Spaniard Martin Berasategui, Japan's Kiyomi Mikuni, Philippe Rochat of Switzerland and Belgian Pierre Wynants were chosen by a panel of 45 professionals, including culinary heavyweights such as Alain Ducasse, Joel Robuchon and Guy Savoy.
The degrees, which are reserved for foreign nationals, will be conferred by the university of Tours on in the presence of French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll.
"No French university has until now given honoris causa doctorates to master chefs," said Francis Chevrier, the head of the European Institute of the History and Culture of Food which was behind the initiative.
"There is no university degree in the field of gastronomic sciences in France," he told AFP. "The Italians on the other hand have created a university for gastronomic sciences. These honours will help shake up things."