The Top Earning Chefs: Nope, Not Guy Fieri. Or Paula Deen. Or Bobby Flay

In Celebs by Kim Muraro , on Monday, July 23, 2012, 6:43 AM (PDT)
top earning chefs


Fieri -- Despite Being Everywhere -- Isn't Even Among the Top Five

Food Network star Guy Fieri is everywhere -- often in more places than we want him to be, let's be honest -- but despite the fact that he seems to pop up in nearly every Food Network show, is a restaurant owner, draws thousands of fans to his food demonstrations and is about to open a mammoth new eatery in Times Square, Fieri lands at number 10 on's list of the top earning chefs.

Read: McDonald's Chef Shows You How to Make the Big Mac Secret Sauce [VIDEO]

That puts him behind Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, Paula Deen, Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck and the list's top earner: Gordon Ramsay.

Fieri's $ 8 million earnings last year earned him the number 10 spot, taking in a million dollars less than Bobby Flay (another ubiquitous Food Network star and restaurateur who's also developing a CBS daytime talk show with fellow chef Giada De Laurentiis) at number nine.

Nobu Matsuhisa -- who, with partner Robert De Niro, has built an empire of Nobu sushi eateries -- is number eight on the list with $10 million in earnings; Olives chef and entrepreneur Todd English is number seven with #11 million in earnings; and French chef/hotelier/cooking school owner Alain Ducasse is number six with $12 million.

Read: Chef Mario Batali Sued by Former Waiters

The Chew co-star Mario Batali finished fifth on the list with $13 million in earnings from his restaurants, TV gigs, a pasta sauce line and his La Mozza vineyard wine; and headline-grabbing Paula Deen is fourth with $17 million in earnings from her TV shows, magazine, cookbooks, restaurants, Walmart products and her controversial deal with diabetes drug company Novo Nordisk.

The top three on Forbes' list:

-- #3: Wolfgang Puck, who earned $20 million from his fine dining and casual restaurants, frozen pizza line and HSN cookware (and who is now developing an app that will include his recipes and party planning tips);

Read: Food Network Chef Anthony Sedlak Dead at 29

-- #2: Rachael Ray, who earned $25 million last year, despite being the only chef on the list who doesn't own a restaurant. Instead, her cash comes from her daytime TV show, as well as her Food Network appearances, her magazine and her cookbooks (she just released her 20th cookbook -- The Book of Burger -- earlier this year);

-- #1: Gordon Ramsay. Love him, hate him or love to hate him, Ramsay's still raking in the dough, despite what seems to be a neverending string of scandals (including a public falling out with his father-in-law/business partner and allegations of infidelity, plus some not-so-hot restaurant reviews).

But Ramsay earned $38 million last year from his Fox TV series -- Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares and MasterChef -- and his 23 restaurants around the world.

In fact, he's about to launch a new series on Fox -- Hotel Hell -- in which he tries to help struggling hotel owners (and, no doubt, screams at and humiliates them along the way), and several new eateries, including a casual dining Los Angeles joint called The Fat Cow.

Read More About top earning chefs »

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