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Rachael Ray Is the World's Richest Chef

Rachael Ray Is the World's Richest Chef

Last week Forbes released a list of the 10 top-earning celebrity chefs. The richest celebrity "chef" is Rachael Ray who, thanks to her four Food Network shows, daytime television show, magazine, and Dunkin' Donuts deal, makes $18 million a year. She's followed by Oscar caterer Wolfgang Puck ($16 million) and Gordon Ramsay ($7.5 million).

While owning a restaurant doesn't necessarily factor into a chef's riches (Ray owns no restaurants), it's clear that more exposure and countless endeavors amount to more money.

Puck owns 15 restaurants and has a soup line in grocery stores and a collection of knives sold on the Home Shopping Network. Ramsay has numerous restaurants and hit television shows in both the US and UK.

Although television played a huge role in the success of Ray, Puck, and Ramsay, it's interesting to note that the fourth and fifth richest chefs, Nobuyuki Matsuhisa and Alain Ducasse, have little to no television presence, but each own more than 15 restaurants worldwide. To check out the complete list of the world's richest chefs,


Rachael Ray, $18 million
Wolfgang Puck, $16 million
Gordon Ramsay, $7.5 million
Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, $5 million
Alain Ducasse, $5 million
Paula Deen, $4.5 million
Mario Batali, $3 million
Tom Colicchio, $2 million
Bobby Flay, $1.5 million
Anthony Bourdain, $1.5 million


