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Photos Of Famous Chefs When They Were Young
Posted by Jillian Madison

[The internet doesn't offer a lot of background info on the Food Network chefs, so compiling the photos for this post was a painstaking process! The photos are from Chefography episodes, and other random shows I happened to catch over the last 12 months. Some of 'em were really cute back in the day... and some of 'em, well, weren't. I'll let you decide which is which.]


young guy fieri


young anthony bourdain


young sandra lee


young mario batali


young duff goldman


young paula deen


young bobby flay


young nigella lawson


young giada child


young rachael ray yearbook photo

Other posts on Food Network Humor:

---Famous Foodies By The Smell
---Famous Foodies By The Smell (Part 2)
---Photo: A Young Duff Goldman
---Halloween Costume Suggestions For The Food Network Chefs: Part 2
---Yahoo Thinks Guy Fieri Is Mario Batali

    127 Responses

  1. JadeD says:

    Bobby Flay = Danny Bonaduce

  2. Motzi Greps says:

    Wow. I still wanna bang Nigella regardless of that flying nun outfit! Pauler had some BIG SOUTHERN hair! It’s almost Jersey-esque…

  3. Lauren says:

    Sandra drinks so much that she has gained immunity against the affects of alcohol, thus preventing her from aging at a natural pace.

  4. Gayle King says:

    Giada looks exactly the same! She was cute. Rachael Ray was cute in her own way too.

  5. Dabe says:

    Most of them, you can look at the face and tell who it is. Sandra Lee looks completely different. Did she have massive plastic surgery or something?

    Guy Fieri: once a dork, always a dork. Look at his squinty beady eyes. Grandma told me to never trust anyone with beady eyes.

  6. Greggda says:

    The middle picture of Mario looks like the Flounder character in the movie ‘Animal House’. Booby looks like someone who got his ass kicked every single day in high school.

  7. Jenna says:

    Love this post!!! Anthony Bourdain looks like part of the Addams Family.

  8. DS says:

    It’s amazing to see the evolution of these stars, who for the most part have been augmented in some way shape or form. Does anyone have their original nose or teeth anymore?

  9. Syd says:

    Flay always has, and still does look like a school yard bully. I have such an urge to sucker punch him.

    LOL at the photo you chose of Giada. Cleavage much?

    Poor Duff really never stood a chance, did he?

  10. Chris says:

    I’m trying to decide who probably got beat up more as a child… Bobby Flay, or Sandra Lee.

  11. Hilbil says:

    Even as a kid, Guy looked like he had something to prove.

    Duff looks like a ferret curled up & went to sleep on his head.

    Giada was cute!

  12. Jaded says:

    RayRay looks like Jon Bon Jovi. Giaggly still has that morehead thing going on, but a completely different nose.

  13. BorgQueen says:

    Bobby Flay looks like… what was the kid from A Christmas Story, Scott Farkas? The yellow-teeth red-head kid that Ralphie ends up beating the shit out of.

    Aunt Drunky definitely has a different nose.

  14. Sarah says:

    What the fuck is that thing on top of Goldman’s head circa 1992?

  15. CherryRose says:

    The upper right photo of Nigella reminds me of the brown/white dotted dress with wide-brimmed hat that Julia Roberts wore in the racetrack scene in “Pretty Woman”.

    • boke1 says:

      Nigella is a total floozy. I can’t watch her. She made me gag on Top Chef with that whole breakfast in bed fiasco.

      • Jon McKenzie says:

        And your point is…… what, boke? How come nobody makes anything about Baldy from Top Chef’s taste guzzling Diet Coke, or Padma Prettytits doing that Carl’s Jr. gastroporn burger commercial? Floozy, indeed!

      • boke1 says:

        Duly noted. Moving forward I’ll stick to ranking on the FN folks in the proper context.

  16. Jill (not Jillian) says:

    Sandy definitely had her shnozz fixed. I think Giada looks the same; obviously she had braces but I don’t think she’s had work done. I wonder how often Guy has to bleach his hair in order to keep the roots from showing. Surprised it hasn’t all fallen out…..

  17. michmom05 says:

    Wow! Thanks so much for posting these! I love the one of Pauler in her 1970′s bar fly stage–she could have used that hair to clean floors, also loved Tony Bourdain…um, except…well, wasn’t he a member of the Manson family? And also, I’m not sure, but I think I went to high school with Sandra Lee, or at least a half a dozen blonds with that same hairstyle.

  18. michmom05 says:

    Who agrees with me that if Bobby Flay wasn’t filthy rich and successful he would have one butt ugly wife?

  19. michmom05 says:

    Wait! You mean…Guy Ferry actually ISN’T a natural blonde???? But it looks SO REAL!!!

