As we reported recently Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain went into liquidation causing 1000 forced redundancies and over £83m worth of creditors. However there is light at the end of the tunnel for the creditors and hopefully the staff as Christie & Co. who were retained by accountants/liquidators KPMG to find buyers for all the sites have achieved their brief . His three units in Gatwick Airport were sold to the catering specialists SSP. Richard Caring’s Ivy Collection bought three properties including Berbecoa, in London’s St Pauls and Dishoom which will extend its Covent Garden operation into the neighbouring neighbouring unit. It will now mean that the slate may have been partly cleared. It still made a dent JO’s coffers but as at the moment the second wealthiest Chef in the world his £17m loss won’t make much of a dent in his £240m. Poor Gordon, who has also had a lot of setbacks of late, both personal and financial, will still find comfort in his fourth ranking with a measly £156m.
Surprisingly the wealthiest chef in the world is the mostly unknown (outside of the industry) Alan Wong. Wong stamped himself as one of the founding leaders of island fusion cuisine, a movement that took the dine and wine industry by storm and earned him £1 billion. The Tokyo native Wong, co-founded the Hawaiian Regional Cuisine with the aim to fuse the distinctive flavors of the eight Hawaiian Islands using the freshest local ingredients. Once island fusion gained traction, everything went big for Wong, including many appearances, writing cookbooks, hosting cook shows, and even cooking for President Barack Obama.
And perhaps the least expected, but definitely respected, is Paul Bocuse who died last year at the age of 91. Coming from a family that is basically culinary royalty, French celebrity chef Paul Bocuse showed early promise in the kitchen. He took over his father’s restaurant, L’Auberge du Pont de Collognes, which was at that time already a successful establishment. His father managed to nab three stars from the Michelin Guide and Bocuse maintained such prestigious rating until today. In fact, it is the only restaurant to have garnered and kept three stars for so long. In 1990, Bocuse founded the Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon, France. However, many say that Bocuse’s legacy will be his contribution to the study of French culture through food and wine. While the amount that he left was probably more than his estimated wealth before he passed, which was £160m, he was ranked at number three.
The poorest and languishing at number five, is celebrity chef to the stars in LA. Austrian-born Wolfgang Puck moved from his native land to Los Angeles, California when he was 24. With his pastry chef mother being a big influence, Wolfgang was inspired to become a chef himself at a very young age. Shortly after relocating, Wolfgang opened his own joint, Ma Maison. After that, he wrote cookbooks, opened more restaurants, and eventually enjoyed huge success as a chef. He now heads the Wolfgang Puck Group of Companies, which is comprised of three companies. His empire stretches to twenty fine dining restaurants, numerous catering companies and more than 80 Wolfgang Puck express retail stores. He has appeared in several TV shows, including the hit cooking reality show Iron Chef. All that makes him a poor relative with only a little under £62m
Oh mother, “What went wrong!!!”