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Celebrity Chef

Tom Aikens
Although he's been cooking since the age of 16, it was when Tom Aikens launched his own eponymous restaurant in London in April 2003 that he sealed his reputation as one of the most exciting young chefs in the UK.

Born in 1970 in Norwich, Tom�s early exposure to food and wine came from his father and grandfather, both of whom were wine merchants, and the family regularly travelled to France sampling fine regional cuisine.

Tom and his identical twin brother, Rob, both studied at Norwich City College Hotel School. Tom completed the Advanced Catering Diploma in 1989, securing his first job as a commis chef at the Mirabelle restaurant in Eastbourne. He subsequently worked at various Michelin-starred restaurants in London, including Pied � Terre, before spending a year gaining more Michelin experience at three star level in France.

Returning to London in 1996, he re-joined Pied � Terre as head chef and co-proprietor, becoming the youngest head chef to earn a second Michelin star at the age of 26. Tom left the restaurant after a dispute and spent the following year as head chef at La Tante Claire.

The following two years were spent working in the private sector, for both Lord Lloyd Webber and the Bamford family, with whom he developed a range of organic products.

He opened Tom Aikens restaurant in 2003 which has since won a Michelin star. His second, more informal restaurant, Tom's Kitchen, was launched in October 2006, along with his first cookbook. Tom's Place, a fish and chip shop specialising in sustainable fish, opened in in winter 2008.

Rachel Allen
Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and her early cooking experiences were with her sister, both pretending to be Delia Smith and talking to the wall as they made biscuits. Encouraged by her family, Rachel went to the Ballymaloe Cookery School at the age of 18 and realised that she wanted to make food her career.

After graduating from the school she cooked at the Ballymaloe House Hotel, eventually returning first to test recipes and then to teach at the school. She also spent some time working as a caterer in Vancouver.

Rachel has had three BBC TV series, Rachel�s Favourite Food, Rachel�s Favourite Food for Friends and Rachel�s Favourite Food at Home, all accompanied by books. She also appears regularly on Saturday Kitchen. Rachel's latest series, Rachel's Favourite Food for Living, is currently airing on BBC One.

Rachel has written for many Irish publications, including the lifestyle magazine Image, and now has a weekly column in the Sunday Tribune magazine. She has also contributed to BBC Good Food magazine and AWT At Home magazine.

Rachel lives near the cookery school with her two young sons and her husband, another cook, who runs three restaurants in Cork.

Anjum Anand
Anjum Anand grew up in London but has also lived and studied in Geneva, Paris and Madrid. After gaining a European business degree she decided to develop her interest in Indian cookery and, in particular, to make her native food fresher, lighter and simpler to cook.

Anjum has worked across the world in innovative restaurants such as Caf� Spice in New York, the Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles, and the Park Royal Hotel's Indian restaurant in New Delhi, but her real love is delicious and stylish food that is simple enough to cook at home. She challenges fiercely the assertion that Indian food is heavy and difficult to cook and is determined to make 'cooking an Indian' as common as rustling up a stir-fry.

She was one of the first writers to create and write Indian recipes catering for the health-conscious cook and her first book, Indian Every Day: Light, Healthy Indian Food, was published in 2003 and has sold more than 25,000 copies.

Anjum has family homes in Delhi and Calcutta and loves the regional and cultural traditions of Indian food with the passion of a real insider. Anjum was a regular guest on UKTV Food's Great Food Live from 2004 to 2007.

Anjum's six-part primetime BBC Two television series on Indian cookery, Indian Food Made Easy, aired in summer 2007. A book accompanied the series.

Ed Baines
Ed Baines is the chef and co-owner of Randall & Aubin champagne and oyster bar in London's Soho. The tall, dark and handsome restaurateur is fast becoming one of the hottest chefs in town. His first TV series Lunch With Ed Baines, which aired on Carlton Food Network, featured him cooking for, and then lunching with, his famous friends at Randall & Aubin. On the show he cooked for a string of glamorous women, including Darcey Bussell, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, Mariella Frostrup and Meg Mathews.

In 1999 he completed the six-part series Ed Baines Entertains, filmed at Randall & Aubin, broadcast on ITV. He recorded two further series which were broadcast during 2000 and 2001. He has also appeared as one of the chefs for the BBC daytime lifestyle show Housecall.

