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Cuisinier’s Cornucopia: 8 of the Richest Feminine Cooks within the World

Cuisinier’s Cornucopia: 8 of the Richest Feminine Cooks within the World


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International Women’s Day has dawned upon us, and in good time indeed. Throughout the years, women have left their indelible mark upon a multitude of disciplines and fields, creating rippling effects that are still felt today. To celebrate the unique genius of women and the good they have done, particularly in the culinary industry, we take a look at the richest female chefs in the world, as well as the delicious business empires they have built.

From the iconic Julia Child and domestic goddess Nigella Lawson to the bright ray of sunshine that is Nadiya Hussain of The Great British Bake Off acclaim, the women chefs of today are armed with charm, determination, and the artistic sensibilities required to bring rapturous culinary creations to life. In a predominantly male-dominated industry, these amazing female chefs have shown incredible strength, integrity, and grit — carving out a space for themselves, and rightly earning the love of food lovers the world over.

Empires that transcend cooking

Despite their excellence and creativity in the art of cooking, these female chefs are also shrewd masterminds, displaying foresight and business acumen that goes well beyond short-lived viral success. Much like celebrities the likes of Rihanna and Selena Gomez whose musical and acting careers have since expanded to include now-iconic cosmetics, beauty, and fashion labels, these leading ladies have mastered the art of food in more ways than one.

From critically acclaimed books and cooking shows to endorsements and merchandise, these culinary queens prove that a successful career is more than just a Michelin star, fancy though it may be. Navigating their celebrity with poise and ease that Carmy Berzatto himself would envy, they are more than worthy of their successes, boasting high net worths even as they assume their places as the richest female chefs in the world today.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we take a look at the stunning careers of these female chefs, how they found and literally tasted success, and how they became the richest personalities in the game.

Tasting success: 8 richest female chefs in the world today

Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray onstage performs a culinary demonstration at the Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite. (Image: John Lamparski/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

A literal ray of sunshine in a busy world that often forgets to nourish the body and soul, Rachael Ray’s talents extend beyond her expertise in the culinary arts. As a professional cook, television personality, businesswoman, and author, Ray’s incredible pull is derived from her ability to connect with the everyday man and woman with her relatable cooking content and concepts. From preparing quick and easy meals to finding food abroad on a budget, Ray’s shows and books are a fresh take on the very human act of living and eating for pleasure. For her work in the kitchen, she draws inspiration from her Sicilian maternal grandmother and her Cajun ancestry, resulting in the generous use of fresh herbs, garlic, and chicken stock. Like all proper home cooks, Ray measures from the heart.

Ray, who is a New York native, has famously repeated that she is ‘not a chef’ — and that much certainly rings true when one considers that she has had no formal training. In spite of that, Ray has more than made her mark in the culinary world, first conceptualising her 30 Minute Meals when working as a buyer at an Albany gourmet market Cowan & Lobel, where she met many people who showed reluctance to cook.

Beyond her cooking and 28 cookbooks, Ray’s professional portfolio also includes endorsements for Nabisco crackers, Dunkin’ Donuts, and AT&T; additionally, the enterprising cook has also designed soft furnishings for WestPoint Home. In 2016, she launched the Rachael Ray Home Collection with PulteGroup.

For her work on television with the Food Network, Ray brought her brand of inimitable charm to several shows, most notably 30 Minute Meals which ran 11 seasons from 2001 to 2012. She would also go on to host a daytime TV talk show Rachael Ray, which aired from September 18 2006 to May 24 2023. For her work in television, Ray won two Daytime Emmy awards — a Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Service Show in 2006 for 30 Minute Meals, and a Daytime Emmy Award for Best Outstanding Talk Show in 2008 for Rachael Ray.

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Alongside a bevy of other celebrity chefs, Rachael Ray hopped onto the set of the Gilmore Girls revival in 2016 for a fun little cameo. (Image: IMDb)

In 2016, she appeared as herself in an episode of the much-anticipated Gilmore Girls revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life. As of 2024, Rachael Ray’s net worth is estimated to be around USD 100 million, landing her squarely in our list of the richest female chefs in the world.

