Dishwashers Then—Celebrities Now

Dishwashers come from all walks of life, and many of them have ended up leaving the dish pit for the spotlight. We understand how difficult working as a dishwasher can be, but we also believe that working as a dishwasher can help you work toward success. Here are a few dishwasher veterans that have hit it big after their dishwashing gig.

 

Entertainment Industry 

Aziz Ansari
Worked as a dishwasher at a Japanese hibachi restaurant before becoming a famed actor/comedian.

Eminem

Eminem
Worked as a cook and dishwasher at Gilbert’s Lounge in Detroit, Michigan. He got fired from Gilbert’s Lodge five days before his daughter’s birthday, which falls on Christmas, and with only $40, wrote “Rock Bottom” the same night. He went on to sell 172 million albums worldwide.

 

Business

Michael Dell

Michael Dell
Michael Dell was just 12 years old when he got his first job as a dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant. He was soon promoted to the position of water boy and then assistant maître d’ before starting becoming the founder and CEO of Dell.

 

Restaurant Industry

Thomas Keller in a kitchen

Thomas Keller
The famous chef began his career at a restaurant in Laurel, Maryland called the Bay & Surf, which was run by his mother. “The dishwashing station was next to where they cooked crabs, so sometimes I got to help the chefs,” Keller recalls.

Keller and his landmark Napa Valley restaurant, The French Laundry in Yountville, California, have won multiple awards from the James Beard Foundation, notably the Best California Chef in 1996, and the Best Chef in America in 1997. The restaurant is a perennial winner in the annual Restaurant Magazine list of the Top 50 Restaurants of the World

Chef Michael Chiarello

Michael Chiarello
Another famous chef who used dishwashing early in his life. Chiarello grew up in a small farm town in California’s Central Valley, and he walked right into a restaurant at the age of 14 and asked for a job.

 

Chef Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain
Anthony recalls his days as a dishwasher and he humbly remarks that “dishwashing saved my life.”

 

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