How Gordon Ramsay Became the Highest-Paid Celebrity Chef on Television

If you don’t know Gordon Ramsay by name, you surely know him by his reputation. The brash, British chef has several restaurants, has hosted many TV shows, and never holds back when it comes to telling people how he feels. His in-your-face attitude and mouthwatering creations have made Ramsay a star in the culinary world. But how did Ramsay become one of the highest paid chefs on TV?

How Gordon Ramsay started a career in cooking

Ramsay didn’t always dream of being a chef. Before becoming one of the most bankable chefs on television, the UK native played professional soccer. But luck wasn’t on his side and an injury sidelined him from playing again. Ramsay moved on and earned a degree in hotel management. He began working with chefs across Europe and quickly earned a reputation. In 2006, he opened his first restaurant. 

Gordon Ramsay knows how to capitalize on his success

Ramsay got his first US-based show, Hell’s Kitchen in 2005. The show was a hit from the start and fans were clambering to hear the (very) vocal chef tear into contestants. The show proved to be a rating beast for Fox and quickly catapulted the chef into celebrity status. Ramsay has since produced and starred in numerous shows, including Master Chef, Master Chef Jr., and Kitchen Nightmares.

Gordon Ramsay is not afraid to say what’s on his mind

Fans of Hell’s Kitchen know Ramsay for his very loud, very opinionated, and often very rude remarks to his chefs. When contestants don’t do something right, the chef makes sure to let them know in a way they won’t soon forget (just Google Gordon Ramsay memes for some hilarious examples of his blunt remarks).

But it’s not just contestants on his show that get his honest opinion. Ramsay has been known to say what he feels with no censor, and no one ‘s off limits, including British royalty.

Ramsay once said of Queen Margaret: “She started with Scotch and went on drinking for three hours. The ashtray had to be changed every three minutes. I find it hard to believe that she could have tasted the pudding.” As for the queen, Ramsay said that she was a little curt with him, but he also said that she is an “amazing, phenomenal woman.”

But don’t think that Ramsay is all mean spirits. Though he has a reputation for being angry and loud, he has a softer side. The chef has developed a large team of chefs who respect and adore him. He may come off strong, but he is known to praise his staff and talk them up.

Gordon Ramsay diversifies his income streams

Ramsay doesn’t rely on his television shows for all of his income (although he could). The chef is also the owner of several successful restaurants, including five on the Las Vegas strip. His newest restaurant, Hell’s Kitchen, is located just outside Caesars Palace. The restaurant received over 12,000 reservations in its first 10 days open.

In addition to his Las Vegas restaurants, Ramsay has 30 more worldwide, including restaurants in Europe and Southeast Asia. Throughout his career, he has garnered 7 Michelin stars. Oh, by the way, did we forget to mention that he has also authored several bestselling books?

How Gordon Ramsay is one of the richest chefs on TV

Ramsay has amassed an enormous fortune throughout his career: $190 million, to be exact. His salary on Hell’s Kitchen, alone, brings in $225,000 per episode. But Ramsay says the money isn’t really a big deal to him.

“I’ve never been really turned on about the money,” Ramsay said. “That’s not my number one objective.” He says he wants his kids to be the same way. That’s why they won’t inherit his fortune when he dies. But they won’t be left out in the cold. Ramsay and his wife agree that they will front 25% the cost of a flat for each of their children.