Ina Garten

Ina Garten attends New York Public Library’s 2023 Library Lions Gala. (Image: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Brooklyn-born and bred, Ina Garten “The Barefoot Contessa” has long filled a hole for those in want of motherly warmth in the kitchen. Now a top American television cook and author, Garten’s early life saw her excelling in subjects such as science; she would later go on to major in economics at Syracuse University, following that up with a stint at George Washington University of Business. Understandably so, her keen sense for business has landed her on our list of the richest female chefs in the world.

Garten’s love of the culinary arts first emerged when she was a newlywed who turned to cooking to occupy her time. A four-month trip to France solidified her interests, further bolstered by visits to open-air markets. Emboldened by her trip, she began studying from the bible of French cooking: Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Simone Beck, Louisette Berthole, and Julia Child.

Garten led a double life: By night, a renegade foodie with designs on expanding her culinary knowledge, and by day, a budget analyst working under presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, whose job was to write nuclear energy budgets and policy papers on nuclear centrifuge plants.

Enterprising from the start, Garten also dabbled in the house flipping industry, buying and renovating old properties in the Dupont Circle and Kalorama neighbourhoods to turn tidy profits. By 1978, Garten had left her government job, and was the proud new owner of the specialty food store that would start it all: The Barefoot Contessa.

Garten has published 15 books published since her iconic beginnings, likewise becoming a mainstay on the Food Network, where she is considered one of the greats. Her television appearances span five shows, most notably Barefoot Contessa, which ran from 2002 to 2021.

As of 2022, Garten has starred in her new show, Be My Guest, where she hosts Hollywood greats the likes of Stanley Tucci, Laura Linney, Emily Blunt, and others for cooking and conversation. Reports suggest that she has a staggering net worth of USD 60 million.

Giada De Laurentiis

Giada De Laurentiis attends the premiere of Neon’s Ferrari at Directors Guild Of America on December 12, 2023. (Image: JC Olivera/FilmMagic)

Italian American chef, entrepreneur, writer, and television personality Giada De Laurentiis is a culinary force of nature with big love for food and an even bigger drive to succeed. Her mother is Italian actress Veronica De Laurentiis, and her grandparents, film producer and restaurateur Dino De Laurentiis and British-Italian actress Silvana Mangano. Life in a star-studded family would ultimately impart upon the young De Laurentiis the culinary wisdom inherent in Italian culture, as well as the charms required for working on-screen.

Despite her familial relationships, De Laurentiis has shared that she found her earliest days working on-screen uncomfortable, adding that she had never wanted to be in her ‘family business’ of show business.

Following her parents’ divorce, De Laurentiis moved with her mother and siblings to Southern California, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in social anthropology from the University of California. She later attended the esteemed Parisian culinary institute Le Cordon Bleu, after which she intended to become a pastry chef. For a time, De Laurentiis worked as a professional chef in Los Angeles, most notably with at the Ritz-Carlton Fine Dining Room and Wolfgang Puck’s Spago. She has also leveraged her expertise in styling food for publications, which ultimately led to her discovery by the Food Network.

As a television host, De Laurentiis has hosted a myriad of cooking shows, from Everyday Italian to Giada At Home and Giada Entertains; she has gone on to win Daytime Emmy awards for Everyday Italian and Giada Entertains. To date, she has published 10 cookbooks under her own name, with Giada at Home and Weeknights with Giada both enjoying number one positions on The New York Times Best Seller list.

Beyond her work in publication and television, De Laurentiis has also displayed a keen instinct for business. The founder of catering business GDL Foods, De Laurentiis has partnered up with huge names in the food industry, most notably Barilla, for whom she developed an Italian gourmet line. Further adding to her list of accomplishments, De Laurentiis also has a range of cooking products exclusively produced for Target.