Ed Baines fell into catering. After a two-year apprenticeship with Anton Mosimann at The Dorchester in London, he spent a few years cooking on one an exclusive yacht and at hotels in Juan-les-Pins in France and Queensland in Australia, then back home at Bibendum and the River Caf�, both in London.

At this point he was 'headhunted' and became the official Armani chef. He entered a happy time of dressing entirely in Armani and "having a few girlfriends who knew I could get them a discount". He also dabbled in modelling. At the age of 25, Ed was contracted by restaurateur Mogens Tholstrup to open the very successful Daphne�s in South Kensington, where he remained as head chef for three years.

He began to yearn for his own restaurant. In 1996 he opened Randall & Aubin as chef-patron with his friend James Poulton, following this with the Ifield in Chelsea. He also opened another restaurant bearing the Randall & Aubin name in Fulham Road. In November 2002 Ed and James opened the fourth in the chain, The Belsize, a pub/dining room on the site of the old Belsize Tavern.

Ed filmed Cupid's Dinners for broadcast on UKTV Food and is one of the resident chefs on Great Food Live. He has regularly appeared on programmes for Granada Livetime, Central Television and Carlton Food Network. Most recently he had his own series, Chefs at Sea, also for UKTV Food.

His first book, Entertain, was published by Kyle Cathie in 2001 and he has been profiled by publications such as The Sunday Times, Evening Standard and Time Out.

Sat Bains
Sat Bains and his wife run Nottingham�s Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms, which in 2003 was awarded the city�s first ever Michelin star.

Sat, who comes from a Punjabi family, was born in Derby and moved to Nottingham when he was 21. He now admits he went to catering college to meet girls, but he found he loved cooking so much he kept doing it.

After passing his City and Guilds qualification, Sat got his big break when he became part of the team helping to open the first of Raymond Blanc�s brasseries, Le Petit Blanc in Oxford in 1996. A spell at L�Escargot followed shortly afterwards, before he returned to Nottingham to take the head chef position at the Martins Arms in Colston Basset.

After working with the restaurant of The Ashbourne Gallery in Derbyshire, Sat won the Roux Scholarship in 1999, which gave him the chance to work at the three Michelin-starred Restaurant Le Jardin des Sens in the south of France. On his return he secured the position of head chef at the Hotel des Clos in Nottingham, which was relaunched and renamed Restaurant Sat Bains at Hotel des Clos in November 2002.

Sat appeared in the second series of Great British Menu in spring 2007 and won the chance to cook the starter at the ambassador's banquet.

Mary Berry
Mary Berry is one of the best known and respected cookery writers and broadcasters in the UK.

She started her career as cookery editor at Housewife magazine and later moved to Ideal Home magazine.

Mary has presented seven TV series for Thames TV and more recently for BBC One with Mary Berry's Ultimate Cakes and Mary Berry at Home. The book of the Ultimate Cakes series sold 350,000 copies. She has also appeared as a guest on the former Carlton Food Network and for many years was a contributor to BBC radio.

She has written more than 40 cookery books, including The Aga Book, which is given away with every new Aga sold. The Mail On Sunday's You magazine said: "Mary Berry is to Aga what Pavarotti is to opera."

She describes her style of cooking as 'family' - practical, healthy recipes using a little less animal fat and incorporating lots of fresh ingredients.

Galton Blackiston
In 1979, Galton Blackiston set up a stall at Rye market selling his own range of homemade cakes, biscuits and preserves. The range became known as 'Galton�s Goodies� and such was its success during that year that Galton abandoned plans to be a professional cricketer, deciding instead on a career as a chef.

Galton began working in the Lake District at the renowned Miller Howe hotel under the eye of flamboyant TV chef John Tovey and gradually worked his way up to the position of head chef. Work experience in New York, Canada, South Africa and London followed.

It was while working at Miller Howe that he met his future wife, Tracy. Tracy and Galton were married in 1987 and in 1991 they restored an 18th century, brick-and-flint manor house on the edge of the Morston Marshes in Norfolk.

Morston Hall is now a Michelin-starred hotel and restaurant and one of Britain�s leading country hotels. Galton has also gone on to become 2001 UK Craft Guild of Chefs Chef of the Year and was East Anglian Chef of the Year 2002 and 2003.

Galton has been sharing his passion for Norfolk produce and the skills of Morston Hall�s kitchen, in twice-monthly series of cookery demonstrations since 1992. He has also completed 12 three-minute segments on Anglia Television, promoting seasonal Norfolk produce.

