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Who Are the Highest Paid Chefs Today?

Piggy With Cash

Forbes releases lists of top moneymakers in many fields. Food is not overlooked by the Forbes folks; they published their top ten earning chefs list recently.

Who’s on top? This year it’s Gordon Ramsay, the British cook with the big TV presence (and loud and caustic mouth) wins first place, with $38 million last year. Rachael Ray, who’s learning the ropes on empire-building from Oprah, is a strong second at $25 million. She’s also just published a book on burgers that is really cool; move over, Bobby Flay! (No, you can’t borrow my copy!)

Who else made the list? Wolfgang Puck (he has an iPhone app out), Paula Deen (diabetes isn’t slowing down her money machine), Mario Batali (shorts and orange Crocs), Alain Ducasse (no TV?), Todd English (Olives), Nobu Matsuhisa (the most artistic food), Bobby Flay (New York!) and Guy Fieri (they found his Lamborghini). Who’s missing? Well, where’s Anthony Bourdain? He’s got a new show on CNN, and a lot of other stuff going on. What about Andrew Zimmern, the formerly homeless eater of just about anything (scorpions?). What happened to Emeril Lagasse; did he retire? And of course, why is the prettiest chef in the world, Giada De Laurentiis, not on the list? She could boil cardboard and I’d eat it.

There are many other names I would have included as “possibles” when guessing at the Forbes list. Lidia Bastianich, Cat Cora, Rick Bayless, Ming Tsai, Masaharu Morimoto and Jamie Oliver all come to mind. Who else is missing? Tell us your candidates…

Bring On the (Big Money Cooks) Heat!


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