With her background in professional kitchens, it comes as little surprise that De Laurentiis is the founder and owner of two Las Vegas Strip restaurants: Giada in Cromwell, and Pronto by Giada in Caesar’s Palace. With her incredible culinary empire now in full swing, De Laurentiis boasts an incredible net worth of USD 30 million, making her one of the richest female chefs in the world.

Ree Drummond

If you’ve ever heard of the Pioneer Woman, you’ve heard of American blogger, food writer, author, and television personality Anne Marie “Ree” Drummond. The business-savvy cook is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where she had studied journalism and gerontology.

In 2006, Drummond started a blog, originally named Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, where she shared stories on ranch life, homeschooling, and later, recipes. By the time 2010 had rolled around, the blog had gained considerable success online, winning Weblog of the Year in the 2010 Bloggies; one year later in 2011, it was revealed that the blog was getting 23.3 million page views monthly.

Following the widespread success of her blog, Drummond would go on to publish her first cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl. In the years since, she has published 17 books comprising cookbooks and children’s books. In 2011, she began working on The Pioneer Woman, a Food Network cooking show where she cooks for family and friends at her Pawhuska, Oklahoma ranch. The show has enjoyed critical success, with season 35 airing in 2023. Beyond her writing and television work, Drummond, along with her husband, owns three businesses in Pawhuska: Restaurant retail store The Mercantile, a downtown bed and breakfast The Boarding House, and P-Town Pizza, a pizzeria.

Drummond is also the proud founder of the Pioneer Woman line of merchandise, with her kitchenware, home decor, and clothing enjoying mass appeal and popularity. In June of 2022, Drummond unwittingly became the centre of controversy when AI-generated deepfakes of her were used to promote and endorse CBD gummies. In response, Drummond took to Facebook to set the record straight, sharing a post to reiterate that she has never endorsed or promoted the alleged product.

As of 2024, Drummond’s net worth stands at a staggering USD 50 million. Despite marrying into wealth — her husband Ladd Drummond is of the wealthy Drummond Ranching Family, and boasts a staggering net worth of USD 200 million — she is independently wealthy and certainly deserving of her spot as one of the richest female chefs in the world.

Ana Quincoces

On the subject of extraordinary women who have transitioned between career paths with stunning poise, Ana Quincoces of The Real Housewives of Miami fame takes the cake. The Miami-based chef, reality television personality, author, and entrepreneur attended Florida International University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Corrections.

Following that, Quincoces earned a Doctor of Law in property law from the Shepard Broad Law Centre of Nova Southwestern University. True to her education, she would go on to spend over twenty years in the legal field, working as a lawyer and founding Rodriguez & Quincoces, P.A.

In 2013, Quincoces departed the legal industry to pursue a secondary career in food and entertainment, earning a title as the ‘hottest chef in Miami’. Since then, she has appeared in various capacities on the Food Network; most notably, she guest-starred in season 1 of The Real Housewives of Miami, following which she became a part of the main cast in season 2. Season 3 saw her return as a friend to the main cast, and she once again returned to set as a guest for season 6 and 7.

Beyond television, Quincoces has also produced three cookbooks: Cuban Chicks Can Cook: The Indispensible Guide to Basic Cuban Favourites, Sabor!: A Passion for Cuban Cuisine, and The Versailles Restaurant Cookbook. She is also the founder of the Skinny Latina range of sauces, and in 2021, opened a quick service restaurant Skinny Latina Kitchen & Market. As of 2024, Quincoces boasts an incredible net worth of USD 9 million.

Nigella Lawson

richest female chefs rachael ray nigella lawson giada de laurentiis ina garten nadiya hussain
Nigella Lawson on set for the filming of her 2023 Christmas special, Nigella’s Amsterdam Christmas. (Image: Nigella Lawson/Instagram)

Food writer, television cook, and all-around domestic goddess Nigella Lawson has long enthralled audiences with her fuss-free approach to cooking, sensorial way of eating, and inherently British way of living. A London native, the wordsmith was born to British socialite and heiress to the J. Lyons and Co. Fortune Vanessa Salmon, and Nigel Lawson, a business and finance journalist who later became a prominent political figure serving under Margaret Thatcher.

