Forbes Lists the Real ‘Top Chefs’ — The Ones Who Make the Most Money

Jul 19, 2012  •  Post A Comment

A well-known TV chef reigns as the top money maker in a seemingly endless pool of celebrity chefs, according to a new list compiled by Forbes magazine.

The country’s highest-earning chef is Scottish-born Gordon Ramsay, Reuters reports. “With 24 restaurants around the world, 11 Michelin stars, numerous cookbooks and TV shows, Gordon Ramsay is the top earning chef in the United States, with an estimated global income of $38 million,” the story reports.

Ramsay, who’s familiar to American TV viewers thanks to "MasterChef" and "Hell’s Kitchen,” beat out Rachael Ray, who came in with an estimated $25 million for the year ending in June 2012. Ray’s earnings come from her television show, magazine and cookbooks.

“Austrian-born Wolfgang Puck, whose 20 restaurants contributed to his $20 million in earnings, came in third on the list of top earning chefs who have a strong presence in the United States. Puck is based in California,” the story reports.

Forbes.com’s Dorothy Pomerantz noted: "They are very diversified. There is nobody who just has restaurants. TV is a huge factor in making this list because they make so much more money from television than they can from their restaurants."

Coming in at No. 4 on the list was Paula Deen, “the Southern U.S. cook criticized for buttery recipes and for becoming a pharmaceutical company spokeswoman after she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes,” the story reports, with earnings of $17 million.

Rounding out the top five was Mario Batali, a star of “The Chew,” with $13 million.

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