The Top Earning Chefs: Nope, Not Guy Fieri. Or Paula Deen. Or Bobby Flay
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 Forbes.com's list of the top earning chefs.
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.
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);
-- #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.