While Lawson’s love affair with food first emerged in her formative years, she has often credited her brief stay in Florence for cultivating her passion for Italian cuisine. At 19 years of age, Lawson famously moved to Italy, where she spent time learning Italian, working as a chambermaid, and falling in love with Italian food.

Having garnered a reputation for her generous use of adjectives and the richness of her prose, it comes as little surprise that Lawson graduated from the Lady Margaret Hall of the University of Oxford, where she received a second-class degree in medieval and modern languages. Following her graduation, she applied herself to work as a book reviewer and restaurant critic, eventually becoming the literary editor of the Sunday Times.

Her very first cookbook How To Eat was published in 1998, propelling her to bestseller status by selling 300,000 copies. One year later, she was on Channel 4, hosting Nigella Bites and employing her guileless, no-nonsense charm to connect with her viewers. Following the success of her debut book and television show, Lawson published How To Be A Domestic Goddess in 2000; the book went on to snag her the British Book Award for Author of the Year.

Despite the myriad of tragedies that has peppered her life, most notably in the loss of her first husband, mother, and younger sister to cancer, Lawson has emerged triumphant, bearing the weight of life with grace and poise. Her numerous cooking shows have earned her much acclaim, leading to a variety of other appearances including guest judging on Top Chef, Masterchef Australia, and Masterchef US. Lawson also appeared as a judge on The Taste alongside chef Ludo Lefebvre and the late Anthony Bourdain, with whom she had shared a close friendship. She has also appeared in the Table Manners podcast with Jessie and Lennie Ware, where she quipped that she “gets rather hysterical when she’s not fed.”

Having published 12 cookbooks that have since sold over 8 million copies worldwide, Nigella Lawson has more than earned her place in our list of the richest female chefs — though like Rachael Ray, she has always referred to herself as a cook. With her cookware range Living Kitchen racking up a value of £7 million (Approx. USD 8.89 million), it comes as no surprise that her net worth stands at a staggering USD 20 million as of 2024.

Further adding weight to her hefty net worth, Lawson has also partnered up with UK-based grocery retailer Ocado, for which she has created numerous recipes that she shares on her Instagram page. She also appeared in a BBC video to promote Eurovision 2023, lending her inimitable charm and charisma to great aplomb.

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Nadiya Hussain

Nadiya Hussain brings an undeniable warmth and charm to her shows, leaving viewers with a much-beloved feeling of ease and welcome. (Image: Nadiya Hussain/Instagram)

British television chef, author, and television personality Nadiya Hussain has enjoyed much success in the field in recent years, following her much-earned win of sixth series of the Great British Bake Off. Despite lacking formal culinary training and a tertiary education, Hussain, who is the daughter of British-Bangladeshi immigrants, easily swept food enthusiasts off their feet. A self-taught baker and cook, Hussein soon charmed audiences with her infectious laughter, her inimitable zest for life, and the tenacity she has exhibited in pursuing her dreams.

On an episode of the Table Manners podcast with Jessie and Lennie Ware, Hussain shared candid stories of her past, speaking on her family dynamics, her siblings, her father’s Indian restaurant, and her mother’s preference for her brother. Her unique perspective marked a turning point in conversations surrounding gender bias, further augmented with her lived experience as an immigrant girl who harboured big dreams in a world determined to withhold opportunities from her. Rising magnificently to the challenge, Hussain met her roadblocks with grit and mettle, making up for life’s unfair handicaps with sheer will and hard work. In the podcast, Hussain discusses breastfeeding her newborn daughter while taking final exams, writing a poem a day, and the follies of continued recipe development in a house that can only eat so much.

Despite her newfound success following her Great British Bakeoff win, Hussain continues to work hard; as of 2024, she has published 16 books comprising one biography, multiple cookbooks, children’s books, and even fiction. Her work on television has earned her multiple accolades and awards, with Nadiya’s British Food Adventure, Nadiya’s Family Favourites and Nadiya Bakes enjoying success among audiences. In 2016, to commemorate the 90th birthday of the late Queen Elizabeth II, Hussain baked an orange drizzle cake with a butter cream and marmalade filling. Despite nerves and her personal misgivings, the monarch appeared to enjoy the offering, even going so far as to take the top tier home with her.

