• 30
    Birth 06/1972

    30/06/1972 - James is born

    Born in Malton, North Yorkshire.

    “My passion for food began when my father took the role of catering manager at the Castle Howard estate. At 13 a trip to the South of France in an HGV gave me the opportunity to really experience good food and wine in some of the best chateaux in France. I was hooked!”

  • 1984

    1984 - Royal cooking experience

    Cooks for the Queen Mother at Castle Howard

  • 1988

    1988 - Starts catering training

    Starts formal catering training at Scarborough Technical College. Student of the Year for three years running.

    “I pretty much owe my whole career to head lecturer Ken Allanson, he managed to keep me humble and hungry enough to learn while building my confidence and self-belief. I went from bottom of the class to number one; from the one who’d never get anywhere to the one to watch.”

  • 1991

    1991 - Moved to London

    Moved to London to work at One Ninety Queen’s Gate, Alastair Little in Soho, The Square in Mayfair and Harvey’s in Wandsworth.

  • 1993

    1993 - Chewton Glen

    Takes up position as junior pastry chef at the acclaimed Chewton Glen.

  • 1994

    1994 - Hotel Du Vin

    Joins Hotel Du Vin as head chef in Winchester just a few weeks short of his 22nd birthday

    “I was about to achieve one of my biggest ambitions eight years early, I was about to become head chef”

  • 1996

    1996 - TV Career

    Begins TV career on Sky One before moving on to Ready, Steady Cook and The Big Breakfast.

    “The bandana years! All a bit of a blur as I was working 18 hours in kitchen, trying to mix cheffing, TV…and driving everywhere. I started prepping at 4am, got in car at 5am, got to The Big Breakfast at 7.30 am and was back in the car at 9am, heading back to start lunch service.”

  • 1998

    1998 - Publishes first book

    Publishes first cook book Eating in with James Martin

  • 2006

    2006 - TV appearances

    Reaches the semi-finals of Strictly Come Dancing and is announced as the host of BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen.

    “2006 was a big year for me…Strictly…I had my first number 1 book in the charts, my first big solo presenting gig and Sweet Baby James was commissioned”


Early career

After catering college James worked in London under the guidance of chefs including Antony Worrall Thompson and Marco Pierre White. He also travelled around France working in chateaux kitchens and gaining experience in Michelin star establishments. On returning to England, he took up the position of junior pastry chef at the acclaimed, five Red Star, Chewton Glen. Just a few weeks short of his 22nd birthday, James opened the Hotel and Bistro du Vin in Winchester as head chef.


James’ TV career began in 1996 with The Big Breakfast and Ready, Steady, Cook. Over the next ten years he went on to film shows including Entertaining with James and Housecall. In 2006, he became the presenter of the BBC One show Saturday Kitchen. He presented the show up until March 2016, making it a Saturday morning staple which regularly attracted viewers in excess of 3.5 million.

Recently James has been on screen for ITV touring the UK for James Martin’s Great British Adventure, America for James Martin’s American Adventure and France in Keith Floyd’s car for James Martin’s French Adventure. James Martin’s Saturday Morning is shown every Saturday at 9.30am on ITV and STV.

Books and columns

James has published 20 best-selling cook books packed with sweet and savoury inspiration and an autobiography, Driven. Recent titles include Fast Cooking: Really Exciting Recipes in 20 Minutes, Home Comforts, Sweet, More Home Comforts,  James Martin’s French Adventure, James Martin’s American Adventure and James Martin’s Great British Adventure. James also writes for The Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine.


In 2013 James Martin Manchester opened, housed within the Manchester235 casino at the Great Northern Warehouse. Providing modern British cuisine in industrial chic surroundings it was listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 UK Restaurants for 2015/16.

In 2017 The Kitchen Cookery School and restaurant opened at the acclaimed Chewton Glen. Offering a range of inspiring classes and stunning seasonal menus it’s the place to eat, meet, create and cook.

James’ premium café, James Martin Kitchen, offers sit down dining and grab and go options and can be found airside at Stansted Airport, inside Debenhams at intu Lakeside, Manchester Piccadilly train station and at Glasgow Airport.

Other projects

James endorses a range of kitchen appliances with Wahl, cookware, knives, bakeware and kitchen utensils with Stellar, the HeaT collection for Chesney’s and has large collection of stylish and modern tableware with Denby Pottery.

Beyond food

Outside of the kitchen James is a massive dog lover and owns two dogs, Ralph and Cooper. He is currently training Cooper as a full working dog. His beloved first dog Fudge, often seen on screen, died in 2015. He has a passion for cars, bikes, racing and planes. He raced in the Mille Miglia in 2007 and again in 2015 as part of the Jaguar team. He also holds a pilot’s licence and is currently learning to fly helicopters.