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.
Masterchef is the biggest TV food brand in the world, the third highest iPlayer request for 2020 and it regularly tops ratings charts. John is also 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, appearing both in studio as well as out and about on location with his cookery travel segment Torode On The Road.
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.
John is passionate about sourcing the best of British produce, particularly within the meat industry, where he has long been a champion of rare breeds. In his quest to source the very best produce whilst at Smiths, he built strong relationships with many small farmers & butchers throughout the UK and aimed to share his knowledge through his widely distributed "Fine Meat List".
John's third cookbook, John Torode's ‘Beef’ and other bovine matters, not only gives us every which way to cook with beef but also gives the history and importance of great and rare breeds, butcher's recommended cuts and true head to tail eating. The follow-up book, John Torode's Chicken and Other Birds needs no explanation!
John's TV programmes regularly attract a huge audience. Indeed MasterChef's popularity has placed John & Gregg on the front cover of several magazines including the Radio Times, spawned several cookbooks to date (including MasterChef Cookbook, MasterChef At Home, MasterChef Kitchen Bible, MasterChef EveryDay & MasterChef Cookery Course). Sainsbury's Magazine readers even voted MasterChef as the Top TV Food Show of the Decade and it has been included in the Top Ten list of the most Sky Plussed shows of the year.
A well-known food writer, John is a regular magazine contributor and has supplied numerous articles for many national newspapers.