Favorite Meals of 23 Celebrity Chefs

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Recipes for Success

If only we could all cook with the creativity and expertise of a celebrity chef. Here's the next best thing: cooking favorite or signature recipes of nearly two dozen celebrity chefs, from Emeril Lagasse's shrimp, okra, and tomato gumbo, to Rocco DiSpirito's lavender crème brulee. Whether the final product turns out like they intended is another matter. But we all have to start somewhere.

Lavender Creme Brulee

Rocco Dispirito's Lavender Créme Brulee

Oprah declared culinary gold when Rocco DiSpirito prepared lavender crème brulee for the legendary talk show host years ago, calling it the one dessert he couldn't live without. "I don't know whether it's the crackly crust or warm, creamy interior. Like ice cream, it will happily take on any flavor," Rocco said. Along with fresh lavender, there's significant quantities of milk, cream, and sugar.

Pork Schnitzel
Tatiana Volgutova/istockphoto

Wolfgang Puck's Pork Schnitzel

Between his restaurants, cookbooks, catering services, and Oscar party meals, Wolfgang Puck needs little introduction, and among his signature dishes is pork schnitzel. The Austrian chef's secret is using cutlets of Kurobuta pork, a deeply marbled heritage meat from Japan. If that's not on the menu, buy boneless pork chops from a supermarket and pound them until tender.

Linguine with Clams

Mario Batali's Linguine With Clams

Chef Mario Batali has said that if he could have only one dish for the rest of his life, it would be linguini with clams. Batali's recipe is simple, relying on a handful of ingredients including coarse salt, white wine, garlic, and fresh, flat-leaf pasta.

Shrimp, Okra, and Tomato Gumbo

Emeril Lagasse's Shrimp, Okra and Tomato Gumbo

When invited to appear with Oprah, Emeril Lagasse chose to prepare his Louisiana-inspired shrimp, okra, and tomato gumbo. It involves a whopping two pounds of okra and two pounds of shrimp. Additional ingredients include onions, celery, and the all-important cayenne seasoning.

Chocolate Cake

Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Chocolate Cake

Vongerichten, author of five cookbooks, featured his chocolate cake in a Martha Stewart round-up of best recipes from favorite celebrity chefs. Vongerichten's simple cake is known for being especially moist, thanks to its use of almond flour.

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Tartines

Giada de Laurentiis' Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Tartines

For a little help showing off culinary skills at Thanksgiving, try one of Giada De Laurentiis' favorite recipes for the holiday -- though her squash and goat cheese tartines are a colorful and tasty appetizer for any meal. They can be prepared the day before a big event.

Funky Spaghetti

Jamie Oliver's Funky Spaghetti

British chef Jamie Oliver's funky spaghetti isn't just one of his favorite favorites -- once he made it for Oprah, it quickly became one of her go-to recipes as well. The dish relies primarily on linguini, a variety of colorful tomatoes, and garlic.

Smoked Salmon Crisps

Thomas Keller's Smoked Salmon Crisps

Smoked salmon crisps are a regular star of meals by Thomas Keller. These tasty morsels are more complex than they look, involving crème fraiche, snipped chives, and tuiles (baked wafers). If you can't shape the tuiles into cones like Keller famously does, just leave them flat, like crackers.

Paella with Shrimp and Squid

Jose Andres' Paella With Shrimp and Squid

The Spanish-American chef widely credited with bringing the small-plate dining concept to the United States, Jose Andres likes his signature paella with shrimp and squid with an abundance of seafood and homemade fish stock.

Black Cod with Miso

Nobu Matsuhisa's Black Cod With Miso

One of the most famous dishes by Nobu Matsuhisa, the genius behind the worldwide Nobu empire, is black cod with miso. Known for being sweet and silky, the dish is not exactly difficult to prepare. But the cod needs to be marinated for two to three days before serving.

Candied Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon

Anthony Bourdain's Candied Sweet Potatoes With Bourbon

Globetrotting Anthony Bourdain is one of the most adventurous eaters on the planet, but the television personality started by cooking -- including, when the holidays roll around, candied sweet potatoes with bourbon. Its butter, dark brown sugar, and bourbon, which combine to turn sweet potatoes into something unforgettable.