  20. BOO! says:

    Giada in her youngin’ pic reminds me of Joan Crawfords daughter in ‘Mommy Dearest’

  21. Julie says:

    Tony Bourdain is definately one of the ugly ones. YUK…he is still creepy!! That first picture looks like a zombie walking out of a graveyard…gross!

  22. Julie says:

    I didn’t realize that Bobby Flay was a ginger kid! He’s kinda homely too. Mario looks like a fat Carrot Top. Giada is cute, but the current pic is mammory overload! Cover those things woman!

    • Merrin says:

      I realize this is a really old comment but you must be pretty damn ugly yourself to feel you must make the comments you do. I bet your picture would make every single one of us vomit.

  23. Oveta says:

    Giada is not even remotely cute as a kid or now (not including her body). I dont understand why people think that nose and chin that most Italians have is attractive.

    • michmom05 says:

      I think Giada’s nose and chin are, in fact, her worst features. She has beautiful eyes, but the nose and enormous, toothy smile sort of takes away from them, not to mention the plunging necklines. Not speaking for myself as a straight woman, but seriously, what man is even looking at Giada’s eyes?

      • Julie says:

        Ya, her nose has issues and that huge mouth!! I guess I’ve never noticed anything with her chin…now I will have to look. I cannot stand the way she is always saying “I know, right?” all the fricking time and “I love” this and that. When you watch her show…she LOVES everything. And when she says “sugar” it sounds more like shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhugar, annoying!

    • Liz says:

      Ouch… Italian noses and chins tend to be something Italians are proud of… they set us apart from others.

    • boke1 says:

      I agree about Giada’s pronumciatio of shhhhhhhhhugar and shhhhhhhhrimp and mushhhhhhhhrooms. Very contrived and done purposefully. I probably can’t spell it correctly but I also hate the way she pronounces cccccccrispy, ccccccccrunchy and ccccccreamy.

  24. Gina says:

    This is great, Thanks!

  25. Lena says:

    …and Anthony Bourdain still looks like a woman.

    • Julie says:

      A very ugly woman…in that first pic, he actually looks like a dancer from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video – one of the zombies.

  26. Ferd Berfle says:

    I’m pretty sure Mario has that beard just so he isn’t mistaken for an old woman.

    • boke1 says:

      Mario is one of those guys who operates under the delusion that a beard will disguise the fact that he has no discernable chin. If anything it just emphasises it. He looks better older than younger.

  27. Deven says:

    My Tony Bourdain crush just went threw the roof now that I know he used to have long hair.


    Bourdain looked like a stoner back then

  29. Cibaria Oils says:

    This was very cool. Love the Bourdain pics! Thanks for sharing!

  30. Glad to see you found Duff Goldman’s mug shot.

    Great compilation!

  31. Karma says:

    Looks like Sandra’s carved off half of her nose.. lots o plastic surgery for that chick.

  32. spider says:

    OH Giada.

  33. DippyDog says:

    Young Bobby seems to be some sort of bizarre crossbreed between Ron Weasley and the bully from A Christmas Story – I forget his name.

  34. DippyDog says:

    Also, is it just me or did Guy maybe have a little nose job himself? I don’t have a good eye for those things myself, but it looks like he maybe had a little work done.

  35. Andrew says:

    The second photo of Batali looks like a screen shot of a character in Harry Potter!

  36. MikeP says:

    man Giadia has a nice rack

  37. Jimbo says:

    bourdain knows about the photos since i first saw them in Michael Ruhlman, Bourdain’s friend, foodie and willing victim in some of his episodes, posted those pics and Bourdain responded with the possiblity of a picture of Ruhlman attending a KAJAGOOGOO concert. No word yet on when that will be published. But all I can say is that Bourdain looks like he could beat Duff and Guy Fieri to a pulp.

  38. Jimbo says:

    Watch for Super Chef Special on Sunday with Mario and Emeril. A few weeks ago, photos were posted of the two have lost some weight recently so it looks like Alton Brown sending the message. Those photos I believe were in Star magazine. If you see those photos, post them for us.

  39. Trudy says:

    Wow, hello, Rachael Ray’s nose job.

  40. Marty says:

    Bobby looks like a kid you would see behind the counter at McDonald’s, and Duff looked like a Latin King even back in the day.

  41. [...] Photos of Famous Chefs When They Were Young (FOOD NETWORK HUMOR) [...]

  42. [...] Photos of Food Network stars when they were younger. I love the FN, but a couple comments have to be made about this one: [...]

  43. Nancy says:

    They really are a very attractive bunch! Especially the women. They are all just beautiful, yesterday and today.

  44. autumn says:

    holy shiatsu! Giada’s forehead! It’s almost as ginormous as her boobs!

    • donna esposito says:

      Um I’d really like to see a picture of you. Sure youre much
      cuter than Giadda.

