A hugely popular and influential figure on the UK culinary circuit, John Torode is best known as the straight-talking co-presenter and judge of BBC's MasterChef, Celebrity MasterChef & Junior MasterChef and for his well-established restaurants Smiths of Smithfield and The Luxe.
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 Pont de La Tour before becoming Sous Chef at Quaglino's. In 1995, John became Head Chef for the launch of Mezzo in Soho; at the time one of Europe's largest restaurants.
He opened Smiths of Smithfield in 2000. The four-floor Grade-II listed restaurant, private dining room and café, located in the heart of Smithfield Market, continues to be a roaring success and a firm fixture on both the restaurant and bar scenes. John's second restaurant venture: another multi-storey operation, The Luxe opened at Spitalfields Market in September 2009.
John Torode became a familiar face to TV audiences back in 1996 as the resident chef on ITV1's This Morning with Richard and Judy; a role in which he continued for four years. Since 2004 John has paired up with Gregg Wallace, handing out feedback, criticism and support to hundreds of hopefuls aiming to be crowned MasterChef (or indeed Celebrity MasterChef) and is also the judge and co-host of CBBC's Junior MasterChef. In 2011 John & Gregg also teamed up to guest host Have I Got News For You for BBC1. They are the first ever duo to co-host the satirical current affairs quiz.
He has championed British beef in the Great British Food Revival, judged bake-offs for the Blue Peter appeal, appeared as an expert panellist on The Apprentice: You're Fired, is a frequent guest chef and host on Saturday Kitchen and a popular guest on shows such as The One Show, Loose Women, BBC Breakfast, Daybreak, Ask Rhod Gilbert and The Alan Titchmarsh Show as well as numerous radio programmes.
A well-known food writer, John Torode regularly contributes to Olive and BBC Good Food magazines, as well as Radio Times and Red magazine and has supplied numerous articles for the Guardian, Mail and Observer newspapers.