Originally Posted by Chefross
I'm curious as to why you place these people on such pedestals.
They are after all, just cooks who became famous when someone discovered them.
There are literally hundreds of thousands great cooks out there who have never been in the lime light.
I can understand the founding fathers (Careme, Escoffier, Bocuse) as their insights are valuable to the history of food, but today's Chef's are simply standing on the those other's shoulders.
Lighten up--it's just a "for fun" exercise to see what others hold in high regard, in their opinion.
If Mount Rushmore were the founding fathers, Lincoln and Roosevelt would not have been on there. It was simply at the artist's discretion and opinion.
"just cooks who became famous when someone discovered them" is one of the dumbest things I've ever read, culinary-related. They're famous for a reason, especially in this day and age when there are, as you said, hundreds of thousands of great cooks out there also.
They've distinguished themselves in some way. To simply stand on the shoulders of others is an easy path to follow since it has been carved out already, but for them to be famous means that they did something right that the masses agree with.
For example--I have José Andrés on my Mount Rushmore, along with Ferran Adria. You could say he's just standing on the shoulders of Adria, but he still has made a huge name for himself by taking Adria's work further (same with Grant Achatz). Plus, I like José Andrés' concepts, style, execution, variety, and I would like to emulate his work/style (which is why I hold him in high regard).
Seriously, take that stick out of your ass and lighten up: it's a playful exercise for others to express their opinion. Otherwise, have fun following recipes to the exact gram and milliliter.