Over at Eater, they've calculated who the richest chef in the
world is. Admittedly, we were surprised. Yes, Wolfgang Puck made
the list, as did Rachael Ray, but who would have guessed Jamie
Oliver? Check the names
This shouldn't be too big a surprise. Take a look at the top 100 EYB cookbooks (by popularity), and see how many combined bookshelves JO's many books occupy. By my (very rough) estimate, it's close to 7500.
A lot of cooks-not-technically-chefs follow: Ina Garten is closest at 6300 shelves, Nigella Lawson 5800, Sheila Lukens (the cooking force of Silver Palate) 3250, Deborah Madison 3000, Dorie Greenspan 2800, Marcella Hazan 2500, Alice Waters 2500, and actual chef Rick Bayless 2400.
All these are rough estimates and the rankings could easily change as EYB membership and individual members' bookshelves grow -- but my guess it will be a while before anyone overtakes the Naked Chef in cumulative cookbook popularity.
Add in the television and the restaurants, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.