      • Tyler Peel says:

        On Autumn’s point – She isn’t wrong, it’s simply her opinion! Secondly, everyone here is entitled to their own opinion and we ALL respect each other’s opinion whether we agree with it or not! Thirdly, since you don’t have a picture posted do you morally get to comment on any other member’s picture? Finally… lern 2 spel u moron – it’s Giada (not Giadda)

        Feel free to argue anyone’s point-of-view but please don’t attack anyone for their right to an opinion. Thanks, Tyler

  45. donna esposito says:

    Not for nothing people, but where do you all get off slagging folks who are famous because they Know How to Cook,
    At least theyre not useless Movie Stars. Wouldn’t want to see what
    you all cook for breakfast…

    • Tyler Peel says:

      True… Movie stars have some talent unlike most of the FN ‘celebrity’ hosts! Giada isn’t famous for her clevage shots nor did she get her job because her grandfather was a famous Italian movie director… it’s because of her multi-talented use of NUH-TELL-AH. *rolls his eyes*

    • TJay says:

      And seriously, what in the hell are you doing on a HUMOUR site that is dedicated to this type of endeavor. If you seriously love these people, make your own freakin’ site up to bow before their paltry attributes. In other words, Ms Esposito, find another forum.

  46. Alex says:

    Baby Giada reminds me of B’elanna Torres.

  47. [...] would’ve thought these would be the mug shots of future culinary stars? Take a look here to see 10 chefs at their (not so) finest. Sisters Jillian and Michelle Madison painstakingly [...]

  48. boke1 says:

    I know this post is aging but I forgot to suggest that Rachael get NON-reflective nipple covers for her next red carpet event. Just sayin’….

  49. TheOtherErin says:

    Nigella looks like a messy-eyebrowed Winona Ryder in that ’92 pic. Adorable. I think she got better looking!!

  50. [...] • Food Network Humour has published a series of photos of famous cooking show hosts in their salad days. Our favourites are Paula Deen and her enormous bouffant hair, Nigella Lawson attempting Audrey Hepburn, and Anthony Bourdain’s long hippie hair. [Food Network Humor] [...]

  51. ursulamajor says:

    Looks like Duff was already sporting a combover in ’92! No wonder he’s now gone the way of the cueball.

  52. [...] Back When All They Had Was an Easy Bake Oven and a Dream… check out some of your favorite food network chefs when they were young. [...]

  53. Emily says:

    The color picture of RR when she was young looks a tad bit (i.e. a whole hell of a lot) like the crack whores that you see get arrested and then splashed all over the drug resistance programs. I can hear the teacher now.

    “Kids, I want to show you something. It won’t be pretty, but you need to see what drugs do to you.”
    (teacher holds up pic of young RR and the kids scream)
    “I know this is scary, but this woman is why you don’t do drugs. Boys, this is specifically for you. Imagine if you were high and took this home. Is that what you really want? Do you know what would happen? Your peen would fall off.”

    That will scare anyone from doing drugs.

  54. Billyboy says:

    That younger photo of Duff makes him look like the principal in Motley Crue’s “Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room” video (Michael Berryman from “The Hills Have Eyes”).

    “Howdy y’all” looks like she’s ’bout ready to sell me some Amway in that old pic!

    Looking at that current picture of Giada is a testament to my sheer will power. The fact that I can remember any of her recipes when that dreamy cleavage is staring me right in the eyes is truly a gift!

  55. Andrea says:

    Guy was Pretty cute when he was little, but dear God what went wrong in the last pic. Anthony freaking scary in those pics he looks human now. Sandra Lee, Eh’ Mario no comment. Duff what the hell crawled up his head and died? Paula very pretty in the first pic, lion king hair in the other. Bobby super ugly! growing up was the best thing he ever did, not that it helped much but you know, Nigella vision of beauty how anyone can talk her down I’ll never know, she was one of the best thing’s besides Alton that were on the FN. Giada cute when she was little now? please invest in FULL cover apparel. Rachael Ray? I really don’t know what to say except homely,

  56. Skat says:

    Hmmm…I don’t think photography was around when Ina was a kid. Perhaps her parents had an early sketch from Picasso done when he was in the Hamptons?…

  57. Nicole says:

    Tony Bourdain = Robert Plant with darker hair.

  58. OIi says:

    Ugh bobby’s pictures scarred me i’m now wrecked for life

  59. [...] Network Humor has some cute photos of your favourite Food Network chefs when they were [...]

  60. MayorEd says:

    I can not believe all the negative remarks especially about the women chefs. There must be.quite a few ugly and vindictive insecure hags out there.reading this article. And what is this crap about Sandra Lee having a drinking problem? You base your faulty opinions on just what evidense? You know, your character assasinations, especially the baseless alcohol junk is worse than what Deen said. And there is no excuse for those.words.comong out of a 39 year old, especially one who wants to be known as a.lady.

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