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Sanjay Thuma and Kunal Kapur are among the most searched chefs in Asia

A survey based on Google data reveals YouTube chefs rule with chef Sanjay Thumma emerging as the most popular

(Left) Chef Sanjay Thumma; and chef Kunal Kapur.
(Left) Chef Sanjay Thumma; and chef Kunal Kapur. (Photos from @vahchef and @chefkunal, Instagram)

A US-based global adventure company, Explore Worldwide, analysed 12 months of Google data for a comprehensive list of the most searched chefs around the world. The data is from the period November 2022 to October 2023.

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It shouldn't be a surprise that the top ranks have been secured by those most popular on television and YouTube. (Remember, YouTube is a Google product). In the global rankings, Gordon Ramsay leads the way with a large margin of 12,000,000 searches, followed by Jamie Oliver and Guy Fieri with 4,416,00 searches and Nigella Lawson with 2,952,000 searches.

Sanjay Thumma of the mega popular Youtube account, @vahrehvah, ranked fifteenth with 726,000 searches. His regional recipes of biryanis, fish curries and chicken preparations garner millions of views and have established him as a crowd favourite. The Hyderabad-based Thumma is a familiar face on MasterChef India. Among the most Googled chefs in Asia, he secured the third position, followed by Kunal Kapur, Maneet Chauhan, Gaggan Anand and Madhur Jaffrey.

The list is a mix of chefs from different corners of the culinary world: those who run beloved YouTube channels; successful food writers and boundary-pushing restaurateurs, like Gaggan Anand. He is among those who don’t have a YouTube channel; just as the 98-year-old Jiro Ono of the world famous sushi restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo. He gained global fame with the Netflix documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi—a must-watch for aspiring chefs and food enthusiasts—that takes a close look at his single-minded dedication to the craft of making sushi.

Other notable names in the list includes Singapore’s Tariq Helou who has carved a name for himself with the restaurant Fleurette that melds Japanese and French cuisine technique. India’s Kunal Kapur runs the restaurant Quarter Plate by Kunal Kapur in Noida, and shares recipes on his YouTube channel for easy and fun home cooking.

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