America's Most Successful Chefs Slideshow

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#1 Wolfgang Puck

Though Puck, whose name is synonymous with "California Cuisine," has worked the celebrity angle hard, his endlessly creative takes on a multitude of cuisines, from pizza to Asian food, still earn him the respect of the food world. As enterprising as they come, Puck can boast 21 fine dining restaurants around the nation, numerous cookbooks, a TV career that has included appearances on Frasier, Las Vegas, and The Simpsons as well as a cooking-show Emmy, and lines of food products, cookware, and appliances (among them a coffeemaker and the coffee pods to go with it). He has even made forays into fast(ish) food with more than 50 Wolfgang Puck Express locations in the U.S., Canada, and Japan. Just one of his enterprises, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, which oversees his casual dining restaurants and food products, is estimated to be worth over $400 million, and some estimates of the total annual income generated by his various concerns reach more than twice that.

Amanda Marsalis