Some who know
New York Times columnist Mark Bitman certainly knows his way round kitchens, restaurants and does so in writing so that we all can participate.
Anthony Bourdain is most certainly one of those guys the expression "been there, done that" could have been invented for. His critically acclaimed "Kitchen Confidentials" has become a classic in no time.
Another self-taugth cook, Harold McGhee, whose curiosity is now legendary. A scientist's view on what happens on your stove and in your pan. Indispensable.
Felicity Cloake is yet another curious cook! Her Guardian column "How to make the perfect ..." is always a pleasure to read when she compares various approaches to certain dishes. Her reasonable and informed verdicts are solely based on "tried & tested"!
Among those many TV chefs, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall surely stands out with his rather holistic "River Cottage" project.
And yet another self-taught cook, Lucas Hollweg, appears to be just as adventurous as any of the above.
Darya Rose's website was among the Time Top 50 Websites of 2011 and has gained quite some media attention ever since. It is all about healthy lifestyle, but more importantly, that food plays a key role in many other ways, too.
Former Microsoft manager Nathan Myhrvold has also gone into every detail of cooking. That's what scientists do.
And there are those chefs, widely known not only for their excellent cooking skills but also for their frequent appearances on TV.
Another self-taught chef, Heston Blumenthal has re-thought, re-invented, or perhaps more accurately put re-designed some classic dishes and is always up to something unusual in his lab. Some rather refer to him as the alchemist among the top chefs.
Famous Gordon Ramsay is certainly not short of ambitions and seldom appears speechless. But when Michelin Stars are not enough, there are always other challenges to be found elsewhere. May it be a failing restaurant, groups of eager and aspiring chefs on their way through Hell's Kitchen, or even criminals in a London prison. But it has to be said, this man knows what he is doing. Full stop.
Ramsay's former protégée Angela Hartnett turned to cooking after her academic studies (and holds a degree in history). She remarkably is one of the few female chefs who have made to the very top in the industry which says a lot about her capability.
And there is the jack-of-all-trades Jamie Oliver who now is less and less naked. His strengths are definitely his motivational skills, encouraging the broad masses to try out something other than pre-prepared meals from the supermarket. Whatever one thinks about his cooking, without doubt, his influence on cooking on TV and its impact on the broad public has been huge.
And some other valuable resources
The Guardian has regular food features in their life & style section.
Channel 4 probably hosts more cooking shows than any other UK TV channel. Some recipes from their TV programmes can be found in their Channel 4 scrapbooks.
Honest Cooking is a beautifully crafted magazine on cooking which provides an aesthetically pleasing website with lots of insights and discoveries from around the globe.