James Martin made a great impact with his television debut in November ‘96 and has rarely been off screen since. He was a regular chef on Ready Steady Cook (BBC2), and in 2006 reached the semi-finals of Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1). He went on to present BBC1’s hit series Saturday Kitchen for 10 years, regularly attracting viewers in excess of 3.5 million.
In 2008 James featured in The Real Italian Job (BBC2) where he lived his dream of racing in the exclusive Mille Miglia in Italy in a vintage sports car. With over 3.5 million viewers it cemented his reputation as a favourite among car experts and enthusiasts.
James has presented many series for UKTV and BBC, most recently Operation Hospital Food, Operation Meet the Street, The Box, and Home Comforts, as well as being a judge on Junior Bake Off. In 2016 he guest presented ITV’s This Morning and hosted James Martin’s Christmas with Friends for Food Network UK. Brand new series James Martin’s French Adventure is on ITV from January 2017.
James is the author of 18 highly popular cook books picking up many awards along the way, as well as his autobiography 'Driven' (Harper Collins). His latest title ‘James Martin’s French Adventure’ is published by Quadrille in February 2017.
James’ career began at Castle Howard where his father ran the catering and James he often helped out. He was Student of the Year 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 2012 James opened his 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 with James stepping down in January 2015 after 3 years. James Martin Manchester opened in September 2013 inside the Manchester235 Casino and was named in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants 2015. His latest venture, James Martin Kitchen, opened in 2015 at Stansted Airport leading to further successful openings at Manchester Piccadilly station, Glasgow Airport and Debenhams Lakeside, with more to come from the JMK brand in the near future. In February 2017 James will launch his cookery school at Chewton Glen.
In 2013 James was honoured with ‘The Craft Guild of Chefs Special Award’ for outstanding contribution to the industry. His series Food Map of Britain won ‘Best Daytime and Early Peak programme’ at Royal Television Society in March 2014. In 2015 he was named Fortnum & Mason Awards ‘TV Personality of the Year’, and won Best Food Programme for Saturday Kitchen at the TV Choice Awards. He won Good Housekeeping Food Awards 2016 ‘Favourite Celebrity Chef’, as well as ‘Favourite Cookery Show’ for Saturday Kitchen, and was inducted into the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers in 2016.
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 BBC Good Food show, Good Food & Wine Show South Africa, and Gourmet Abu Dhabi to name a few. In 2016 he toured the UK with his first show ‘Plates, Mates and Automobiles’ to great success.
In April 2016 James partnered with Asda supermarket, united by a shared passion to inspire people to enjoy great tasting, quality food no matter what their budget. His recipes and tips can be found at asda.com/jamesmartin
James’ licensing endeavours include a range of small electricals with Wahl Cookware, knives and kitchen textiles with Stellar/Horwoods, and serverware with Denby. He has also launched his own range of bread and cake mixes and hampers. He was a consultant to P&O Cruises on the restaurants and menus for their Ocean Village cruise ships and in March 2015 launched cookery classes on board the new ship ‘Britannia’. He is also consultant to Thomas Cook Airlines, and in 2016 became executive chef to Virgin Trains, creating menus for their East Coast services.
James is passionate about celebrating British food, using the best ingredients possible to create simple, delicious recipes accessible to all. When not pursuing his love of food, James follows his other interests of bikes, planes and automobiles.