Ever wonder what celebrity chefs did before they struck it big? So do we, which is why we wanted to learn more about the paths they took before making their millions. Turns out, the now-household-names had pretty basic gigs, just like we did. From Anthony Bourdain’s dish washing days to Rachael Ray’s time spent behind the Macy’s candy counter, these celebrity chefs’ first jobs may surprise you.
1. Bobby Flay: Pizza delivery boy and ice cream scooper at Baskin-Robbins
It’s no surprise that this New Yorker grew up in the industry. As Bobby Flay proudly proclaims, his first job was delivering pizza when he was in sixth grade. “When I wasn’t delivering pies, the owners of the parlor let me open the cans of tomatoes and grate the mozzarella,” Flay told NY Daily News. After that, he worked at Baskin-Robbins before getting his big break in the culinary world.
At the age of 17, Flay was cooking at Joe Allen’s, a well-known restaurant in the theater district. Although his father, who was a partner in the restaurant, landed him the job, it was Bobby who earned himself recognition. Thanks to Flay’s superior cooking chops, Joe Allen paid for Flay’s tuition at The French Culinary Institute.
Next: Barefoot Contessa wasn’t Ina Garten’s first gig.