10 Things Celebrity Chefs Won’t Tell You

Gordon Ramsay of Foxs Hells Kitchen fame, with $38 million.) Click to Play Little formal kitchen training, mediocre pots and pans, and overexposure are plaguing celebrity chefs. Charles Passy joins Lunch Break with a look at five things these rock stars of the food world are hiding from adoring fans. Photo: Getty Images. But there are signs that celebrity chefs may be waning in popularity. For starters, the Food Network, which marks its 20th anniversary this November, has lost some of its ratings luster: Viewership declined by 10% over the past season, according to the latest Nielsen figures. Moreover, in recent years, the network has struggled to find a new breakthrough star, media observers say. (And one of the last finds was Paula Deen, who rose to prominence around seven years ago but whose reputation took a major hit in 2013 when she admitted in a court deposition to using a racial slur. She was subsequently dropped by the network and also lost many of her endorsement deals.) The bottom line, say critics, is that celebrity chefs have become a dime-a-dozen form of entertainmenttheir numbers may have grown, but their star power has diminished. The celebrity chef market is saturated, says Arthur Gallego, a New York-based branding expert. Some industry insiders counter that its too early to say the celebrity chef trend has run its course. After all, the Food Network continues to pull in hundreds of thousands of viewers: In a recent conference call with analysts, Ken Lowe, president of Scripps Networks Interactive (the parent company of the Food Network and the Cooking Channel), pointed out that shows like Food Network Star and Mystery Diners have enjoyed recent double-digit gains in ratings.