Galton will always tell people that there's "no finer area" than Norfolk. "I believe that real cooking involves using the highest quality locally sourced seasonal ingredients and cooking it as simply as possible. It's simple things done well rather than complicated things done badly that really interests me."

Galton has written two books - Cooking at Morston Hall and A Return to Real Cooking. He was a finalist in the 2006 series of Great British Menu, representing the Midlands and East, and he also appeared in the second series in spring 2007. He appeared in the BBC Two series Food Poker in autumn 2007.

Raymond Blanc
You won't find many people willing to argue with Raymond Blanc's reputation as one of the world's top chefs.

The chef and owner of Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons is famous for being a restaurateur, hotelier and businessman.

He arrived in the UK from France in 1972 and, since then, he has been credited with not just witnessing a change in the nation's eating habits, but also with actually fostering it and putting the emphasis on flavour.

"I just want to show the beauty of the flavour and texture... even when I peel a carrot, I think how to produce the flavour better," he says. His recipes reveal this emphasis and provide an imaginative and original twist on many French classics.

Raymond, the son of a clockmaker, grew up in Besancon near Dijon. Before he decided to become a chef, at the age of 17 he tried to impress his mother by making a cr�pe suzette. Unfortunately, he made the pancakes in a glass dish instead of a frying pan and the result was exploded caramel-covered glass. So, for a while, his desire to cook faded.

After trying different jobs, including factory worker and nurse, he finally discovered that he had a genuine interest in cooking. Raymond explains that when he was 21, he was looking through a restaurant window and saw a chef flamb� a sea bass. And that was the beginning. He approached the restaurant owner who gave him a job washing dishes.

While he taught himself about food, he progressed to waiter. He decided the chef's cooking was bad so he told him and ended up having a copper pan thrown at him, plus a broken nose and jaw.

While in hospital, he heard of a job in England at the Rose Revived in Newbridge, Oxford, and he jumped at the chance. After a year, he was promoted to chef. Over the following years, he worked all hours to save for his own restaurant. At the age of 28, his dream was realised with the opening of Les Quat' Saisons in Oxford.

The restaurant was soon granted Michelin stars and a host of other distinctions. Now called Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, and relocated to a sumptuous small country house in Great Milton, the restaurant is thriving and has a cookery school alongside it.

The first series of Raymond's BBC TV series, The Restaurant, in which nine couples competed to win the chance to run a restaurant backed by Blanc, aired in autumn 2007. The second series is currently in production.

Heston Blumenthal
At the age of 16, Heston Blumenthal travelled to France with his family for the first time and became fascinated with the world of food. On his return to the UK, he tried to gain a position in the kitchens of London's hotels and restaurants, but this proved too daunting a task. Unabashed, Heston spent the next decade learning the basics of French cuisine from books and worked in various jobs to fund his research trips to France.

One of the books that most influenced him was On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee, which questioned the fundamental rules of the kitchen and explored the science of cooking.

Heston has been described as a 'culinary alchemist' for his innovative style of cuisine. His work researches the molecular compounds of dishes to enable a greater understanding of taste and flavour. This approach to cooking has earned him many awards as well as recognition from the scientific community, including an Honorary Royal Society of Chemistry Fellowship in July 2006.

Heston Blumenthal is chef-patron of The Fat Duck in Bray, which has been awarded three Michelin stars. He also owns the Hinds Head Hotel, a village public house, also in Bray.

Heston's TV series, In Search of Perfection, in which he applies his trademark scientific, investigative approach to classic dishes, aired in autumn 2006. The second series aired on BBC Two in autumn 2007.

Martin Blunos
Born and brought up in Bath, Martin was influenced by his mother's wholesome cooking from her homeland of Latvia, as well as by his Russian relatives.

His first restaurant was named Restaurant Lettonie (French for Latvia), on the edge of Bristol, and nine years later, in 1997, he opened a larger version of Lettonie in Bath. The restaurants, both of which have now closed, were each awarded two Michelin stars.

Martin learned his craft through college training in Cheltenham. He did a spell at the Strand Palace Hotel in London, a season in Switzerland and went on many a cruise on a Greek tycoon's yacht before settling down in a job at Lampwick's on London's Battersea Road.

