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Who is your favourite television chef?


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1) Gordon Ramsey

Ramsay's father was, at various times, a swimming pool manager, welder, shopkeeper, and his mother and sister were nurses.Ramsay has described his early life as "hopelessly itinerant", as his family moved constantly due to the aspirations and failures of his father. In 1976, they finally settled in Stratford-upon-Avon where he grew up with an allotment nearby. In past public interviews, Ramsay has declined to describe his father as an alcoholic; however, his autobiography, Humble Pie, describes his early life as being marked by abuse and neglect from this "hard-drinking womanizer". At the age of 16, Ramsay moved out of the family house into a flat in Banbury

gordon ramsey

2) James Martin

James first started to appear on television in 1996 with various programmes including "James Martin: Yorkshire's Finest" (set in various Yorkshire locations with an emphasis on Yorkshire cuisine) but came to wider public attention on the BBC 2 programme Ready Steady Cook. In 2005 Martin was partnered with Camilla Dallerup in Strictly Come Dancing, coming fourth. Martin co-presented BBC Food's "Stately Suppers" with Alistair Appleton, and then appeared on the Channel 4 programme Richard & Judy, where he would visit a member of the public in their own home who had been nominated to be cooked a 'comfort food' meal. He is now the presenter of the new version of the BBC 1 show Saturday Kitchen.

james martin

3) Jamie Oliver

Jamie was brought up in Clavering, Essex, England, where his parents ran a pub, "The Cricketers", and used to practice in the kitchen.He was educated at Newport Free Grammar School. He is dyslexic, and left school at 16 without any qualifications to attend Westminster Catering College. His first job was as a pastry chef at Antonio Carluccio's Neal Yard restaurant, where he first gained experience of Italian cuisine. Jamie then moved to The River Café, Fulham, as a sous chef, where he was noticed by the BBC in 1999 when his show The Naked Chef debuted and his cookbook became a number one best-seller in the UK.

jamie oliver
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4) Nigella Lawson

Her given name originally being thought up by her grandmother, Nigella Lawson was born to Nigel Lawson (Baron Lawson of Blaby), a Conservative MP, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Margaret Thatcher's cabinet, and the late Vanessa Salmon, a socialite and member of the formerly influential Jewish family who co-owned the Lyons Corner House empire. The family kept homes in Kensington and Chelsea, but Lawson's parents divorced in 1980. They both remarried; her father in 1980 to a House of Commons researcher, Therese Maclear (to whom he is still married), and her mother, in the early 80s, to philosopher, Sir A.J. Ayer (they remained married until the mother's death). With Lawson's father being a prominent politician, one of the things she found most frustrating was the many judgements and pre-conceptions made about her. There was a time when Lawson did not get on with her father, mostly during her parents' divorce, and she only got on with her mother when she reached adulthood. Being u

nigella lawson

5) Heston Blumenthal

Heston Blumenthal attended the John Hampden Grammar School, High Wycombe and Latymer Upper School, London. Apart from a week's work experience in Raymond Blanc's kitchen and a short time in Marco Pierre White's, he is self-taught. According to an interview with The Observer in 2004, he has been cooking "seriously" since the mid-1990s. Blumenthal has four books published: Family Food "A new approach to cooking" in 2004, Heston Blumenthal: In Search of Perfection in 2006, Heston Blumenthal: Further Adventures In Search of Perfection in 2007 (in which he attempts to find the best way of preparing classic dishes, including fish and chips and Black Forest gateau) and The Big Fat Duck Cook Book in 2008, edited by Bloomsbury. His traditional British cuisine is served at the Hinds Head Hotel near the Fat Duck.

heston blumenthal
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6) Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Fearnley-Whittingstall was born in Hampstead, London and brought up in Gloucestershire. He studied at St Peter's College, Oxford after attending Eton College, and began his career with conservation work in Africa. His mother is gardener and writer Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall. After returning from Africa he spent a brief period as a sous-chef at River Café. Fearnley-Whittingstall says "being messy" and "lacking discipline" made him unsuited to working in the River Café kitchen. He regards it as an event that helped shape his current career.

