May 13, 2022

Kitchen: how much can a starred chef/great chef earn?

In the wake of TV shows, the chef has become a top celebrity. Between restaurant, cookbooks, media activities and monetization of its image, some manage to generate a substantial turnover.

If the chefs of “classic” restaurants or bistros can earn up to 3,000 euros per month, those wearing a star or being particularly fashionable can negotiate a much higher amount. In some palaces, where the cuisine is sometimes awarded 3 Michelin stars, the salary can climb up to 20,000 euros net per month, details the Boursorama site.

The fact remains that for “star” cooks, it is above all the ancillary activities that bring in the most. Becoming one of the faces of a TV show is particularly profitable. The number one in this field, Cyril Lignac, who multiplies the programs, would thus receive around 250,000 euros per year for this. On the side of Top Chef, Philippe Etchebest would have received 85,000 euros, Hélène Darroze 60,000 euros, Michel Sarran 50,000 euros and Paul Pairet 35,000 euros during the last season, revealed Public. The differences can be explained in particular by the seniority of the chefs in the programme.

Recipe books, the good vein

But the salaries received for their work in the kitchen or for their participation in a television program are not the only sources of income. Some have become real brands that sell. In fact, cookbooks can become goose eggs in bookstores. Number one media leader in France, Cyril Lignac would have collected 5.6 million euros in ten years, with the publication of 43 different books, says Boursorama.

The site also reveals that publishing houses can spend up to 50,000 euros to secure the services of a great chef, then paying him 10 to 15% of the sale price of each book (the royalties are generally 6% in publishing).

Chefs turned influencers

This starification also allows chefs to develop partnerships with brands, not necessarily linked to the world of gastronomy. Clothing, automobiles, watches… the list goes on. Many chefs have also invested in social networks to enhance their image. These new “influencers”, like Juan Arbelaez who has 364,000 subscribers on Instagram, are thus multiplying the publications and videos paid for by the brands (whose unit prices can vary from 2,000 to 5,000 euros and the long-term contracts turn out to be even more profitable).

Finally, some chefs become “consultants” with another restaurant or a chain, by participating in the creation of the menu, the training of teams or the layout of the room, the kitchen, etc. Dishes prepared for airlines or railway companies also fall into this category. Still according to our colleagues, a great chef can negotiate from 100,000 to 150,000 euros for these collabs.

Paradoxically, it is therefore not behind their stoves that the great chefs earn the most money.