Celebrity Chefs - Love them or loathe them?
Everyone has a favorite Celebrity Chef – and everyone has a
famous Chef that they ‘love to hate’. You can’t please all of
the people all of them time and that’s especially true of these
folk! Here’s a look at some of the most popular (or
unpopular…depending on your taste) Celebrity Chefs around today.
You will be familiar with them from The Food Network – but here
are a few facts about them that you may not know!
• Her family owned a restaurant on Cape Cod, Massachusetts,
called the Carvery, and her mother managed restaurants in
upstate New York.
• She is married to John Cusimano, a lawyer…and lead singer of
the rock band The Cringe. Her first job was at the candy counter
at Macy's in New York City.
• Ray credits 30 Minute Meals to working at Cowan & Lobel, an up
market food store in Albany, where she met people who were
reluctant to cook.
• She hates measuring and prefers "half a palmful," like fellow
gastronomes Auguste Escoffier and Elizabeth David.
• In 2007, The Oxford American College Dictionary added the term
EVOO (short for extra virgin olive oil), which Rachael has made
• In 2003, she posed for the men's magazine FHM, in short-shorts
with an exposed midriff, licking chocolate off a big wooden
spoon and sitting in a sink with suds on her thighs.
• For Sesame Street’s 38th season, Ray appeared to present
"pumpernickel" as the word of the day.
• Rachael Ray has a line of
cookware and kitchen accessories.
orange hard anodized cookware sets are on of her
most popular products.
• Ray has endorsed products for Price Chopper Supermarkets,
Burger King, the Wusthof knife, Santoku knives, Nabisco crackers
and Dunkin’ Donuts. She also launched her own range of bedding
through WestPoint Home.
• Rachael Ray Nutrish pet foods was launched in July 2008 –
created from food that Rachael makes for her pit bull, Isaboo.
All proceeds from Nutrish go to Rachael’s Rescue, a charity she
founded for animals at risk.
• 2004 - ranked #92 on "FHM-U.S.'s 100 Sexiest Women"
• 2006 - ranked #71 on "FHM-U.S.'s 100 Sexiest Women"
• 2006 - 30 Minute Meals won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding
Service Show. She was also nominated for Outstanding Service
• 2006 named as one of TIME magazine's 100 most influential
people - nominated by fellow Celebrity Chef, Mario Batali.
• Both her parents died by the time she was 23 years old, and
her husband moved away. She got a job as a Bank Teller and
following a bank raid, developed panic attacks and agoraphobia
and could not leave her house.
• In 1989, she divorced her husband and used her cooking
experience to start a catering service, called The Bag Lady. She
made sandwiches which her sons delivered.
• 1996, Deen opened her own restaurant, The Lady & Sons, in
Savannah. In 1999, it was named the "International Meal of the
Year by USA Today.
• In 2007, Deen's Autobiography, ‘It Ain't All About the Cookin'
• In 2007, Deen won two Daytime Emmy Awards (Outstanding
Lifestyle Host and Outstanding Lifestyle Program) for Paula's
• His father, Armandino, is an Italian American grandson of
immigrants who had arrived in the U.S. in the 1890s. His mother,
Marilyn, has English and French Canadian ancestors.
• During college, Batali started working as a dishwasher at a
restaurant called Stuff Yer Face in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
• Batali then became a kitchen assistant at the Six Bells public
house in the famous Kings Road, Chelsea under Marco Pierre
White, the Tour d'Argent in Paris, the Moulin de Mougins in
Provence, and the Waterside Inn, outside London.
• In 1985 he worked as a sous chef at the Four Seasons Clift in
San Francisco. He was then promoted to run the kitchen of the La
Marina restaurant in the Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel in Santa
Barbara. He was the highest paid young chef in the company, at
the age of twenty-seven.
• Four years later, he took on an apprenticeship in the kitchen
at ‘La Volta’ in the village of Borgo Capanne, Northern Italy.
Inspired by his grandmother, Leonetta Merlino, he wanted to
learn to cook traditional Italian food.
• Batali teamed up with Vic Firth who makes high quality drum
sticks and together they created a range of kitchen tools.
• He has opened eight restaurants, a B&B restaurant in Las Vegas
and a Wine Merchants.
• Jamie first appeared on UK TV in the series The Naked Chef. In
the UK version of Jamie’s first show, The Naked Chef, the
opening titles show a clip of an unseen person asking about the
title. Jamie replies "No way! It's not me, it's the food!"