hugh fearnley

7) Raymond Blanc

Blanc opened the first of a chain of smaller restaurants, Le Petit Blanc restaurants in Oxford in June 1996. Blanc's stated aim with these was to bring the French philosophy of "good food being central to good living" to the United Kingdom. His desire was to create and serve food that can be enjoyed by everyone - "from the time conscious business person to those looking for a welcoming family restaurant". Raymond was a featured chef on Great Chefs television, appearing in Great Chefs of the World.

raymond blanc

8) Keith Floyd

Floyd was born at Folly Farm near Reading, Berkshire in 1943 to working-class parents Sydney and Winnifred Floyd. He was brought up in a council house in the village of Wiveliscombe in Somerset. His family made financial sacrifices to enable him to be educated privately at Wellington School, Somerset. Floyd became a cub reporter on the Bristol Evening Post and after watching the film Zulu decided to join the British Army, attaining the rank of Second Lieutenant in the Royal Tank Regiment, where he pestered the mess cook to produce gourmet dinners.

keith floyd

9) Ainsley Harriott

Trained at Westminster College of Catering, Ainsley obtained an apprenticeship at Verrey's restaurant in the West End and later worked as a commis (trainee) chef. The son of pianist Chester Harriott, whose cousin was free jazz alto saxophonist Joe Harriott, his talents also lay in comedy and singing as well as cooking and Harriott formed the Calypso Twins with schoolfriend Paul Boross, releasing a hit record in the early 1990s, "World Party". The Calypso Twins went on to be regular performers at The Comedy Store, London and Jongleurs They also performed in America and on TV and radio shows. Ainsley became head chef at Lord's Cricket Ground's Long Room. He was asked to present More Nosh, Less Dosh on BBC Radio 5.

ainsley harriot

10) Antony Worrall Thompson

After Antony left school he studied hotel management at Westminster College. Taking his first catering job in Essex, it is rumoured that his grandmother refused to write to him because she couldn't bring herself to write Essex on the envelope. In 1978, he moved to London and became sous-chef at Brinkley's Restaurant in the Fulham Road, becoming head chef one year later. The following year he took a sabbatical in France, eating and working his way around the local cuisine.

Antony Worrall Thompson

11) Delia Smith

Born in Woking, Surrey, Smith left school at 16 without a single O-level. Her first job was as a hairdresser, and she also worked as a shop assistant and in a travel agency before starting her career in cookery.When Delia was 16, her boyfriend often complimented her, saying how good her food was. This was the nudge forward that made Delia take that step into cookery. At 21, she started work in a tiny restaurant in Paddington called The Singing Chef. She started as a washer-upper, then moved on to waitressing, and then was allowed to help with the cooking. She started reading English cookery books in the Reading Room at the British Museum, trying out the recipes on a Harley Street family with whom she was living at the time

delia smith

12) Marco Pierre White

Marco Pierre White was the third of four boys born to Italian Maria-Rosa Gallina, who had come to Britain to learn English, and chef Frank White, who had struck up a conversation with Maria at the Griffin Hotel in Leeds while he was playing cards. After marrying in 1954, they lived in a council house in East Leeds, and had sons Graham (1955), Clive (1957) (also a chef) and Marco. Six years later, Maria gave birth to a fourth son, Craig Simon. Thirteen days afterwards, she collapsed and was taken back to St James's University Hospital, Leeds, where she died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 38.

marco pierre

13) Gary Rhodes

His first job was at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel. He was injured badly after being hit by a Transit van in Amsterdam leaving him with serious injuries. He then toured Europe in various jobs before becoming sous chef at the Reform Club, Pall Mall and then on to the Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge. Rhodes achieved the prestigious Head Chef position at the Castle Hotel, Taunton in Somerset. He retained the hotel's Michelin star, at just 26 years of age. In 1990 Rhodes returned to London with his family to become Head Chef at the Greenhouse Restaurant in Mayfair. The menu became known for reviving British classics, including faggots, fish cakes, braised oxtails and bread and butter pudding. He was awarded a Michelin star for the Greenhouse in January 1996.

gary rhodes
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