Julia Child. Thank you, Amazon Prime, for running old eps of The French Chef for free for a while. Very big on teaching the basics, not snobby, not afraid to enjoy food.
Ming and his mom and dad. Because they are from my hometown. A chef who understands that what you really want is a dish you can get done in time for dinner, and one that everybody in the family will eat.
Jacques Pepin. Because he’s also a family guy who cooks his mother’s recipes, tells you what the restaurant makes a lot of profit off, and has his granddaughter on the air getting scolded for breaking restaurant cleanliness rules on breaking eggs. (It was pretty funny, because he acknowledged that it was just fine to do it that way at home, but that she needs to do it the other way on TV as a good example, and because it was such a big batch of food.)
That guy from Argentina who does nothing but cook meat over fire, five zillion ways. (He was a guest on a show, and is now my camping hero forever.)