Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Forbes Names Top Earning Chefs

Forbes Magazine recently compiled a list of ten top-earning chefs. Note that the list isn't titled "top ten earning chefs," which implies there are others that perhaps rake in more dough. Like Emeril, for instance. He owns 10 restaurants and just sold the rights to his empire to Martha Stewart Omnimedia for $50 million. I think he probably earns a little more than, say, Bourdain, wouldn't you think?

Seeing Rachael Ray at the top of the list makes me a little queasy, but considering her face is everywhere, it's not particularly a surprise. But she's a cook, not a chef, and I think the same is true of Paula Deen. Perhaps a more accurate title for this table should be "Ten Randomly-selected People in the Food Industry and Their Earnings."

1. Rachael Ray - $18 million
2. Wolfgang Puck - $16 million
3. Gordon Ramsay - $7.5 million
4. Nobuyuki Matsuhisa - $5 million
5. Alain Ducasse - $5 million
6. Paula Deen - $4.5 million
7. Mario Batali - $3 million
8. Tom Colicchio - $2 million
9. Bobby Flay - $1.5 million
10. Anthony Bourdain - $1.5 million

Sad that Bobby Flay owns five restaurants and a burger joint, has several best-selling cookbooks, food products, a line of dinner- and cookwear for Kohl's, and two or three currently-running shows on the Food Network - and he only pulls in $1.5 million a year. A full $3M less than Paula Deen.

Guess more people like mayonnaise than ancho chiles in this country.