Join The Conversation
cobbystone64 cobbystone64 6 years
I love Rachael Ray. She is my favorite, by far..A true American dream comes to life.
Chef75 Chef75 6 years
Let's face it. She just as tacky as the rest of america who can't cook or have an sense of style. I wonder who she knows to have gotten this far. Oh and others such as Paula Please! If you are tacky and can't cook you too will have your own TV cooking show.
Beverlypup Beverlypup 6 years
I love Rachael Ray. I love most of her recipes - they are fast and easy to fix, and they taste delicious. She's happy and nice, and makes me feel good.
cmill38 cmill38 9 years
yay paula deen! no emeril?
sonya-ina sonya-ina 9 years
I don't know why, but I love her. Maybe it's because she seems "real" and gives me hope that I too can be a great cook without true culinary experience. I watched her E! True Hollywood Story the other night, and I like her even more now.
LadyLibertine LadyLibertine 9 years
not a chef but a cook and many dislike her because of some of her shows cross contamination, handling meat and other products and not washing hands meals meant to be 30 mins but when attempted much longer her show 40 a day was to places way out of the way did not mention the money to get to them and the tips where normally 1% so people well many who do not like her , from some of these reasons felt it was unfounded popularity esp the chef title as many spend years studying for such a honor.
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 9 years
simplyfab87, you'll notice that the bulk of the vitriol my comment contained was in fact authored by William Grimes of the Times. Rather than simply saying, as dootsie did just above your comment, that "I hope she chokes", I fleshed out my complaint in a comprehensive and coherent manner. If that is what qualifies for "serious resentment" and not vague threats on her life, then I'm not sure what else to say.
simplyfab87 simplyfab87 9 years
Did RR steal shoneyjoe's puppy or something. thats some serious resentment for someone you have never met
dootsie dootsie 9 years
I hope she chokes.
verily verily 9 years
The woman is a huge brand, so it doesn't surprise me that she's the richest celeb cook out there. She's everywhere. The eyebrows in this pic freak me out a little.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 9 years
Gotta go RR is on in 8 minutes!!
kathleenjoy kathleenjoy 9 years
yeah where is Jamie Oliver on this list?
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 9 years
I realize that my previous "I'm a hater" statement may have been a bit vague. Allow me to elaborate. I have a few problems with Ms. Ray. First and foremost is that there's no room in my kitchen for cutsie names for food. "EVOO" is an acronym that shouldn't have been coined. "Sammies" is nothing but a plural diminutive of Samuel. William Grimes, a writer whose intellect and capacity for language far outstrips mine, said it best in an article he wrote on September 14, 2004: --- Close study of her two "30 Minute Meal" cookbooks, however, convinced me that the Ray repertory consists of two genres: food I already eat and food I never want to eat. In the first category I include standbys like linguine with clam sauce and pasta putanesca. (Ms. Ray, whose heritage is Italian, relies heavily on these old warhorses.) The second category includes "fun" food like "Dilly of a Quesadilla," "Cashew! God Bless You Chicken," and "You Won't Be Single for Long Vodka and Cream Pasta." Absolutely clueless college students probably constitute the ideal readership for Ms. Ray, who can explain to them how you make prosciutto and melon, a favorite with all 30-minute cookbook writers. For the record, you cut a melon into pieces and serve it on a plate with slices of prosciutto. --- It would be intellectually dishonest for me to rant about Ms. Ray without also noting that since 2000, the number of actual chefs on Food Network has dwindled. Food Network, moving perhaps inexorably from its elitist pedigree toward a home-cooked and home-spun mediocrity (and leaving fine dining to its haughtier cousin, Fine Living), is likely responsible for such a discrepancy in the earning potential of the chefs listed above. Puck likely makes most of his fortune from his housewares and W.P.Express outlets. Nobu's money comes from focusing on a one-in-a-million high-end restaurant empire. Ramsey doesn't even cook on TV. Batali, Flay, and I note the conspicuous absence of Emeril, were the three long-standing chefs from the 1993 beginnings of Food Network, and they're toward the bottom of the list. Look, it may not be Ms. Ray's fault that the discrepancy exists, but she's the most recognizable and irritatingly perky (not to mention overexposed) face on the problem.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I like Rachael Ray, even if she's not technically a "chef". She works really hard and I'm sure that's why she is where she is. You have to be able to market yourself, like Martha Stewart does. Rachael put her name on some cookware, knives, cookbooks, etc. Most of the other chefs on that list pretty much focus on cooking/owning their restaurants, so that's why they don't make AS much money as she does.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 9 years
Yeah again for RR - glad there is some others out there who can appreciate a person for being a person. I think everyone is mad cause they wish they had her $. She is happy and that tends to upset a lot of unhappy people.
simplyfab87 simplyfab87 9 years
You don't need credentials to be a cook. There are alot of people on the food network that are not clasically trained. It doesn't make that person any less of a good cook. She gives quick easy recipes to people like me (in school) who don't have time and don't have money to eat out all the time.
suziryder suziryder 9 years
Jude C, thanks for pointing out those eyebrows! I didn't notice at first. It's hilarious - is it just me, or does it look like she shaved her eyebrows and painted on a new set? SimplyFab87 - she's not just cheery, she's grating to the point of being annoying. And she has no credentials, but everyone seems to love her. Fredonica: "I mean, her signature food is "quick". Um, okay." Haha! I totally agree! Just because she can throw together a meal in 30 minutes shouldn't make her a superstar! I guess there's a reason she doesn't have a restaurant -- her food isn't special enough! Also, all her catch phrases like "Yummo" and "evoo" are so annoying and seem to be forced - she's trying waaayyy too hard to be cutesy-wootsie and it sets my teeth on edge.
simplyfab87 simplyfab87 9 years
1)Yay for Rachel Ray. So happy for her, I think she deserves all the sucess. 2)if you have ever seen an interview with her or watched her THS, she has always said she is not a chef. She always says she's a cook. 3)I don't know why people don't like her. What's wrong with being cheery? 4)I can't believe Bobby Flay doesn't make more money than that
cubadog cubadog 9 years
This actually makes me angry too! She is NOT a chef. I can not stand her!
heineken67 heineken67 9 years
Boo! So many more talented (and less annoying) chefs deserve all the attention/sponsorships/etc she gets.
Iwillmarryunick Iwillmarryunick 9 years
Maybe with all that money she can buy herself a new voice and attitude. I really don't care for her.
Dana18 Dana18 9 years
She has the magazine , the talk show, 30 minutes meal, taste travels and a million other items that has her name on it. This is were the increase in her salary comes from.
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