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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!

Rachael Ray

• 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 popular.

• 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. Her 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 Show Host.

• 2006 named as one of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people - nominated by fellow Celebrity Chef, Mario Batali.
Paula Deen

• 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' was published.

• In 2007, Deen won two Daytime Emmy Awards (Outstanding Lifestyle Host and Outstanding Lifestyle Program) for Paula's Home Cooking.

Mario Batali

• 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 Oliver

• 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 and Melbourne.

• 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.

Marcus Samuelsson

• 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.

Nigella Lawson

• 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 Oxford University.

• At the age of 26, she became the deputy literary editor of The Sunday Times.

• 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 cookware.

• 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.

George Foreman

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 career.

• 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 richest Americans.

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
 

 

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