Cooking has progressed a lot through the ages both as a passion and as a source of income. Gone are the days when chefs would be limited to the restaurant’s dingy cooking area. This is the age of TV and social media that have made the food industry rank among the giant earning industries. Likewise, chefs with the charm of their creativity and aesthetic sense have become the newest celebrities of the town. The evidence is their whooping net worth that has left behind the best professions of the time (1).
We’ve come up with an interesting list of the top 20 celebrity chefs that have overtaken the limelight in no time! With no further delay, let’s dive right in.
20) Guy Fieri
Let’s start with Guy Fieri who has become an instant favorite of the cooking enthusiasts in no time. He’s an American author, a restaurateur and also, a cooking show presenter, and has bagged prestigious awards like Emmy Award in a short span. His shows have truly revolutionized the culture of American food television making him no less than an overnight sensation. One seldom known fact about him is that despite owning three restaurants that serve many meaty dishes, Guy Fieri is more of a vegetable lover. This is why he’s immensely loved by the vegans since he knows the key to perking up those boring vegetarian recipes.
19) Mario Batali
Mario Batali also ranks among the top Food Network stars who have become the audience’s favorite in a shorter period. Batali’s cooking philosophy characterizes the importance of simplicity and a minimalistic outlook. He’s one of those celebrity chefs who have once owned a restaurant in cities like New York and Las Vegas. A few years back, Batali was charged with the offenses of sexual assault which cost him all his restaurants. Apart from that, Batali has also co-written an article with the chef Bill Telepan in New York’s Daily News about the method of Fracking and how it’s spreading its poisonous claws faster than ever.
18) Rick Bayless
Rick Bayless isn’t a new name for the people who prefer Mexican cuisine. Rick’s style comprises of spicing up the traditional recipes of the Mexican dishes with his modern innovations. For this reason, he has been a star of the famous show Mexico: One Plate at a time that has catered to a great audience across the US. The same show has also been nominated several times for the Daytime Emmy Awards. Let us also tell you that Rick Bayless has had the honor of being one of the guest chefs at the White House in 2010 to beautify the table for the Mexican president and his wife.
17) Giada De Laurentiis
Giada De Laurentiis is usually known for her show Giada at home on Food Network is an Italian-American celebrity chef and author. Giada started a catering business with the name of GDL foods in her prime time and it’s still thriving by leaps and bounds. She has won a Daytime Emmy award for outstanding lifestyle host and a Gracie award for the best TV host. One thing that seldom people know about her is that Giada started her career as a chef from being a pastry chef and later on a food stylist. She is of the few chefs who have given their voices for the hit animated shows like Handy Manny.
16) Marco Pierre White
Marco Pierre White counts among those chefs who achieved a lot at a very young age. It’s because, at age 32, he was the youngest and the first British chef to win three Michelin stars. The chef Mario Batali we’ve talked of above has been Marco’s disciple and the same goes for many notable names like Gordon Ramsay. His most famous TV works include the series Hell’s Kitchen in which he tends out to be the head chef. Apart from this, Marco has also been the face of the Unilever brand Knorr in several cubes and pots advertisements. He also holds the honor to be the guest judge in Masterchef Australia 2011.
15) Levi Roots
Levi Roots is the first celebrity chef that comes to our mind who is the jack of all trades in the true sense. He’s a musician, a celebrity chef, an author, and a television personality who has given many years of his life to the food industry. Levi was a friend of celebrated musicians like Bob Marley and also performed for people like Nelson Mandela on his birthday. As a chef, his Reggae Reggae sauce made it to the market by selling 4000 bottles just in the Notting Hill Carnival. Later on, the same sauce became the reason for him being invited to the shows like Dragons’ Den where he won 50,000 pounds as funding for his sauce.
14) Charlie Ayres
Charlie Ayres is one of those celebrity chefs that earned their fame through a mainstream platform like Google. At Google, he had been ahead chef and during his tenure, managed to serve 4000 meals to different cafes with his excellent management skills. Charlie is famous for his team of 150 employers and five chefs that made it possible for him to retain his position at Google. Most often, his name does appear among the richest celebrity chefs and it is for all the right reasons. While working at Google, he’s assumed to earn 26 million dollars with a current net worth of 45 million dollars.
13) Vikram Vij
Vikram Vij was born in India and later on moved to Canada which proved to be in his luck. It’s because, in Vancouver, he got to meet a well-known chef like John Bishop that came out to be a turning point in his life. The distinguishing factor about Vikram Vij’s cooking is that instead of opting for the conventional western cuisine, he came up with a beautiful amalgamation of Indian and western food. Moreover, his restaurant also appeared in New York Times as “the finest Indian restaurant in the world” and his best-selling book did add to his fame among the cooking enthusiasts.
12) José Andrés
José Andrés is mostly known for his organization World Central Kitchen that works by providing food to the slum areas amidst the natural crisis. He’s a Spanish-American chef and a restaurateur and is considered the pioneer of the concepts like small plate dining in America. José Andrés started his career in his native country and later on made it to the American food industry. In 2016, he also bagged a National Humanities Medal at a White House ceremony for the change his organization has made for the past years. He owns several restaurants in the cities like Florida, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Washington, D.C.
