James Martin made a great impact with his television debut in November ‘96 and has rarely been off screen since. Currently he is presenter of BBC 1’s hugely successful Saturday Kitchen; regularly attracting viewers in excess of 3.5 million.
He was a regular face on Ready Steady Cook and in 2006 reached the semi-finals of Strictly Come Dancing. Recently he has had success with BBC1’s Operation Hospital Food, and many series on UKTV.
In 2008 James featured in prime time special The Real Italian Job where he lived his dream of racing in the exclusive Millie Miglia race in Italy in a vintage sports car. With over 3.5 million viewers it cemented James’ role as a car enthusiast and expert. James’ latest series include James Martin’s Food Map of Britain for BBC 2 in September 2013 bringing together his love of British food and flying, and Home Comforts in February 2014, also BBC 2.
James is the author of more than 10 best-selling and award winning cookbooks as well as his autobiography Driven (HarperCollins). Fast Cooking: Really Exciting Recipes in 20 Minutes is his latest title, published by Quadrille in September 2013.
James’ career began at Castle Howard where his father ran the catering and James often helped out. He was Student of the Year for three years running at Scarborough Technical College, and at the tender age of 22, he opened the Hotel and Bistro du Vin in Winchester as Head Chef, where he changed the menu every day. In 2011 he opened Leeds Kitchen in Clarence Dock, Leeds, it went on to win several awards and was the first UK casino restaurant to be placed in the Michelin Guide. In 2012 James opened his second restaurant inside the newly refurbished hotel, The Talbot, in Malton, North Yorkshire, where he spent all of his childhood. The restaurant was placed in the Michelin Guide in 2012. On 26th September 2013 James opened his new restaurant at Manchester235 casino.
In 2013 James The Craft Guild of Chefs Special Award for outstanding contribution to the industry. His series Food Map of Britain was awarded ‘Best Daytime and Early Peak’ programme by the Royal Television Society in March 2014.
A keen journalist, James has had a weekly column in the Mail on Sunday’s Live magazine on cars and motoring, as well as food columns for BBC Good Food Magazine and Sky magazine. He makes regular appearances around the world including the BBC Good Food show in the UK and at Good Food & Wine Show South Africa and Gourmet Abu Dhabi to name a few.
James’ licensing endeavours include a range of small electricals with Wahl Cookware, knives and kitchen textiles with Stellar/Horwoods and serverware with Denby. James has also launched his own range of bread and cake mixes and hampers. He was a consultant with P&O Cruises on the restaurants and menus for their Ocean Village cruise ships for many years and in February 2014 launched his ‘Cookery Club’ master classes on board the new ship Britannia. He is also currently consultant to Thomas Cook, creating in-flight meals for their airline.
James is passionate about celebrating British food, using the best ingredients possible and creating simple, delicious recipes accessible to all. When not busy pursuing his love of food, James spends his time driving his vintage cars and flying around the country with his newly acquired pilot’s license.