While there have been several notable celebrity chefs in the past, such as my favorite wine drinker Julia Child, it has really been since the advent of The Food Network and the popularization of reality-television cooking shows that the title of celebrity chef is widely used. In fact, there is even a new Celebrity Chef game.
Chefs such as Tom Colicchio, Alton Brown, Gordon Ramsay, and other are now in the public eye as much as actors, models, and socialites. They appear on television commercials for restaurants and food products and give advise in books, TV shows, radio, and over the internet.
Now even the chef contestants from reality shows such as Top Chef are considered to be celebrity chefs themselves.