Martin now lives in Bath with his wife, Sian, a trained chef herself, their two sons, Leon and Max, and daughter Coco. He now concentrates on consultancy and television work, and he is currently writing a book on Eastern European cookery.

Martin appears regularly on television and radio with slots as guest chef on UKTV's Great Food Live, Food Uncut and Saturday Kitchen. He has also appeared on BBC's MasterChef Goes Large. He was chosen to cook for the Queen during her jubilee year celebrations, which was documented in the BBC series All the Queen's Cooks. He appeared in the BBC Two series Food Poker in autumn 2007.

Mark Broadbent
Rochdale-born Mark has been executive head chef at the Conran Bluebird restaurant since 2004.

Influenced by his relatives' taste for fine dining, it didn't take Mark long to decide he wanted to be a chef. He got a part-time job as a pot-washer at a restaurant opposite his school called the Yew Tree and was promoted to one of the sections after a week.

Catering college was the next step and alongside his studies he worked in various restaurants in the Manchester area. His big break came when, at the age of 17, he got a commis chef job in Knightsbridge at the Rembrandt hotel. He then worked at the five-star Britannia Intercontinental, spending three years working under David Nichols. Before taking his current job, Mark was executive chef at Oliver Peyton's Isola.

Mark was a finalist in the second series of Great British Menu in spring 2007.

Ross Burden
Model-turned-presenter Ross Burden is one of the regular chefs on BBC Two's Ready Steady Cook.

Ross hails from New Zealand and is a self-taught cook. He has hosted and been a guest on programmes across the world.

Since first coming to prominence when he won MasterChef, Ross has been a regular on Ready Steady Cook for the past eight years, filmed a healthy-eating video with Joan Collins, and has made five series for Taste. He has published two cookery books.

As well as all his cookery, Ross is a patron of Against Breast Cancer and supports Children's Wish Organisation and the WWF.

John Burton Race
John Burton Race was born in Singapore in 1957, the son of a British diplomat, and he spent his formative years travelling the globe, experiencing a multitude of cuisines.

His family settled in Hampshire and his career in food began, including working as sous chef at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, Oxford, and head chef and manager of Le Petit Blanc, Oxford.

In 1986, John opened a restaurant of his own - L'Ortolan, in Berkshire, gaining and maintaining two Michelin stars from 1986 until 2000. From 2000 until 2003 he ran The Landmark restaurant, in London's Landmark Hotel, and reclaimed not one, but two Michelin stars within the first year of trading.

John made a name for himself with his TV series, 'French Leave', and he became one of our most celebrated chefs as a result of his award-winning restaurants in London and the Home Counties.

John and his family moved to Devon and bought the restaurant of his dreams, the Carved Angel in Dartmouth. It was relaunched as the New Angel in May 2004 and the TV series 'Coming Home' followed.

John, along with Angela Hartnett, attempted to reform some of Britain's worst kitchen offenders in the BBC Two series Kitchen Criminals.

He uses local produce for his dishes, including freshly landed shellfish and seafood, beef from Devon's Red Ruby cattle, and Devonshire lamb and game.

Aiden Byrne
Aiden worked as executive chef at Danesfield House Hotel and Spa in Buckinghamshire, and was chef Tom Aikens' prot�g�, working as his sous chef at Pied � Terre, then joining him at his eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant as head chef.

Aiden has worked at a number of other Michelin-starred restaurants in Ireland and across the UK, including three years as head chef at Adlards Restaurant in Norwich, where he earned his first Michelin star aged just 22, being the youngest chef ever to be awarded one.

At 34, Aiden is now the head chef of The Grill Room at The Dorchester, and is passionate about putting British food back on the map.

Aiden appeared in the BBC Two series Food Poker in autumn 2007.

Michael Caines
Michael Caines was born in Exeter in 1969 and adopted into a large and loving family. After attending Exeter Catering College and spending three years under his mentor, Raymond Blanc, he moved to France for two years, learning his profession under the guidance of the late Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu and Jo�l Robuchon in Paris.

Michael returned to Britain in 1994 to take up the position of head chef at Gidleigh Park, the prestigious two-Michelin-starred hotel on the edge of Dartmoor in Chagford, Devon. Tragically, only two months into the job, Michael suffered a terrible car accident in which he lost his right arm. Remarkably, he was back in the kitchen within two weeks.