• In the series ‘Jamie’s Kitchen’, Oliver started a charity
restaurant called Fifteen. He took on 15 disadvantaged
youngsters and trained them as Chefs. It almost bankrupted him.
However, there are now ‘15’ restaurants in Amsterdam, Cornwall
• Jamie’s campaign to radically change the British school meals
from unhealthy to nutritious, healthy and cost-effective was
shown in the series ‘Jamie’s School Dinners’. This pushed school
dinners to the political forefront and actually changed the food
served in schools.
• In June, 2003, Oliver was awarded an MBE by the Queen. He has
also written columns for The Times Newspaper. He came top in the
Caterer Search 100 in 2005, when he was named the most
influential person in the UK hospitality industry.
• Oliver has also promoted cookware for Tefal, appeared in
Australian television commercials for Yalumba wines and is the
face of Sainsbury’s giant supermarket chain in the UK. His own
range of Jamie Oliver cookware has been extremely popular.
• His original name was Kassahun Tsegie. He was adopted by the
Samuelssons from Sweden because his mother died in a
tuberculosis epidemic when he was three.
• In 1991, he came to the U.S. and became an apprentice at
Aquavit. By the age of 24, he was their Executive Chef. Shortly
afterwards, he became the youngest chef ever to get a 3-star
review in The New York Times.
• His cooking combines international influences with traditional
cuisines from Sweden to Japan and Africa.
• Samuelsson is an adjunct professor in meal sciences at Umeå
University in Sweden. He has a television show called "Inner
Chef," on the Discovery Home Channel.
• She moved schools nine times between the ages of nine and
eighteen, due to disruptive behavior. However, she settled down
and obtained a degree in medieval and modern languages from
• At the age of 26, she became the deputy literary editor of The
• Nigella’s father is Nigel Lawson, who was Chancellor of the
Exchequer when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister. He is now
Baron Lawson of Blaby, making her The Hon. Nigella Lawson.
• Her Mother was Vanessa Salmon, a socialite and member of the
Jewish family who co-owned the Lyons Corner House empire.
• She lost her Mother (who died at 48 of liver cancer) and her
sister, Thomasina (who died of Breast Cancer in her early 30’s)
and her first husband, journalist John Diamond to throat cancer.
His death at the age of 47 occurred during the filming of her TV
series, Nigella Bites.
• She is now married to the multi-millionaire advertising mogul
and Art Collector, Charles Saatchi and they live with her two
children (from Diamond) in Eaton Square, Belgravia, London.
• The Sunday Telegraph said of her 1998 book ‘How to Eat’, "It
is the most valuable culinary guide published this decade"
• A later book, "How To Be a Domestic Goddess” sold 180,000
copies in four months. It meant that Nigella won Author of The
Year at the British Book Awards in 2001, beating J. K. Rowling.
• in 2002, she started writing fortnightly cooking articles for
The New York Times and launched the Living Kitchen range of
• In November 2003, Lawson drew up the menu and oversaw
preparations for a lunch at Downing Street hosted by Prime
Minister Tony Blair for George W. Bush and the First Lady of the
United States, Laura Bush (a Nigella fan) on their state visit
to the UK.
Not really a chef but he is definitely a celebrity...
• Foreman became a professional heavyweight boxer in1969, after
winning 27 amateur fights and losing none.
• His most famous fight was probably The Rumble in the Jungle,
when he was defeated by Muhammed Ali, in Zaire in 1974.
• During his boxing career, he won 76 fights and lost 5.
• Foreman gave his name to the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat
Reducing Grilling Machine, otherwise known as the George Foreman
Grill. Foreman has been quoted as saying that he has made more
money from his Grill than he made during his entire boxing
• In 1999, Salton Inc. bought the rights to Foreman’s name for
$127.5 million in cash and $10 million in stock. It remains one
of the highest endorsement deals ever. Foreman retained 60% of
the profits from the grills, which cost from $20 to $150. When
the grills were at the height of their success, Foreman received
$4.5 million a month from sales.
Top-Earning Celebrity Chefs According to Forbes
Forbes is well-known for its’ lists, including lists of the
Here is their list of the top ten Celebrity Chefs, in terms
of their annual earnings.
1. Rachael Ray $18 million
2. Wolfgang Puck $16 million
3. Gordon Ramsay $7.5 million
4. Nobuyuki Matsuhisa $5 million
5. Alain Ducasse $5 million
6. Paula Deen $4.5 million
7. Mario Batali $3 million
8. Tom Colicchio $2 million
9. Bobby Flay $1.5 million
10. Anthony Bourdain $1.5 million