Celebrity chefs might seem like a recent phenomenon, but the very first internationally famous celebrity chef never had his own show on Food Network. Antonin Careme took the art of cuisine to new heights in the early 19th century, creating sophisticated dishes for Napoleon, the future King George IV and other members of high society across Europe.
Careme was well known for using sugar, pastry and marzipan to craft elaborate sculptures and centerpieces. His first employer featured Careme's creations, which were sometimes modeled after temples and pyramids, as window displays in his pastry shop.
Careme's refined and artistic approach to cooking made him one of the first adopters of the style of cooking known as "grande cuisine." This style was considered fashionable and thus, Careme was an in-demand chef among European elites.
Other famous chefs who paved the way for Careme's celebrity status include Martino da Como and Bartolomeo Scappi, both of whom worked in the Vatican kitchen, and Antoine Beauvilliers, a Frenchman credited with being one of the first restaurateurs.