Food Revolution star Jamie Oliver joins Wolfgang Puck and Paula Deen among America"s top-earning chefs

Food Revolution star Jamie Oliver joins Wolfgang Puck and Paula Deen among America”s top-earning chefs

9:37 AM on 24th May 2011

Jamie Oliver has ranked second in a list of the most successful chefs in the U.S., beating the likes of Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri and Nobu Matsuhisa.

Wolfgang Puck topped the list of the country”s highest-earning chefs, which was based on net worth rankings and previous salary estimates from Forbes.

According to the Daily Meal website, which compiled the research, the chef, 61, is estimated to be worth $400m thanks to his 21-strong restaurant empire and 50 Wolfgang Puck Express cafes.

Wolfgang PuckJamie Oliver

Highest-earners: Wolfgang Puck (left) and Jamie Oliver (right) rank first and second respectively in a list of America”s most successful chefs

British-born Mr Oliver, 35, who shot to fame in the U.S. with his Food Revolution television campaign to cut child obesity, ranked second with an estimated fortune of $172m.

The father-of-four, who has 20 restaurants in the UK, Dubai and Australia, has enjoyed huge success with his cookery shows and accompanying books.

Also among the chefs listed were Nobu Matsuhisa, the Japanese culinary giant behind the popular Nobu restaurants and TV cooks Paula Deen and Guy Fieri.

Daniel BouludAlain DucasseNobu Matsuhisa

Grand masters: Daniel Boulud (left) comes eighth, Alain Ducasse (centre) is third and Nobu Matsuhisa (right) is sixth in the Daily Meal list

Paula DeenEmeril Lagasse

Television personalities: Paula Deen (left) is the fifth most successful chef according to the list, while Emeril Lagasse (right) ranks at number 19

The site”s editor, Colman Andrews, explained that the most financially-successful chefs have many commercial interests.


Est. worth according to the Daily Meal

Wolfgang Puck
Jamie OliverAlain Ducasse
Joel RobouchonPaula DeenNobu MatsuhisaGuy FieriDaniel BouludTodd EnglishBobby FlayMichael MinaCharlie PalmerThomas KellerTom ColicchioMasaharu MorimotoMario BataliGordon RamsayAnthony BourdainEmeril LagasseJean-Georges VongerichtenPaul Prudhomme
Rick Bayless
Jos Andrs
Barbara Lynch
David Burke

He writes: “Without exception, the most financially successful [celebrity chefs] do lotsof things at once.

“In fact – spoiler alert – very few of them ever actually cook in their own kitchens anymore. They”re far too busy thinking up and launching new restaurants (and even, like Charlie Palmer, hotels), writing cookbooks, developing (or lending their names to) products of various kinds, and of course appearing on TV…

“The most successful chefs in America aren”t just chefs – they”re entrepreneurs, they”re brands. Sometimes they”re virtually whole industries.”

The site limited its search to culinary figures that built their careers as chefs in working kitchens, rather than than home cooks or restaurateurs.

It explained that though the likes of Alain Ducasse and Gordon Ramsay hail from outside the U.S., they counted because they have restaurants there, or have television shows that air in the country giving them a public profile.

Due to the nature of Daily Meal”s research (some of which is based on press and industry rumour) the actual worth of the names in the top 25 is not listed.

Mr Andrews added: “Though we”re confident that we got relative scale right, we admit that the actual figures might be merely ballpark — so, sorry kids, but no dollar amounts here. Suffice to say that the range extends from six figures to eight.”

Mario BataliGuy Fieri

Larger-than-life: Mario Batali (left) ranks 16th and Guy Fieri (right) is seventh