Saturday morning chef James Martin, 50, has recalled how the course of his career was changed after people started hearing about a “young 21-year-old with a bandana” shaking up the food scene.
The ITV star, who is probably best know for presenting the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen from 2006 to 2016, spoke about the moment his life changed in an interview with Luxury London.
James started working in a kitchen at an incredibly young age, washing pots when he was just 11 years old.
One year later, he already had his first chef’s jacket and knives, and began working at Michelin-star restaurants when he was 14.
However, it wasn’t until he was 21 years old that the world of showbiz started beckoning to the talented young chef.
That year, he became the head chef at the Hotel and Bistro du Vin in Winchester, which drew in crowds from London and caught the attention of other well-respected chefs across the UK.
He recalled: “The minute we opened the door, it almost became the place to go.
“We were fully booked and you couldn’t get a table for months. I was only a kid.
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“It was everything I wanted it to be at the time but it was madness,” he continued.
“Word got around that I was a young 21-year-old with a bandana on and I was making a bit of a storm in Winchester.”
At this point, James remembered the fateful day that his life changed forever when he was introduced to the world of television.
“I got a call for a TV interview but didn’t think much of it,” he said. “I was living above a Chinese restaurant paying £60 a week rent, and then my life changed very, very quickly.”
From there, James began his television career in 1996, getting his big break with Saturday Kitchen 10 years later.
Since then, James has enjoyed a successful 30 years in the spotlight and is now one of the most famous chefs in the country, opening up restaurants across the UK and releasing over 20 cookbooks.
Read the full Luxury London interview with James here.
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