11) Ina Garten
Instead of like many other chefs, Ina Garten spent her life primarily in a very different field i.e. as a part of a technical family of the White house. It all started when she got to know about the sale of a particular food store and went to check it out with her husband. There, her journey started by writing a book called “Barefoot Contessa Cookbook” that was adored by many and continued to be best-selling for the coming several years. After that, she has written up to 10 books about different foods and cuisines and all of them have performed satisfactorily at the market. She currently has a whopping net worth of 50 million dollars.
10) David Chang
David Chang started his career at the French Culinary Institute in New York that led him to the brightest years of his life. The chef owns the Momofuku restaurant chain that is inclusive of several outlets like Milk Bar, Ma Peche, and Momofuku noodle bar in cities like Sydney and Toronto. He has won two Michelin stars and carries a net worth of 60 million dollars, that too at the age of 41.
9) Bobby Flay
Bobby Flay was a high school dropout at the age of 17 when he started working at the restaurant of Joe Allen. Seeing his natural capabilities in cooking, Joe Allen sponsored him to get higher education from a prestigious institution like the French culinary institute. This gave him a boost to try his luck in the TV shows which turned him into one of the most trending celebrity chefs of his time. Bobby Flay has hosted many cooking shows and has been a guest to several mega cooking platforms. To add to this, he has written numerous cookbooks that you might find among the best cookbooks of all the time.
8) Emeril Lagasse
Is “Turkey and hot sausage chili” the first thing that you look for while reading a restaurant’s menu card? If yes, then let us introduce you to Emeril Lagasse who’s the real mind behind it. He’s also won the National best recipe award for this recipe and several accolades for his work on Cajun cuisine. Furthermore, you might have heard the catchphrases like “kick it up a notch” and “Bam” on cooking shows. Emeril is the person who first coined most of them. Throughout his career, he’s been the star of many Food Network shows.
7) Rachael Ray
Rachael Ray belongs to that category of chefs that have dedicated their lives in making cooking everybody’s cup of tea. They have simplified the overhyped cooking methods and have spent good years in bringing the minimalistic approach back in trend. She made it to the front through her shows like “30-minute meals” where she used to introduce a plethora of easy recipes to the beginners. If we talk about her achievements, she has won three Daytime Emmy awards in the years 2006, 2008, and 2009 that speak a lot about her 80 million dollars net worth.
6) Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck has been in the limelight not only for the cooking skills but also for his interest in writing, acting, and business. Belonging to a mother who was a pastry chef, Wolfgang generated the impulse to cook from a very young age. To this day, he’s written 20 cookbooks and they all have outclassed several best-selling ones. He owns 20 restaurants in the busiest of the cities. You might have heard about the contemporary changes made to the recipe of pizza? Yes, the credit for that also goes to our very own Wolfgang Puck.
5) Thomas Keller
Although Thomas Keller was born in the U.S later on, he moved to France that came out to be a golden opportunity for him. There, he got to learn cooking secrets under the best Michelin star-winning chefs and this polished the passion he had for cooking. Today, he owns eight restaurants and two famous bakeries in different states of America.
4) Nobu Matsuhisa
For the people who love eating black cod and miso, let us tell you that it was first made by the Chef Nobu Matsuhisa himself. He’s the same chef who put forward a blend of traditional Japanese dishes and Peruvian ingredients. Also, he’s played significant parts in three major films like Memoirs of Geisha, Casino, and the iconic Austin Powers in Goldmember.
3) Gordon Ramsay
The name Gordon Ramsay is a brand. It needs no introduction for the people who never miss out on the show like Masterchef. Gordon has earned a big part of his fame for his sarcastic remarks over the dishes made by amateur chefs and has become the face of the show in a short span. Hard to impress, he tends out to be among the trending chefs and charges almost 225,000 dollars per episode. Unlike the chefs mentioned above, he doesn’t own many restaurants and still owns a brilliant net worth of 118 million dollars just through his shows and media influences.
2) Jamie Oliver
Now comes the time to disclose the name of one of the best celebrity chefs that have crossed the net worth of 200 million dollars. Jamie Oliver, a chef from Essex, England has become everybody’s favorite. The reason is of his fame is his take on the easy food recipes and simpler cooking methods. He already owns 42 restaurants and in addition to his busy schedule still finds the time to educate the young minds in the schools about the importance of healthy food and nutrition. Furthermore, he has been a guest judge to all the big platforms let it be Food Network or Masterchef.
1) Alan Wong
Here is our number one celebrity chef, Alan Wong. A billionaire chef with a whole net worth of 1.1 billion dollars. Belonging to Tokyo, he is an important name among the top 12 chefs of the Hawaii Regional cuisine. The secret behind Alan Wong’s success is that instead of keeping the Hawaiian recipes intact. He took some part of them and mixed it into foreign cuisines like the American one. This resulted in perking up the traditional dishes with locally grown spices. To add more to this, he owns three top-tier restaurants and also has had the honor to cook for Obama himself.
Let’s wrap this discussion up with a note that celebrity chefs from all across the world have truly transformed the cuisines with their magical skills and creativity. The platforms like TV and media also play a substantial role in smoothening out the ways for aspiring chefs and cooking enthusiasts.