Gordon Ramsay Tops Forbes Highest Earning Chefs List

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In the U.S., Gordon Ramsay is best known as the contentious host of Hell’s Kitchen and Master Chef.

Ramsay once machine gunned the f-word 115 times in the first 40 minutes of an episode of Kitchen Nightmares, and called Current Affair’s Australian host Tracy Grimshaw a lesbian pig.

But Ramsay is a huge money maker, $38 million, topping Forbes list of The Highest Earning Chefs.

Ramsay is slowly expanding his restaurant empire into the U.S. with locations at the London hotels in New York City and Los Angeles. He’s also expanding his TV empire which is far more lucrative.

Both the tenth season of Hell’s Kitchen and a third season of Ramsay’s MasterChef was renewed in June of this year.

The Hell’s Kitchen host, who owns 23 restaurants around the globe, just opened a steak house at the Paris casino hotel in Las Vegas. His restaurant, The Fat Cow, is slated to open in Los Angeles this fall.

As part of his expanding television empire, Hotel Hell, which premiered on Fox, features Ramsay helping struggling hotel owners.

To compile their list, Forbes talked to food consultants, restaurant owners and industry analysts to estimate how much each chef earned between June 2011 and June 2012.

Forbes reviewed each chef’s take of the revenue from his or her restaurants and TV, merchandise royalties and cookbook payments.

Rachael Ray ranked second on their list with an estimated $25 million. Ray got her start in 2002 with Food Network shows like $40 A Day and 30 Minute Meals.

Ray is the only chef on the Forbes list who doesn’t have her own restaurant. However, she has her own talk show, a magazine and 20 cookbooks to her name.

Bobby Flay is another prominent chef on their list who ranks ninth with an estimated $9 million in earnings; Flay is one of the biggest stars on Food Network.

Oh his show Throwdown, Flay challenges cooks to a cook-off of their signature dish.

The New York chef is in talks with CBS for a daytime talk show that would be co-hosted by fellow Food Network personality Giada De Laurentiis.

Highest Earning Chefs List

1) Gordon Ramsay
$38 million

2) Rachel Ray
$25 million

3) Wolfgang Puck
$20 million

4) Paula Deen
$17 million

5) Mario Batali
$13 million

6) Alain Ducasse
$12 million

7) Todd English
$11 million

8 ) Nobu Matsuhisa
$10 million

9) Bobby Flay
$9 million

10) Guy Fieri
$8 million

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Spence Cooper
Inquisitive foodie with a professional investigative background and strong belief in the organic farm to table movement. Author of Bad Seeds: A FriendsEAT Guide to GMO's. Buy Now!
Spence Cooper