7 Mega-Celebrity Chefs Who Never Went to Culinary School


Written by:

It turns out that just because you’ve seen their faces cooking for you on TV, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a “chef” in the most traditional senses. In fact, some of the most famous TV chefs alive never even went to culinary school.

From Gordon Ramsay to Nigella Lawson, take a look at these seven celebrity chefs who never went to culinary school.

Image Credit: MediaFeed / Depositphotos.com.

Rachel Ray

Rachel Ray was born into a restaurant-managing family, and found her way to cooking through that. After working in various restaurant capacities, Ray gained experience through hands-on work rather than formal education.

Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

Gordan Ramsay

17-time Michelin star recipient Gordan Ramsay couldn’t afford culinary school, and has been outspoken about the fact that expensive education isn’t what makes you a great chef. Instead, he began working in kitchens at a young age, learning the ropes through practical experience and mentorship from seasoned chefs.

Image Credit: gordonramsayofficial / TikTik.

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart originally intended to be a model, and then shifted to stockbroking (shocker). Over time she developed a passion for cooking as part of her homemaker persona, and honed her skills through self-study and experimentation.

Image Credit: Martha Stewart by Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA).

Guy Fieri

The Mayor of Flavortown never actually went to culinary school, instead opting for a career in hospitality management. He’s owned a slew of restaurants, including the ever-expanding Chicken Guy. But look, you don’t invent things called Donkey Sauce or Trash Can Nachos unless you’re free of the strictures of a formal education, am I right?

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

Ina Garten

Ina once worked as a budget analyst for the White House’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but culinary school never actually happened for her. She apparently learned everything she needed to know while running Barefoot Contessa, her specialty food store.

Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons/Therealbs2002.

Tom Colicchio

“Top Chef” head judge Tom Colicchio grew up in kitchens and used his real-world experience to open Gramercy Tavern, and Craft, two of the most lauded New York City restaurants of their time. Colicchio told Bloomberg “I was still planning on culinary school, but once I was promoted from line cook to sous chef, that was it.”

Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson initially began her career pursuing journalism, and worked as a freelance food writer before eventually falling into the role she’s best known for, as a TV chef. You can still catch her hosting her own shows and appearing on just about every other cooking show.

Image Credit: Depositphotos.com.

More From MediaFeed

America’s 21 oldest operating restaurants

Like MediaFeed’s content? Be sure to follow us.

Image Credit: Keens.com.