While chefs were once those behind the scenes, closed in the kitchen away from cameras, it has been a while since things changed. Nowadays, they are mostly quite popular, wide-known celebrities who don’t even spend that much time in the kitchen anymore. Instead, they have their own TV shows, which are among the most popular ones on TV, they run chains of restaurants, publish cookbooks and appear on talk shows. Naturally, such a turn in their career has put those most successful on the list of millionaires, with the average pay for a chef being around $71,000 a year. Now, let’s see who the 12 richest chefs in the world are.
12. Anthony Bourdain
In addition to being a highly successful chef, Anthony Bourdain is also known as a best- selling author and an Emmy winning television celebrity, as well as the star of the Travel Channel’s No Reservation. If you haven’t seen the show already, you can also catch it on the Discovery Channel and the Living Channel. As the master chef of quite a few renowned restaurants, Bourdain wrote a book in 2000, titled Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. It was whit this bestselling book that he became a celebrity, and his career only developed more afterwards. Now, his net worth is estimated at around $6 million.
11. Ana Quincoces
Ever heard of Miami’s Hottest Chef? Here she is. Ana Quincoces developed her desire to become a chef at an early age, when she was just a girl helping her mother in the kitchen. That desire combined with her urge to represent her Cuban heritage eventually made her the author of the cookbook Cuban Chicks Can Cook. This book made her quite famous. Even since it was published, she’s been present on television, as well as newspapers and magazines. Soon after this one, she wrote another book – Sabor! A Passion For Cuban Cuisine, which was also a big success. Now, we’re eagerly waiting for the third one.
10. Nigella Lawson
Nigella Lawson may be the right example that shows that chefs are usually more than just chefs, as we also know her as a journalist, book reviewer, critic, television personality, and broadcaster. Quite impressing, isn’t it? Given that her family owned J. Lyons Company, a food and catering business, it could be expected to see her become the successful chef she is today. Her first book How to Eat was published in 1998, and when this one became a big seller, she released the second one only two years later, titled How To Be A Domestic Goddess. She also hosted her own show Nigella Bites, alongside several others such as Nigella’s Feast on Food Network and Nigella Express on BBC. Her net worth is estimated to be around $15 million.
09. Paula Deen
Here’s another one of the most famous chefs in the world, who also owns the Lady & Sons restaurant. She is the author of as many as fourteen cookbooks, some of which include The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cooking and The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cooking 2. She also hosted several cooking shows, such as Paula’s Home Cooking, Paula’s Party, and Paula’s Best Dishes. She opened her restaurant in 1991, and at the time, it was called just Lady. Then, in 1996, she opened the restaurant with her boys, which is why it got the name Lady & Sons. Today, her net worth is estimated at around $16 million.
08. Mario Batali
Mario Batali is the co-owner of quite a few restaurants in Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City and Singapore, as well as a master chef and a writer. He was the sous chef at Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel in Santa Barbara, and then he opened a rather popular restaurant in New York, Po. His success helped him get his own food show Molto Mario which aired from 1996-2004. His restaurant was the first Italian restaurant to receive four stars from the New York Times in over 40 years. Today, Batali’s net worth is estimated at $25 million.
07. Ina Garten
Primarily known for her show The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten is also the former member of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. What’s particularly interesting about her is that she never had any formal training, but she taught herself everything alone, with the help of many cookbooks, among which Julie Child’s were her favourite. Her career started with her gourmet food store The Barefoot Contessa, and then further developed over time. All her cookbooks are bestsellers. Today, her net worth is around $44 million.
06. Emeril Lagasse
We’re sure you’ve heard of Emeril Lagasse, as he’s widely known as the American celebrity chef, restaurateur, television personality, cookbook author, and National Best Recipe award winner. His net worth is estimated at around $70 million.
05. Rachel Ray
The winner of three Daytime Emmy Awards, Rachel Ray is also the author of several cookbooks, and she’s had her own magazine since 2006, titled Everyday With Rachael Ray. Her career was built on simple recipes, as it usually doesn’t take you longer than 30 minutes to prepare any of her dishes. Just like Ina Garten, Rachel Ray also taught herself everything regarding cooking, and we can only say that she’s done some excellent work, given that her net worth today is estimated at around $75 million.
04. Wolfgang Puck
Not only is Puck one of the most respected chefs in the world, but he’s also known as a restaurant owner, writer, and actor (he appeared in Frasier, Las Vegas and a cameo in The Weatherman and Tales from the Crypt). His mother was pastry chef, and she taught him to cook at an early age. He owns 20 restaurants, all of which are so successful that his name has been listed in the Top 40 Restaurants since 2004. On top of all that, he also has his own line of products. Puck’s net worth has been estimated at around $75 million.
03. Gordon Ramsey
Gordon Ramsey is the owner of four restaurants who also has several of his own TV shows, such as Hell’s Kitchen, Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, The F Word and Master Chef. He is the winner of the Independent Restaurateur of the Year award, and one of his restaurants has been among London’s top restaurants for years. His net worth is estimated at around $175 million.
02. Paul Bocuse
Paul Bocuse, a French chef, is mostly known for promoting using fresh vegetables all the way during his long career. As one of the most respected chefs in the world, he was honoured with the Culinary Institute of America’s Chef of the Century award in 2011, and he is considered the ambassador of modern French cuisine. He also owns several restaurants. Today, his net worth is estimated at $185 million.
01. Jamie Oliver
Finally, we come to the richest and at the same time the youngest chef on our list. Jamie Oliver is also a television personality and restaurateur, primarily known for his food-focused TV shows. He is also the author of several cookbooks. In 2005, he created the campaign Feed Me Better, with the aim of helping British children have healthier food choices. His net worth is estimated at $400 million.
Some other highly successful and rich chefs nowadays include Bobby Flay, Tom Colicchio, Charlie Palmer, Curtis Stone, Alain Ducasse, Nobu Matsuhisa, Antonio Carluccio and many others. And let’s remember that all of them have widened their careers and became much more than chefs, which allowed them for such a popularity and high incomes. All of them deserve equal respect, but it’s even more admirable that some of the previously mentioned managed to reach such a huge success without any professional training. So, you never know, right? You just need to be persistent and love what you’re doing, just like all of them do.