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Celebrity chefs are cooks who have gained public notoriety and fame. This public acclaim may be awarded on the basis of their superior culinary skills, but often, celebrity status is ascribed due to other factors such as personality or physical attractiveness. Their fame is often enhanced and cultivated through mass media and Internet social media. Celebrity chefs dictate the parameters of taste by introducing new foodstuffs, creating culinary trends, endorsing products, promoting eating establishments, and generating interesting new and different cuisines. This entry elaborates on the broad meanings of what it means to be a celebrity chef, both from a historical perspective and through a current focus, and what role these individuals play in contemporary foodways in the United States and around the world.

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