The term "food celebrity" encompasses a wide variety of professionals, from TV personalities to accomplished chefs. What this group does have in common, however, is the ability to reach and influence a large audience. In the list below, we recount the chefs that have continued to make headlines this year, for better or worse. Whether these chefs were fighting against flavored milk in Los Angeles schools, starting a new TV show or creating airplane food, we've got them covered.
There are many chefs who deserve a shout-out but didn't quite make it on our list. David Chang has had a big year between the launch of Lucky Peach magazine, the opening of Momofuku Seibo in Sydney and the debut of the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. "Top Chef" darling Stephanie Izard was nominated as one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs and has a new cookbook of her own. And who can forget about Guy Fieri, who was just sort of "around" whether it was making guest appearances on TV shows or getting embroiled into some icky controversy?
Check out the biggest food personalities of 2011:
For more on the best of 2011, visit AOL's Best of 2011.