Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Best Celebrity Chefs Around the Globe 2017. Whilst before the age of television some chefs could legitimately be called famous, fame back then was a very different animal. The first TV chefs were, in the US, Julia Child and, in the UK, Fanny Cradock. Before these two monstrous cooks there had not been an entertainment aspect to cooking. But almost everyone cooked then in the early 1960’s. These days cooking is not so common, yet celebrity chefs are ever increasing in their fame, power and riches. In 2017, according to www.financesonline.com, the top 5 highest earners were worth near to $2bn between them. It is a measure of the popularity of the celebrity chef that they command such a high premium. It should be noted, however, that their premium comes more from their celebrity than their cheffing. Let’s take a look at the top ten.
List of Top 10 Best Celebrity Chefs Around the Globe 2016-2017
10. Marco Pierre White
Leaving high school with no qualifications, Marco Pierre White decided to train as a chef in a hotel in Harrogate, in the UK. At sixteen he began working at La Gavroche in London and, eight years later at 24, became head chef and joint owner of Harvey’s (alongside a certain Gordon Ramsey) and at 33 became the youngest chef to be awarded three Michelin stars. Notorious as an “enfant terrible” of the food world, he was famous for his tantrums as much for his food and seemingly delighted in rejecting TV adoration by giving one-word answers to his interviewers, throwing out customers and shouting at staff, but all this just threw his media profile into increasingly sharp relief. Stars such as Oliver Reed, Madonna and Princess Diana, in other words “A” list celebs, saw him as a star among them. His reputation snowballed and he starred in TV’s Hell’s Kitchen in 2007. The original celebrity chef, he owns dozens of restaurants around the world and his net worth is estimated at $40 million.
9. Heston Blumenthal
Heston taught himself to cook through cookbooks in his spare time, taking a scientific attitude towards cooking to discard mystical twaddle taken as culinary received wisdom. He termed his approach “multi-sensory cooking”, arguing that the experience of eating in a restaurant involves all the senses simultaneously. He opened his first restaurant in 1995 and pioneered such whacky dishes as snail porridge, bacon and egg ice cream and sea jelly beans and monks beard served on “sand” (did not contain sand). He began appearing on TV around 2002, and his unusual dishes and willingness to take his culinary skills into the laboratory made him instantly famous. His businesses now employ 750 people and his net worth is estimated as $3 million.
8. Jamie Oliver
Oliver was born in 1975 and was talent spotted by the BBC in 1999 while working as a pastry chef at Antonio Carlucci’s Neal Street restaurant. He was chosen to star in the show “The Naked Chef” and his fame was quickly established. Far from the frenzied shouting matches of the prima donnas expected of celebrity chefs, his persona was and still is that of the lad next door whose happy-go-lucky charm was engaging enough to keep the viewers coming back. He really came into his own when, through a sequence of TV series’ he began to expose the unhealthy and badly prepared food dished up to schoolchildren. The political impact of his campaign to make better food available to school kids stretched beyond British shores to the US where his “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” TV series campaigned for more healthy food. He is increasingly popular and he now has a very successful youtube channel. His business empire is valued at $200 million.
7. Thomas Keller
Thomas Keller began working as a youngster in his mother’s restaurant before moving to France to work in several Michelin-starred houses including Guy Savoy and Taillevent. In 1994, Keller became owner of The French Laundry in Yountville and has opened numerous other enterprises since then. He is the author of five best-selling cookbooks. In 2001, Keller was named “America’s Best Chef” by Time magazine. Known as a “chef’s chef”, he has had his fair share of celebrity with appearances on Masterchef Australia, and has featured in the documentaries Spinning Plates and A Sense Of Urgency. His net worth is estimated at $30 million.
6. Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain is a very clever man. Writer, TV producer, actor (he was in The Big Short) but before all that in his column “Don’t Eat Before You Read This” in The New Yorker, he revealed what goes on behind the kitchen door. He expanded that into a “must read” book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly that caused a media sensation and exposed the gulf between what goes on on TV and what goes on in typical working kitchens. His cool laconic style made him a natural for TV and since 2002 has been making popular programs beginning with A Cook’s Tour (2002–2003) and most recently with Parts Unknown (2013–present), a program focuses on other cuisines and cultures. He has won awards numbering in double figures for various media. His appeal as a celeb centres on his charm, intelligence and his natural narrative storytelling ability rather than any particular expertise or performance elements.
5. Wolfgang Puck
Puck is an Austrian-born chef who moved to America in 1973 moving to L.A. in 1982 and was tremendously successful as a restaurateur launching the Wolfgang Puck Companies which encompasses restaurants, publishing, cookware, food merchandise, canned foods, and coffee products. He became chef to the Hollywood stars while in his Beverly Hills restaurant and his celebrity gained traction from there with continual bit part appearances as an actor and chef on TV, including Tales From The Crypt, Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters and Chef Smurf in The Smurf Movie. He has a whacky “mad professor” energy that is kind of infectious though he often seems to be talking nonsense. Net worth $75 million.
4. Paul Bocuse
Bocuse is not just a chef’s chef, he is the chef’s chef. He developed the nouvelle cuisine, which is less rich and fatty than the traditional cuisine classique, in order to lose fifty pounds off his waistline. He is so famous that an award in his name was created, the Bocuse d’Or a biennial world chef championship. The Institute Paul Bocuse Worldwide Alliance has members of fifteen universities of fifteen countries to promote the outstanding standards developed in his original restaurant in Lyons, l’Auberge du Pont de Collonges. Net worth estimated at $185 million.
3.Giada De Laurentiis
Giada was born in Italy but her mother soon moved to the US after her birth. She studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, as a pastry chef returning to the US to work in Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant Spago in Los Angeles. After doing some work as a food stylist for TV she was talent spotted and invited to do her own show Everyday Italian, which premiered April 5, 2003. She has never not been on TV since and has opened her own restaurant, published eight books and won numerous Emmys. Her net worth is estimated at $20 million. He is one of The world’s top 10 Best Celebrity Chefs.
2. Ming Tsai
Ming Tsai was born in California in 1964 and he worked in his parents Chinese restaurant helping out as a child. He went on to study mechanical engineering at Yale, then he attended culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Working as a chef, he was named best chef in America by Esquire magazine and did some work for the Food Network TV station. HGe got talent spotted and got some TV training and from there he was given his own show, East Meets West with Ming Tsai and he won an Emmy. From there he started another show Simply Ming which has been a storming success. His amiable business like manner makes him an awesome entertainer and the mix of east and west is a nice counterpoint to most cooking shows.
1. Gordon Ramsey
Ramsey must be the most famous chef in history. In the celebrity chef rankings, to place him anywhere other than number one is just silly. Not because of his cheffing, which is undeniably as high a standard as anyone in the world, but because of his stellar celebrity draw. His tendency to fly off the handle in the name of high standards was chiselled from his days working with bad boy chef Marco Pierre White (number 10 above!). His ability to suddenly jump into performance mode comes obviously from his kitchen experience with Marco. And what a performance it is, with shouting, comedy insults, exposing malpractice of owners to their guests while they are eating (in KItchen Nightmares), and let’s not forget the arm around the shoulder moments that make the whole experience of his TV programs worth it. People come back to watch him to see what it is like to have a boss/ mentor with passionately high standards, something which very few people get to experience in their everyday life. Net worth of $140 million.
So that’s it, the top ten celebrity chefs 2017. By the time you read this some of the positions may have changed. A few will be there for a very long time. Paul Bocuse, Marco Pierre White and, of course, Gordon Ramsey will be there for the next ten years at least. But others may surpass them, not on the cheffing scale, but on the celebrity scale. That, after all, is where the money is.