Two decades ago, Gordon Ramsay was one of the most renowned chefs in the entire United Kingdom. Today, he is arguably the most famous chef and one of the most recognizable television personalities in the entire world.
Ramsay's reputation for devastating criticisms, frequent swearing and constant screaming made him a superstar - first in the U.K., then in the U.S. For well over a decade now across numerous shows, Ramsay has turned his food knowledge and blunt personality into a media empire. Not only has he been a mainstay on TV screens since the mid-2000s, but some of those first shows, like the U.S. version of "Hell's Kitchen," are still on the air.
Between his restaurants, TV shows, cookbooks and his myriad other business interests and holdings, Ramsay has become a very rich man over the past few decades. How much is the star chef worth?
Gordon Ramsay's Net Worth
The 52-year-old chef/celebrity/entrepreneur is estimated to be worth as much as $190 million by Celebrity Net Worth.
If that approximated figure is even close to the truth, it's due to Ramsay's ever-growing salary from his various business ventures, which rank him among the highest-paid celebrities in the world. Forbes estimated that through July 15, 2018, Ramsay had made $62 million in salary that year. That figure was enough for him to make Forbes' Celebrity 100 2018 list, ranked 33rd in terms of highest-paid celebrities. Ramsay was ranked behind other highly successful multi-hyphenate celebrities like LeBron James and Jay-Z.
Gordon Ramsay's Career
As a teenager, Ramsay was an aspiring footballer, but a devastating injury to his knee ended this dream before it began. Around this time, Ramsay discovered an interest in cooking and decided to make it the core of his education. By the mid-1980s, Ramsay was a working chef in the U.K.
For several years in the 80s and 90s, Ramsay worked and trained in Paris to learn about the art of French cuisine. When he returned to the U.K. he was offered his first head chef position at a restaurant. After several years working as head chef in different acclaimed restaurants, Ramsay made the decision to take the next step in his career and open his own restaurant.
The first Ramsay-owned restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, opened in Chelsea in 1998. Not long after its opening, the restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star, a system used by Michelin Guides to showcase restaurant quality. The most Michelin stars a restaurant can get is three. Just three years after opening, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay got its third Michelin star. It remains his lone three-star restaurant, and is still open today.
Ramsay quickly continued opening restaurants. In 1999 he opened Pétrus in London, another Ramsay restaurant still open decades later (albeit in a different location after the first one had to close). In 2001, he opened Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's, which was operated within the Claridge's hotel in London. This would be a pivotal moment for Ramsay's career, as it would be the first of many restaurants he would open and operate in hotels, a business endeavor that would turn out to be very lucrative.
By the mid-2000s, Ramsay was expanding his restaurant empire worldwide. By 2005, Ramsay was operating restaurants in Tokyo, and in 2006 he opened his first American restaurant: Gordon Ramsay at The London, in New York City.
Ramsay has, at this point, opened dozens of restaurants around the world, many of which reside in hotels and resorts as well as London's Heathrow Airport. London is easily where he had the most restaurants, but Ramsay has also seen great success over the past decade opening restaurants in Las Vegas in giant resorts like Planet Hollywood and Caesar's Palace.
Though an incredibly successful restaurateur, Ramsay wouldn't be able to have so many of his restaurants if people weren't keenly aware of who he was. Being a television host for 15 years has made him a bit of a recognizable face.
Gordon Ramsay's big break on TV came in the United Kingdom in 2004, when the original iterations of two of his flagship programs, "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares" and "Hell's Kitchen," premiered. These shows would run from 2007 to 2009, respectively, and the decision was made nearly immediately to translate the success of these shows to America. The American "Hell's Kitchen" premiered in 2005 and averaged over 7 million viewers an episode, steadily increasing from premiere to finale. By season 4 in 2008 the show was averaging over 10 million viewers an episode, firmly establishing itself as one of the most popular programs on TV. "Hell's Kitchen" continues to air new episodes in the U.S., and has been renewed for seasons 19 and 20 to air in the future.
This success led Fox, which brought "Hell's Kitchen" to the U.S., to bring his other show overseas too. In 2007, "Kitchen Nightmares" premiered, as Ramsay sought to help struggling American restaurant owners save their businesses. It was another success, running seven seasons from 2007-14. These shows introduced Gordon Ramsay the person and Gordon Ramsay the character - temperamental, foul-mouthed and impatient - to U.S. audiences. That character was crucial to the success of these shows.
In 2010, Ramsay helped bring another British cooking show, "MasterChef," to the Fox network. Ramsay continues to be a judge on the program, currently on its 10th season in the U.S.
Though these were his biggest hits, they are only part of Ramsay's television career. He has hosted several other shows in the U.K. and the U.S. alike.
Ramsay, as a longtime renowned chef, has been putting out cookbooks since long before he was a TV star. Once he became a notable celebrity, though, they came out far more frequently.
To date Ramsay has published over two dozen cookbooks, as well as multiple autobiographies. His most recent book, "Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Fit Food," was released in 2018.
Ramsay's various business ventures are neatly folded into his company, Gordon Ramsay Holdings Limited. The company was originally run by Ramsay and his father-in-law Chris Hutcheson, but a very public fallout between the two led to Hutcheson being ousted in 2010.
In 2017, it was announced that the company had become profitable again for the first time in several years, which the company attributed to no longer needing the pricey legal fees required of Hutcheson's deals, as well as a case involving Hutcheson's alleged hacking of Gordon Ramsay Holding Limited's computer system.
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