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Is Jamie Oliver the Richest Chef in the World?

Photo: Jamie Oliver / Facebook

Hey how much money are all the chefs earning, and who is earning the most money of them all? Jamie Oliver, most likely, who according to the Sunday Times' 2012 Rich List is worth a whopping £150 million (US$243.9 million). That sum not only makes him Britain's wealthiest chef — beating out Gordon Ramsay and TV chef Delia Smith — it also makes him the country's second wealthiest author, after Ms. Harry Potter herself, JK Rowling.

Oliver's cookbook 30-Minute Meals broke all kinds of records last year, and add those sales to his chain of 30 Jamie's Italian restaurants (worth £110 million), TV shows, merchandising and more, and you've got one rich ass chef.

But the Daily Star headline proclaims Oliver to be the richest chef in the world. Is he? Possibly, maybe. The Daily Meal looked at the most successful chefs last Spring, and had Oliver placed second behind Wolfgang Puck. However, according to the Times list, Oliver has raked in £44 million since The Daily Meal generated their list, so who knows. Alain Ducasse placed third on that list.

Then again, it all depends on who you consider a chef. Forbes put Rachael Ray on the top of their list of richest chefs back in 2008, and cookbook author/patent troll Nathan Myhrvold, whose fortune is valued at $650 million, is also often called a chef. Surely there is a Russian oligarch worth billions who occasionally throws on a chef's jacket?

Meanwhile, elsewhere in England, Heston Blumenthal has for the first time ever paid out dividends from his company SL6 Ltd, which owns his restaurant the Fat Duck and draws income from his deal with grocery chain Waitrose, among other ventures. According to the London Evening Standard, Blumenthal "paid himself and other family members a £750,000 dividend."

· The Sunday Times Rich List [Sunday Times, Subscription Required]
· Fat Fortune Means Jamie Oliver Is World's Richest Chef [Daily Star]
· Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck Michelin Restaurant Pays Out a Fat Profit For First Time [London Evening Standard]