
Auguste Escoffier, an eminent chef from France, created the brigade system and simplified kitchen dynamics in the 1870s. According to his system, each person in the kitchen had a particular task. The system worked like a military hierarchy — first, there was the head chef in charge of the whole kitchen, then the sous chef, and so on. His book “Le Guide Culinaire” is still in print and is included in the curriculum of modern culinary students due to its relevance.
International Chef Day timeline
Roman gourmet Marcus Apicius writes the world’s first cookbook comprising over 400 recipes.
He names his shop 'restoratives' or 'restaurant' because, according to him, his soups and broths "restore life."
He simplifies kitchen dynamics to reduce work hours for cooks and delegate tasks effectively.
French chef Alexis Soyer's 'famine soup' serves thousands of the Irish poor in the Great Irish Famine.
International Chef Day FAQs
What day is National Chef Day?
National Chef Day or National Personal Chef Day is on July 16. To know more about it, refer to our article here National Personal Chef Day.
Who is the most notable celebrity chef?
Gordon Ramsay is the most famous chef, currently. He has been awarded a total of 16 Michelin stars and has appeared on several TV programs, including “MasterChef U.S.,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” and “Kitchen Nightmares.”
Are Michelin stars awarded to the restaurant or a chef?
Michelin stars are awarded to the restaurants. The head chef of the restaurant gets to carry the star for however long they work at the restaurant. If they work as the head chef in multiple restaurants that have been awarded the Michelin star, then they can hold multiple stars simultaneously.
How To Celebrate International Chef Day
Cook something healthful
What better way to celebrate this day than to cook something ourselves? Since this year’s theme is 'Healthy Foods for the Future,' preparing a quick and nutritious meal might be worth a try.
Watch cooking videos
Show some love to the YouTuber chefs who share their delicious recipes with us for free. You can leave some nice comments as well.
Visit a local culinary school and explore
If you’re ever curious about what it’s like to be a chef, you could search for the nearest culinary school and pay them a visit. You could also chat with the students and educators about the programs they offer.
5 Important Facts About Chefs And The Culinary Arts
The chef’s hat carries a secret code
The folds in a chef’s hat represent the number of different ways they could cook an egg.
Italy’s royalty received the first pizza delivery
In 1889, the first-ever pizza delivery was made to the king and queen of Italy by the most famous pizza chef.
The “Michelin Guide” originated from tire sellers
The famous “Michelin Guide,” which awards up to three stars of excellence to the best restaurants, was started by Michelin Tires, as part of an advertising campaign to sell tires.
The potato chip was a prank
In 1853, an annoyed customer kept sending back his fried potatoes to the kitchen because they were too thick, so the chef sliced the potatoes into razor-thin pieces and sprinkled extra salt on them; and to everyone’s surprise, this became a hit dish.
Anthony Bourdain's custom chef's knife
A master bladesmith and friend of Bourdain's, Bob Kramer, forged and presented to Bourdain a kitchen knife out of steel and meteorite.
Why We Love International Chef Day
To show gratitude to chefs
Chefs deserve to be celebrated for putting so much care and effort into our meals. Life would be absolutely bland without them.
To celebrate the chefs within us
Each of us has a little chef within. We also do small-scale experiments with food. Adding extra chili flakes to the pizza slice so that it perfectly suits our taste buds is a culinary skill.
To encourage healthy diets
Nutritious food can also be delicious. International Chefs Day is ultimately an initiative to remind us about the importance of a healthy diet.
International Chef Day dates