From a passion for cycling to who taught him to cook as a child - here is all you need to know about celebrity chef John Torode...
Australian chef John Torode has become a household name thanks to the culinary delights he whips up on national television.
Not only has he won the heart of the nation with his kitchen skills, he is also known for presenting MasterChef and Celebrity MasterChef with co-host Gregg Wallace since they were relaunched back in 2005.
His other TV credits include Saturday Kitchen, John and Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen, and This Morning.
Most fans of the chef will know that:
- He’s toured the world making TV cooking shows.
- John moved from Australia to the UK in 1991.
- He is often a guest on shows like The One Show, Loose Women and The Graham Norton Show.
John Torode: little known facts about the celebrity chef…
1. He blagged his way onto This Morning
John was working as a chef when he first landed his role on This Morning – the job that made him a household name. He told us: “If you want to do anything in life, you’ve got to be bold enough to stand out. That’s how my TV career began. I was a young chef working at Mezzo in London when a TV crew came in to do some filming. As they left I said to the producer, ‘If you need anyone again for TV, I’m up for it!’ Next thing I know, I’m on This Morning.”
2. He never socialises with co-host Gregg Wallace
John is convinced the reason his friendship with co-host Gregg works so well is because they don’t see one another outside of work. He told us: “What’s great about Gregg and I is that we lead completely separate lives. We’ve never been to each other’s house, we dress differently, drive different cars – and as such we’ve kept our own opinions. We disagree not because it’s good telly, but because we genuinely have different likes and dislikes. Spend too much time together and you lose your personality.”
3. He’s a newlywed
John met his wife, actress Lisa Faulkner, when she won Celebrity MasterChef in 2010. The couple married in 2019 and John has admitted that Lisa is the one who calmed him down. John told Radio Times: “Lisa is very easy to live with and work with, so that means you do soften a little.” The couple now present John and Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen together.
4. John Torode uses cooking to relax
The celebrity chef told Radio Times: “Food distracts you, you can’t let your mind wander when you’re chopping because you’ll take your finger off. So it clears your head, it is a bit like yoga, except with yoga you are losing weight and with cooking you may gain it!”
5. His grandmother taught him to cook
Sadly John was only four years old when his mother died, so he went to live with his grandmother, who taught him to cook. John credits his grandmother for giving him a taste for good food and his first job as a chef was at Le Coq Au Vin restaurant in Aspendale, Melbourne.
6. He is a keen cyclist
John got his first bike when he was nine, and hasn’t looked back since. When he arrived in the UK in the 90s, he could commute from South Kensington to Camden on his bike and told Cycling Weekly that it is his love for cycling that stops him putting on weight… “I eat for a living, so cycling keeps me trim. I like to be outside and love the challenge and freedom of cycling.”
7. He has owned his own restaurants
The TV chef has had several restaurants over the years in London, the most famous being Smiths of Smithfield, Luxe and Cafeteria in Notting Hill. John has since sold his shares and moved on from the restaurants, but Luxe and Smiths are still run under his leadership. Meanwhile John is now focusing on TV work and writing his cookbooks.
John Torode’s Fact File
Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the celebrity chef….
How old is he?
John Torode’s age is 54. His date of birth is 23rd July 1965.
Is he in a relationship?
John Torode married Lisa Faulkner on 24th October 2019 in Oxfordshire.
Does he have kids?
John Torode has four children from previous relationship.
Where was he born?
John Torode was born in Melbourne, Australia.
How tall is he?
John Torode’s height is 5 foot 9.
Catch Celebrity MasterChef on BBC One and BBC iPlayer
We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.
Main pic: Getty