Rachel, Guy, Paula, Bobby - the lucrative world of being a TV chef

paula.jpgNot everyone on the Forbes list of highest-paid chefs are Food Network fixtures. But of the magazine's top 10, four are current stars on the cable channel - Rachel Ray, Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, and Guy Fieri - while two other are former Food Network people (Mario Batali and Wolfgang Puck). These folks are not so much chefs as they are corporations, with revenue streams that include books, cookware, and (with the exception of Ray) restaurants. Tops on the list is another TV personality, Gordon Ramsay, who has raked in $38 million over the last 12 months. Here's Forbes' take on Deen:

In the past year her earnings have reached $17 million by our estimates, making her the fourth-highest earning chef on our Forbes list. The diabetes diagnosis padded her bottom line: our sources estimate she's getting $6 million for a three-year deal shilling for diabetes drug-maker Novo Nordisk. Partnerships with Walmart for baked goods, Smithfield for hams, and Harrah's for a growing chain of Paula Deen restaurants at casinos in the South are still going strong. Deen has got her own branded line of nuts, a frozen seafood line, plus a partnership with Springer Mountain chickens. And in June, she announced a new partnership with Nanco (the firm run by the Nanula family of Tops Friendly Markets) to launch her own line, Paula Deen Foods. Her Southern Cooking Bible, out last October, is a cookbook best-seller. She keeps going on cruises with her fans. And Deen was recently nominated for what would become her third Emmy for her work on "Paula's Best Dishes."

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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