sexiest chefs

Sexiest Chefs–the making of the chef as a sex symbol

Chef Annette TomeiEat and Tell with Chef Annette Tomei

The original “Rock Star Chef” Marco Pierre White was, arguably, the first chef to become famous not only for his virtuosity behind the stove, but for his bedroom eyes and fresh-out-of-the-sack do (and that telltale cigarette) – among other bad boy traits.

Ah, the bad boys! We just can’t stay away! Before chefs, it was the original rock stars (when that term was reserved for actual musicians), or movie stars, or any number of square-jawed tortured creative-types with dark, mysterious habits, foul mouths, and sexy capable hands.

sexiest chefsChefs as sex symbols are a relatively new phenomenon. Not so long ago, the term chef evoked an image of a middle-aged, short, mustachioed European (French, maybe Italian) with a bit of a belly. This person’s role was behind the scenes, when the kitchen was a mysterious dungeon to and from which only waiters would dare go… not the technological designer showcase of today. Chefs were, and continue to be, part of the working class. Face it, even in the best of circumstances, most still spend 14-18 hours, six days a week at their stoves (or close to them).

This, strangely, is another part of their mystique. Kitchens are hot, dangerous and frequently crowded. Chefs are sensual by nature. Cooks (and presumably chefs) work in a mass of furiously writhing sweaty bodies rhythmically responding to the orders that come in faster and faster as service comes to a crescendo – tasting, touching with gentle manipulation or forceful sculpting, shouting words of encouragement or obscenities, all with a heightened sense of awareness of the demands of each moment. No wonder they’re always thinking about sex.

Over the past couple of months in NYC, there has been a noticeable increase in the attention paid to the sexuality of chefs. This includes both blatant exposure (the cover story of TONY 10/30-11/5/2008, Issue #683 featuring a chef in flagrante on the stove with, presumably, the hostess or the coat check girl – always!) and slightly more subtle promotion (the hotly contested Hottest Chefs in NY poll – heading into round two Monday, November 24!).

I confess, it’s not just the media that’s been on a role lately – ever since the International Chefs Congress in September, the girlz and I have been on a personal quest to explore the full spectrum of chef sexiness on display, like the colorful changing leaves, for our appreciative eyes this season. I have the great fortune of working in a wonderland of sexy chefs with a constant parade of guest sexy chefs from around the world, it’s been a stimulating few months and it continues to get better – lucky us! So far, the rule has been “look but don’t touch,” but rules are made to eventually be broken!

Since it’s been an unfortunately long stretch between sexy chefs (or otherwise) for me, I will not be name dropping in this month’s edition… don’t want to jinx myself. Yes, I have my heart set on one sexy chef in particular, and this charming gentleman is apparently just that – a gentleman… at least that’s what I’d like to believe right now; he is a chef after all (but so am I!).


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