A restaurant guide with a difference

WHERE CHEFS EAT is a new international restaurant guide published by Phaidon Press. Unlike other guides, we didn’t ask critics or foodies to tell us their favourite places to eat, we asked the people who know food the best: over 400 of the world’s top chefs.

From bargain noodle joints to high-end restaurants; late-night haunts to all-day breakfasts; neighbourhood eateries to destination restaurants, WHERE CHEFS EAT has more than 2,000 personal recommendations for where to eat around the globe.

Edited by food writer Joe Warwick, with entertaining reviews, quotes from the chefs and useful maps, WHERE CHEFS EAT is the perfect guide for the culinary traveller.

How the book came about

Over the years the Phaidon food team have been lucky enough to make books with some of the world’s leading chefs. While doing so we observed that, when it comes to dining out, chefs go to extreme lengths in search of good food. In fact, chefs eat well or they don’t eat at all.

For a while we used this knowledge wherever we found ourselves in the world: we could count on Ferran Adrià to recommend the best tapas bars in Barcelona; René Redzepi always directed us towards Copenhagen’s finest places for breakfast; and Daniel Patterson never let us down when it came to finding a bargain bite in San Francisco.

But we weren’t alone in having direct access to top restaurant recommendations. Joe Warwick, food writer and co-founder of The World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards, did too. We met Joe at a food event and hatched a plan to collaborate and create something with what we realized was very privileged information. The something turned out to be WHERE CHEFS EAT.

How the book was made

WHERE CHEFS EAT took 12 months, an editorial team of 25 and countless emails and international phone calls to make.

The project began with one very long list of chefs.  Some of the chefs on the list we’d had great restaurant recommendations from in the past; the rest we knew had some of the best palates on the planet and surely a few top recommendations to go with them.

The plan was to ask the chefs where they liked to eat. Thinking about today’s chef – the hours they keep, the miles they travel and their passion for burgers and beluga caviar in equal measure we came up with eight questions.

1. Which restaurant do you eat at most regularly?
2. What’s your favourite place to go for breakfast?
3. Late at night where do you like to eat?
4. Which restaurant best sums up your city or region, a restaurant you’d consider a local favourite?
5. Where serves your favourite bargain meal?
6. Where do you go to celebrate a special occasion?
7. Which restaurant do you admire the most and wish you’d opened yourself?
8. Which restaurant would you travel any distance to eat at?

Chefs are a busy bunch, so, when we emailed the questions to everyone on our list, we weren’t expecting to receive many replies. How wrong we were.  From Australia to England and the United States, chef after chef replied answering the questions with insightful, funny and enthusiastic comments. These comments became a huge inspiration for the book’s design. The maps and reviews meanwhile seemed a fitting way to draw attention to the incredible number of unusual restaurants, cuisines and locations the chefs were introducing us to. Not surprisingly, the 400 page book we had planned soon transformed into the 700+ page guide it is today.