Spring Pea Soup

Daniel Boulud's Chilled Spring Pea Soup

A light dish ideal for April and May, famed French chef Daniel Boulud's chilled spring soup includes sweet peas, favas, pea shoots, snap peas, and snow peas, making it good for you -- though it also involves heavy cream and eight slices of bacon, so there's a little guilty pleasure too.

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Bartosz Luczak/istockphoto

Gordon Ramsay's Brussel Sprouts With Pancetta

Brussels sprouts are vitamin powerhouses, but they're also trendy. Gordon Ramsay (not the nicest chef on the planet, we know) prepares them by tossing in some salted pancetta and chestnuts. Add a little olive oil and black pepper and this easy recipe is practically complete.

Apple and Onion Stuffin'

Rachael Ray's Apple and Onion Stuffin'

One of Rachael Ray's favorite holiday dishes, this apple and onion stuffing has multiple purposes, including loaves or muffins. The mouthwatering mixture of butter, celery, apples, and cubed stuffing mix shows why Ray is juggling a cooking empire of television shows, a syndicated lifestyle program, cookbooks, and more.

Cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie
Cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie by RosieTulips (CC BY-NC-ND)

Christina Tosi's Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies

Consider this one a guilty pleasure. And really, it isn't all sugar. There are cornflakes in cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookies, after all -- along with two sticks of butter and two kinds of sugar, ands mini chips and marshmallows. This U.S. chef and television personality behind the Momofuku Milk Bar certainly likes her sweets.

IMG_0143_1 by lemon168 (CC BY-NC-ND)

Eric Ripert's Braised Halibut Served in Casserole With Peas a la Francaise

The name of this dish makes it sound more complicated than it really is. Created by French chef Eric Ripert, who's particularly recognized for his work with seafood, this halibut dish is primarily fish and peas (with a sprinkle of bacon lardons for flavor) and requires only a few simple steps to prepare.

Bo Ssam
Bo Ssam by tomislav medak (CC BY)

David Chang's Bo Ssam

Momofuku co-founder David Chang, an author, television personality, and Netflix series creator, has a signature bo ssam -- a Korean dish with steamed pork and other ingredients wrapped in a leafy green.

Avocado Salad

Bobby Flay's Avocado Salad With Tomatoes and Lime

Start practicing summer meal offerings with an avocado salad with tomatoes and lime from Bobby Flay, a reigning Food Network personality (worth an estimated $23 million). This fresh, two-step recipe involves tomatoes, avocado, and arugula tossed in a lime vinaigrette made from scratch.

Grilled Cheese Hamburgers

Katie Lee Logan's County Hamburgers

A bit of comfort food heaven mixes hamburgers and grilled cheese in one happy, kid-friendly dish by Katie Lee Logan, a columnist and Food Network personality.

Ugly Burger

Geoffrey Zakarian's Ugly Burger

Making this drool-worthy burger by Geoffrey Zakarian, of "Iron Chef" fame, is more complex than one would imagine. It includes a recipe for the burger patty, sauce, and the pickled red onions -- and even another for the pickled jalapeños.

Mmm...pickled peppers n stuff
Mmm...pickled peppers n stuff by jeffreyw (CC BY)

Michael Symon's Fried Salami With Hot Peppers Sandwich

One of Chef Michael Symon's favorite meals from childhood: the fried salami and hot pepper sandwich created by his father, a "perfectly balanced handful of zesty salami, sweet basil, and melty cheese." Be sure to allow the salami to get very crisp in the pan.

homemade big mac
homemade big mac by Rakka (CC BY-NC-ND)

Devin Alexander's Big Mac Makeover

Los Angeles food writer, chef, and caterer Devin Alexander is famous for a healthy take on the McDonald's Big Mac, created to help quench the cravings of dieters. It shaves off 174 calories while still including the sauces and toppings fans have come to expect.

Kale Caesar Salad

Anne Burrell's Kale Caesar Salad

Create a nutrient-rich caesar salad by swapping the typical romaine lettuce with kale. The Institute of Culinary Education's Anne Burrell's makes salad more mouthwatering by sautéing bread cubes in a pan coated in olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper.