Gordon Ramsay

Image: gordonramsaysubmissions via Flickr.

Reality TV has made stars out of a lot of people without a real tangible talent. But Gordon Ramsay was a very successful chef before he was known for yelling at children on Master Chef Junior.

That chef career comes with some of the highest awards in the industry and launched a TV career that spans multiple shows. So, just how much is Gordon Ramsay worth? The answer may shock you.

The beginning -- being a chef
Gordon Ramsay opened his first restaurant -- simply called Restaurant Gordon Ramsay -- in London in 1998. He would quickly add restaurants called Petrus, Amaryllis, and Gordon Ramsay at Claridge among others around the world.

His first Michelin three-star honor was earned in 2001 at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, the first time a Scottish chef won the award.

Kavalake and its subsidiary Gordon Ramsay Holdings Limited own Ramsay's string of 25 restaurants from London to Tokyo. At one time these holdings were estimated to be worth 67 million  pounds ($103 million), but a falling out with Ramsay's business partner and father-in-law Chris Hutcherson has cost the company dearly. For fiscal year 2013, Kavalake reported a net loss. 

Where Ramsay has turned most of his attention is his media empire, which is still going strong. 

Gordon Ramsay Chef

On TV, Ramsay is known for his temper. Image: gordonramsaysubmissions via Flickr.

The king of reality cooking
Gordon Ramsay's work in reality TV started with documentaries Boiling Point and Beyond Boiling Point, where his celebrity status started to grow in the U.K. He would turn that documentary into Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, Master Chef, and Master Chef Junior among many other television appearances.

For his TV work, Ramsay is reportedly paid $225,000 per episode, and when you see how many shows he's on, those fees add up. Forbes estimates that Ramsay makes $60 million annually between his restaurants, reality TV appearances, and other businesses. That's an incredible sum for someone who started his first restaurant just 17 years ago. 

What is Gordon Ramsay's net worth?
Since Gordon Ramsay doesn't own publicly-traded businesses, it's hard to nail down his exact net worth, but estimates put it at between $140 million and $175 million. That sum will likely swing with the success or failure of Ramsay's restaurant holdings, Kavalake, and Gordon Ramsay Holdings Limited in the future. With tens of millions in debt, he's leveraged to their success for better or worse.

The good thing is that Ramsay has a successful TV career to fall back on. He's a hit on a number of shows and with the expansion of celebrity chef programming there's no telling where he'll pop up next.

Travis Hoium and the Motley Fool don't own shares of the companies mentioned in this article. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.