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October 7, 2015

TV stars dominate Forbes's list of top-earning celeb chefs

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 12th 2008 5:23PM
Rachael smilingYou know why Rachael Ray is smiling all the time? She's the richest food star in the world. According to the latest Forbes list of top-earning celebrity chefs, Rachael Ray leads the pack. In fact, of the top 10 names, all but two are TV stars.

Therefore, you better believe that all that exposure on Food Network, Bravo, Travel Channel, Fine Living, BBC America, and Fox -- not to mention syndication and appearances on talk shows and demonstrations on the Today Show -- makes a big difference.

Rachael leads the pack with $18 million, with Gordon Ramsay making less than half that much, $7.5. Surprisingly, Bobby Flay, who has five Food Network shows (not including The Next Food Network Star) is only ninth on the list with $1.5 million.

Ironically, there are only two women on this list -- Rachael and Paula Deen -- and neither would call themselves chefs. Apparently, if your food is good and you can convince others that you know what you're doing, it doesn't matter if you've attended culinary school. Rachael's success is similar to Martha Stewart's because it includes her TV shows, books, a magazine, products and endorsements, like Dunkin' Donuts.

Of the other names, Wolfgang Puck, interestingly enough, has not been a big hit on TV. His Food Network show didn't take off, but he owns many restaurants, writes and has products to hawk.

Tom Colicchio's celebrity, thanks to Top Chef, has put him on the list more than his Craft restaurants; I could see him climbing the list in the years to come as Top Chef becomes even more popular.

Perhaps the most famous personality, other than Rachael, is Gordon Ramsay. He has hit shows here in America, in England and in other markets, as well. That includes Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen.

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mike m

Ramsay makes way more than any of these, but those don't count as this list is for just tv shows.

he's worth, btw, 120 million dollars.

August 13 2008 at 3:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

you go rachel ray, you go!!!

August 13 2008 at 12:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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