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    There probably isn’t a more famous celebrity chef than the homemaker extraordinaire and ex-jailbird Martha Stewart. You can say what you like about Martha, but throughout the years this tough-as-nails lady has proved that she does have the talent and ability to be one of America’s top business magnates.

    Born in New Jersey in 1941 as Martha Kostrya, she learned the fundamentals of her finely-honed homemaking skills, in cooking, sewing, preserving and gardening through her parents, hard-working Polish immigrants.

    Martha did very well at school, and was a straight-A student, earning a scholarship to Barnard University where she read Art and European History and later switched to Architectural History.

    She began her career as a model, and progressed to stockbroker in New York City. In 1973 she decided to give up the job to concentrate on raising her daughter as well as renovating her farmhouse in Connecticut, which she shared with her husband Andy Stewart (now divorced).

    She found success as a homemaker with a catering business run with a college friend, and this quickly led to other even more successful ventures such as a gourmet food shop, and later the television shows, best-selling cookbooks and magazines we all know.

    But aside from her brilliant enterpreneurism and relentless pursuit of perfection in homemaking, perhaps the rather intimidating Martha (ok, she’s admittedly scary!) is most famous for her highly publicised conviction for insider trading and her equally public return to television through her show “Martha” and short-lived stint as The Apprentice‘s big boss.

    One thing is for certain – Martha decidedly is here to stay.

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