Today, Hussain has more than made her place in the culinary world, her various business endeavours marking her as one of the richest female chefs of our time. Most amusingly, Hussain has partnered up with UK producers of cookware, Prestige, to create a non-stick cookware and bakeware line. Beyond that, she is a brand ambassador for IT Cosmetics UK & Ireland, and has also worked with fashion label Next UK. For all her work, Hussain has accrued a net worth of £5 million (Approx. USD 6.4 million), earning her a place as one of the richest female chefs in the world.

Nancy Silverton

Nancy Silverton is obsessed with bread, and the world is obsessed with Nancy Silverton. The American chef, baker, and author has had a long and celebrated career in the culinary world, having won the prestigious James Beard Outstanding Chef Award in 2014. Long renowned for bringing sourdough and artisanal bread loaves to the forefront of the American public, Silverton’s approach to cooking leverages her expertise, obsession, and love affair with dough. An avid experimenter in the kitchen, Silverton’s cuisine reflects contemporary views of her person — her food is un-fussy, real, hearty, simple, but wholesome and nourishing.

As a young woman, Silverton enrolled at Sonoma State University, where she was a political science major. However, in her freshman year, she had an epiphany while cooking in her university dorm, coming to the realisation that cooking was what she wanted to do be doing for the rest of her life. That epiphany led to her dropping out of Sonoma State in her senior year, after which she attended Le Cordon Bleu in London. Among her post-education professional accolades and accomplishments, Silverton can boast of having worked alongside the legendary Wolfgang Puck at his famed Spago, where she served as the opening pastry chef.

In 1989, Silverton opened Campanile, a restaurant specialising in Italian and Californian cuisine with her then-husband Mark Peel. As an afterthought, the duo also opened La Brea Bakery in the adjacent space, and then they were off to the races. The establishments became huge hits among food enthusiasts, with Silverton pioneering the novel concept of a ‘grilled cheese night’ in Campanile. In 2001, Silverton sold La Brea Bakery to Irish investment group IAWS for a reported USD 56 to USD 68.5 million; sadly, her profits were lost to the Madoff pyramid scheme collapse of 2008.

Despite the setback, Silverton bounced back with unshakeable confidence in her culinary prowess, opening Pizzeria Mozza and later Osteria Mozza with New York chef Mario Batali and his constant collaborator Joseph Bastianich. The restaurant was widely received with open arms, soon receiving its first Michelin star in 2008. Today, the Mozza name features prominently with numerous outlets across the United States, and one in Singapore.

Beyond her work in the culinary industry, Silverton has also dabbled in publishing and television. With eight published cookbooks and a handful of television appearances, most notably in her self-titled Chef’s Table episode, Silverton has also appeared on popular culinary shows like Masterchef, Masterchef Junior, Top Chef, and Hell’s Kitchen. Her infectious energy reflects the way friends and family feel about her and her food: it is warm and welcoming, warranting her success.

Today, Silverton boasts a net worth of about USD 25 million, though conflicting reports have placed her assets at various figures throughout the years. Whatever the case, Nancy Silverton can certainly boast to be one of the richest female chefs in the world.

(Main images: John Lamparski/Getty Images for NYCWFF, Theo Wargo/Getty Images, Nigella Lawson/Instagram; featured image: John Lamparski/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– Who is the richest female chef in the world?

With a net worth of USD 100 million, Rachael Ray is the richest female chef in the world.

– Who is the wealthiest chef in the world?

Gordon Ramsay, who boasts a net worth of USD 220 million, is said to be the richest chef in the world.

– Who is the most famous female chef?

Some of the most famous female chefs in the world include Julia Child, Nigella Lawson, Ina Garten, Giada de Laurentiis, Nadiya Hussain, Dominique Crenn, Nancy Silverton, Clare Smyth, and others.



Source: Prestige Online

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