A hugely popular and influential figure on the UK culinary circuit, John Torode is best known as the straight-talking co-host and judge of BBC 1’s MasterChef, Celebrity MasterChef and Junior MasterChef, as well as the presenter of A Cook Abroad: John Torode’s Argentina and The A to Z of TV Cooking for BBC2. He is also a regular guest chef on ITV’s This Morning.
John went back to his roots with a culinary road trip across Australia for his series John Torode’s Australia, which premiered in March 2014 and was the top performing show of the year on the Good Food channel. Following on from this success, he returned to the Good Food channel in January 2016 with the 10-part John Torode’s Malaysian Adventure. 2017 saw John deliver two new 10-part series for Good Food; the first tapping into the growing popularity of Korean food in John Torode's Korean Food Tour (July 2017), followed by John Torode’s Asia (October 2017), which achieved the highest viewing figures for the channel since March 2013.
John continued his 10-part cookery travel series with John Torode's Middle East, which aired on the Good Food channel in November 2018.
Australian by birth, John is credited as one of the main players in introducing Australasian food to the UK in the mid-1990s. In 1992, he joined the Conran Group, starting out at Le Pont de la Tour before becoming sous chef at Quaglino’s. In 1995, John became head chef for the launch of Mezzo in Soho — one of Europe’s largest restaurants at the time. In 2000, he opened Smiths of Smithfield. The four-floor Grade-II listed restaurant, private dining room and cafe became a firm fixture on both the restaurant and bar scenes during his tenure. John's second restaurant venture was another popular multi-storey operation, The Luxe, which opened at Spitalfields Market in 2009.
John is passionate about sourcing the best of British produce, particularly within the meat industry. While at Smiths, he built strong relationships with many small farmers and butchers throughout the UK. John's third cookbook, John Torode’s Beef, looked at the history and importance of great and rare breeds, butcher’s recommended cuts and true nose-to-tail eating. The follow-up book, John Torode’s Chicken and Other Birds, needs no explanation.
John's recent cookbooks include the bestselling My Kind Of Food: Recipes I Love to Cook at Home and John Torode's Sydney To Seoul: Recipes from my Travels in Australia and the Far East.