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.
He has presented many series for UKTV and BBC; 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 two-part special ‘James Martin’s Christmas with Friends’ on Food Network UK. In 2017 James launched a new series’ on ITV1 entitled ‘James Martin’s Saturday Morning’ and the show has now been commissioned for a sixth series as well as winning awards for Best Food Show. His latest prime time ITV series are ‘James Martin’s French Adventure’, ‘James Martin’s American Adventure’, he also featured in ‘Britain’s Favourite Dogs’ on ITV, and ‘Walks with my Dog’ for Channel 4 in 2018.
James is the author of 18 popular cook books, picking up many awards along the way, as well as his autobiography ‘Driven’ (Harper Collins). His latest books, published by Quadrille, are ‘James Martin’s French Adventure’ in 2017 and ‘James Martin’s American Adventure’ in February 2018, ‘James Martin Great British Adventure’ 2019, ‘James Martin’s Islands to Highlands’ 2020 and ‘Butter’ 2021.
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.
For three years James had his restaurant at The Talbot, in Malton, North Yorkshire, where he spent all of his childhood. The restaurant was placed in the Michelin Guide within a year of opening in 2012. James Martin Manchester opened in September 2013 and listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants 2015. James Martin Kitchen, opened in 2015 at Stansted Airport leading to further successful openings at Manchester Piccadilly station, and Glasgow Airport, with more to come from the JMK brand in the near future. In February 2017 James opened The Kitchen restaurant and cookery school at Chewton Glen in Hampshire.
James received The Craft Guild of Chefs Special Award 2013 for outstanding contribution to the industry, Fortnum & Mason Awards ‘TV Personality of the Year’ 2015, Good Housekeeping Food Awards 2016 ‘Favourite Celebrity Chef’, and was inducted into the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers in 2016. His series Food Map of Britain won ‘Best Daytime and Early Peak programme’ at Royal Television Society in 2014, and Saturday Kitchen was TV Choice Awards Best Food Programme 2015, and Good Housekeeping Food Awards 2016 ‘Favourite Cookery Show’ with James as presenter. He was voted ‘Best British Food Personality 2018’ by readers of Great British Food Magazine.
A keen journalist, James currently writes a weekly food column in Daily Mail Weekend and previously wrote for BBC Good Food, Sky magazine and weekly car reviews for Mail on Sunday’s Live magazine. In 2016 he toured the UK with his first show ‘Plates, Mates and Automobiles’ to great success, bringing a new tour ‘On the Road Again’ to audiences in 2018 and in 2022 ‘James Martin Live’.
In April 2016 James partnered with Asda, and in 2017 became ambassador for Chesneys. He was a consultant on the restaurants and menus for P&O Cruises Ocean Village cruise ships and in March 2015 launched cookery classes on board the new ship ‘Britannia’. He was a consultant for Thomas Cook Airlines, and executive chef for London North Eastern Railway’s First Class menu. James’ licensing endeavours include a range of small electricals with Wahl, cookware, knives and kitchen textiles with Horwood - Stellar, serverware with Denby, and sandwiches with Upper Crust. He has recently launched wines with Signature Wines in France and his own gin with Holland and Noble in the Netherlands.
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.