10 Famous Chefs with a Deliciously Large Net Worth, Ranked
Celebrity chefs have been a thing for decades. While they were initially popular due to their restaurants or best-selling cookbooks, it wasn't until television and channels like the Food Network that their popularity really exploded.
Meet the richest celebrity chefs who have bank accounts that rival those of other A-listers.
10. Thomas Keller
Net worth: $50 million
Bottom line: Keller began his successful career in a Palm Beach, Florida, restaurant his mother managed before relocating to France in the early 1980s, where he honed his skills in many a Michelin-starred restaurant.
He opened Rakel, his first restaurant in New York City, before moving west and taking work as an executive chef at Checkers in Los Angeles. In the early 1990s, he opened the famed French Laundry in Northern California and owns a host of other successful restaurants.
He's also been a consultant on many films and TV shows.
9. Ina Garten
Net worth: $60 million
Bottom line: Garten did not start out as a professional chef and had no aspirations to become one. She started cooking meals for her husband Jeffrey when she was just a teen, so it was very much a hobby for her.
In fact, Garten worked professionally as a budget analyst for Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter during their terms and flipped homes on the side. By the late 1970s, she had enough money to open the Barefoot Contessa, her food store, in New York City.
She began starring in the Food Network show of the same name, which has been running for nearly two decades now, and she has about a dozen cookbooks to her name.
8. Emeril Lagasse
Net worth: $70 million
Bottom line: Lagasse's mother sent him on the career path of cooking — she taught him pastry and baking skills from a young age, which he parlayed into a culinary arts degree.
Right after graduating, he became an executive chef at a resort and soon owned the first of his many restaurants.
But it was TV that brought him real fame and fortune. He has been associated with several shows and has over 20 cookbooks to his credit.
7. Rachel Ray
Net worth: $100 million
Bottom line: Ray doesn't like to describe herself as a chef, but she has the bank account to show for it.
She began her career at the Macy's candy counter in New York City before moving on to the Big Apple's famed specialty food store, Agata & Valentina, but it wasn't until her Food Network show "30 Minute Meals" that she became a household name.
She was later given her own show and has published nearly 30 books.
6. Wolfgang Puck
Net worth: $120 million
Bottom line: Puck gave true meaning to the title "celebrity chef." In 1973, the Austrian-born chef moved to Los Angeles, opening his first restaurant, Spago, on the Sunset Strip in 1982.
Spago later moved locations to Beverly Hills and is still one of the top dining destinations in the city. Puck owns a catering service that serves the Academy Awards each year and has a business empire that includes over 20 restaurants and countless cookbooks.
5. Nobu Matsuhisa
Net worth: $200 million
Bottom line: Nobu is a restaurant associated with a number of celebrities (the Kardashians in particular) and is a part of Nobu Matsuhisa's culinary empire.
Matsuhisa began his career as a chef in a sushi restaurant in Tokyo, where he rose up the ranks to become a sushi master.He was invited by a patron to come to Peru and open a Japanese-Peruvian restaurant. He opened Matsue in Lima, and because he wasn't able to find the ingredients he used back in Japan, he came up with a fresh take on his culinary creations.
Today, he is the head of Nobu Hospitality and Matsuhisa Restaurants, and his establishments are located around the world.
4. Gordon Ramsay
Net worth: $220 million
Bottom line: Gordon Ramsay is one of the most popular faces on the list. He's both parts celebrity and chef. His harsh, crude and hilarious takes when judging other cooks and restaurants are the stuff of legend and high-TV ratings.
Ramsay acquired a culinary qualification at just 19 and worked in a series of restaurants around London before landing a gig with equally temperamental chef, Marco Pierre White.
Ramsay went on to open restaurants around the world and first found fame in the BBC miniseries "Boiling Point." He's hosted a number of shows ever since and has written over 20 books, including two biographies.
3. Jamie Oliver
Net worth: $300 million
Bottom line: Oliver is more famous in the U.K. than he is stateside, but he's nevertheless amassed a huge fortune.
He began working in his parent's pub at just 8 years old and became a pastry chef within a few years. He became an expert in international cuisine while still in his 20s and opened a restaurant called Jamie’s Italian.
He is the author of several bestselling cookbooks and the host of the popular show "The Naked Chef," in which he offers a casual (but not that casual) approach to cuisine.
2. Kimbal Musk
Net worth: $500 million
Bottom line: Success runs in the Musk family as we know — Kimbal Musk, brother of Elon, is the second most wealthy chef in the world. In fact, he began working in tech with his brother before founding a group of community restaurants under the Kitchen Restaurant Group in the Midwest.
He's made much of his money outside of the kitchen, though — he currently sits on the boards of Tesla and SpaceX and is also a major shareholder in his brother's car company.
1. Alan Wong
Net worth: $1.1 billion
Bottom line: Unlike most of his peers, Wong did not make his initial money from TV or cookbooks. Instead, he is part of a collective of chefs who are responsible for Hawaii Regional Cuisine, an organization that popularized Hawaiian-influenced cuisine. As island fusion grew in popularity, so did Wong's paycheck.
He owns several critically acclaimed restaurants in Hawaii and Japan and has won numerous awards for his creations. Wong also has a number of products on the market, from cooking tools to frozen foods.