In 2003, Michael went into partnership with hotelier, Andrew Brownsword, and purchased the Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter, which was to become their first ABode hotel: Abode Exeter. There are further ABode hotels in Manchester, Canterbury and Glasgow. Michael also ran the Michael Caines Restaurant in the Bristol Marriott Royal hotel for three years, stepping down in July 2006 to concentrate on his other hotel restaurants.

Michael is based at Gidleigh Park, and regularly cooks alongside his head chefs in Exeter, Bristol, Glasgow and elsewhere. He currently lives in Devon, with his partner Ruth and their son Joseph and daughter Hope.

Michael was awarded an MBE for services to the hospitality industry in the Queen�s birthday honours list of June 2006. He was a finalist in the 2006 series Great British Menu, representing the south-west, and appeared in the second series in spring 2007. Michael appeared in the second series of Countryfile Summer Diaries, based in the south-west of England, in August 2007.

Gennaro Contaldo
Born in Minori on the Amalfi Coast, Gennaro Contaldo is one of the most respected chefs in London and is widely known as the man who taught Jamie Oliver all he knows about Italian cooking.

Gennaro regularly appears as the Italian food expert on Richard and Judy and as a guest chef on Saturday Kitchen. He has also appeared on Jamie's Italy, Jamie's Kitchen, Oliver's Twist, Jimmy's Farm, Countryfile: Summer Diaries and Sky One's Greatest Dishes in the World.

In 1999 Gennaro opened his own restaurant Passione, on Charlotte Street in London, which was awarded Best Italian Restaurant 2005 in the Tio Pepe ITV Restaurant Awards. His first cookbook, also called Passione, was published in 2003 and won the Gourmand World Cookbook Best Italian Cuisine Book 2003, as well as being shortlisted for an Andr� Simon Award. Gennaro's second book, Gennaro's Italian Year, was published in 2006.

Gennaro appeared in the BBC Two series Food Poker in autumn 2007.

Richard Corrigan
Richard Corrigan was born in Dublin and brought up on a 25-acre farm in County Meath in the Irish midlands. Richard started his career at age 14 as a trainee chef at the Kirwin Hotel, in his home town of Athboy, Co. Meath.

At age 17 Richard moved to Holland and lived there for four years developing his skills as a chef de partie at various top hotels and restaurants.

In 1985 Richard moved to London to work with Michel Lorrain at Le Meridien Hotel in Piccadilly. After one year he became head chef for Stephen Bull in Blandford Street W1, before moving to Mulligan�s in Mayfair. He then worked at Bentley's Bar and Grill in Swallow Street W1 (he recently purchased the lease on this long-established restaurant) and then returned to work with Stephen Bull in Fulham Road, where he was awarded a Michelin star.

In 1996 he launched Searcy�s at the Barbican and then formed a business partnership with Searcy�s.

Having gained tremendous critical and public success in all these establishments, in autumn 1997 Richard opened Lindsay House in London�s Soho, where his Celtic roots are evident in a menu of earthy and robust tastes and textures. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 1999 and in 2000 Richard was awarded 'Outstanding London Chef' at the Carlton London Restaurant Awards.

In 2004 Richard and Searcy�s Ltd opened an exclusive restaurant and bar at the top of St Mary�s Axe, the striking Norman Foster-designed building known affectionately as The Gherkin. In 2006, Richard took over the reins at the well-established London fish restaurant, Bentley's.

Richard has appeared on television many times, including stints on Masterchef, Saturday Kitchen and Channel 4's Jamie's Kitchen. He has also been a presenter on Full on Food. Richard was a participant in the 2006 series of Great British Menu and his smoked salmon starter went through to the final of the competition. He won the chance to cook the fish course in the second series in spring 2007.

Richard has catered for numerous prestigious events, including preparing lunch at 10 Downing Street for Tony Blair and the King and Queen of Jordan, the Lord Mayor's dinner at the London Guildhall in 2002, and a dinner held by Tony Blair for Irish President Mary McAleese. Richard is one of the regular judges for Gordon Ramsay�s scholarship award and is also a consultant to British Airways on their Culinary Council, advising on in-flight menus. He does a great deal of charity work and sits on Ken Livingstone�s London Forum.

Richard is married with three children and lives in north London.


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Tags: Anjum Anand , Celeb Chef , Celebrity Chef , Ed Baines , Galton Blackiston , Heston Blumenthal , Mary Berry , Rachael Allen , Raymond Blanc , Sat Bains , Tom Aikens

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