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Gary Rhodes

Gary Rhodes is an English cookbook author, chef, and celebrity TV chef. Rhodes was born in South London on 22 April 1960, and grew up in Gillingham, Kent. He still (2007) lives in Kent, Orpington.

He has a passion for re-interpreting classic British food for the tastes of and with the techniques of the time, even down to faggots, fish cakes and bread and butter puddings. He insists on seasonal food. He says one of his inspirations as a cook was Graham Kerr.

He was particularly known for his gelled, spikey hair from the age of 26 up until 2001, at which point it was replaced by a short crop hair cut at the encouragement of the producer of the Masterchef series, Melanie Jappy.

The backing for his restaurant ventures until spring 2003 came from the giant catering company, Sodexho. He also sells a line of preserves branded in his name.

At one point, he did advertisements for Tate & Lyle.

Rhodes says he loves clothes and has about 60 suits. He laments a custom-made £2,000 Giorgio Armani suit that in 2006 he burnt a hole in trying to iron the trousers too fast one day. He loves ironing clothes.

His favourite film is "Man on Fire" with Denzel Washington; his favourite quote is from Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin: "The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity than the discovery of a new star."

Rhodes say that he knew he loved cooking when, by the age of 13, he was able to make a successful Sunday roast dinner, including a steamed lemon sponge pudding recipe from Marguerite Pattens. His father Gordon, a school caretaker, had left the family when Gary was 6 years old, and his mother Jean gone back to work, so he had to learn to cook for himself, his mum and his sister. His mother eventually remarried to a builder named John. His first father died when Gary was 8. Rhodes says that he decided to become a chef at the age of 14, in 1974, while reading about kitchens in the book "Down and Out in Paris and London" by George Orwell.

Chronology of work

    • 1974 -- at the age of 14, he started studying cooking at Thanet Technical College in Broadstairs, Kent. Rhodes says that one of his tutors there, Peter Barrett, taught him teamwork.
    • 1979 -- at the age of 19, he graduated from the Technical College and in the same year, got a job at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam working as a junior chef. One day, while running for a tram, he looked the wrong way owing to his English traffic instinct, and was hit by a van. He suffered a bad head injury with a blood clot which required eight hours of brain surgery. He recovered fully after six months, and returned to England.
    • 1982 -- worked as a sous chef at the Reform Club (in Pall Mall) in London,
    • 1983 -- worked as a sous chef at the Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge
    • 1986 -- at the age of 26 worked as Head Chef for Kit Chapman at the Castle Hotel in Tauton, Somerset, where he earned the restaurant a Michelin star
    • 1989 -- married his girlfriend Jennie from Thanet College. They would have two sons, Samuel (born 1990) and George (born 1991)
    • 1990 -- started working for David Levin at the The Greenhouse in Mayfair, earning that restaurant a Michelin star as well in 1996
    • 1994 -- BBC series: "Rhodes About Britain"
    • 1987 -- first TV appearance, on the programme called "Hot Chefs"
    • 1997 -- opened his own restaurant, "City Rhodes" (closed March 2003)
    • 1998 -- opened a second restaurant, "Rhodes in the Square" in Dolphin Square, Chichester Street, Pimlico in the Dolphin Square Hotel (the restaurant closed May 2003, replaced by a restaurant called "Allium" run by an Anton Edelmann)
    • 1999 -- opened gastropubs called "Rhodes and Co." in Crawley in the Arora International Gatwick Hotel (near Gatwick airport), in the department store "Jenners" in Edinburgh and in the Golden Tulip Hotel in Manchester. Despite both winning a Michelin Bib Gourmand award, the Edinburgh site was closed in early 2002 and the Manchester site was closed by the spring of 2003, another operation opening in its place without Gary called "Water's Reach." The Edinburgh location underwent a bit of foodie scandal when it was discovered in 2000 that frozen chips were being used.
    • 2000 -- Masterchef series for BBC
    • 2001 -- BBC2 series "Gary Rhodes At The Table"
    • 2003 -- opened his restaurant "Rhodes Twenty Four" on the 24th floor in the Tower 42 building. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin Star.
    • 2004 -- opened a restaurant called "Gary Rhodes" in the Calabash Hotel in Grenada in the Caribbean
    • 2005 -- 14 April opened "Arcadian Rhodes" restaurant on the P&O cruise liner called "Arcadia"
    • 2005 -- opened "Rhodes W1" at the end of July 2005 in the The Cumberland Hotel at Marble Arch
    • 2006 -- receive Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the hospitality industry.

TV Shows

    • 1988 -- Hot Chefs
    • 1994 -- Rhodes Around Britain
    • 1995 -- More Rhodes Around Britain
    • 1996 -- Open Rhodes Around Britain
    • 1997 -- Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes. BBC1
    • 1998 -- Gary's Perfect Christmas. BBC2. (on which his wife Jenny made an appearance)
    • 1999 -- New British Classics. BBC2.
    • 1999 -- Masterchef USA (1st series)
    • 2000 -- Masterchef UK
    • 2001 -- Masterchef USA (2nd series)
    • 2001 -- Gary Rhodes at the Table. BBC2.
    • 2002 -- Gary Rhodes Spring into Summer
    • 2002 -- Gary Rhodes Autumn into Winter
    • 2005 -- Hell's Kitchen


    • 1994 -- Rhodes Around Britain
    • 1995 -- More Rhodes Around Britain
    • 1995 -- Rhodes to Home
    • 1996 -- Open Rhodes Around Britain
    • 1997 -- Short Cut Rhodes
    • 1997 -- Fabulous Food
    • 1998 -- Sweet Dreams
    • 1999 -- New British Classics
    • 2000 -- At The Table
    • 2000 -- The Cook Pack
    • 2000 -- Great Fast Foods
    • 2001 -- Step-by-Step Cooking
    • 2002 -- Cookery Year Spring into Summer
    • 2002 -- Cookery Year Autumn into Winter
    • 2002 -- Food With Friends
    • 2003 -- The Complete Cookery Year
    • 2005 -- Keeping It Simple
    • 2005 -- "Hell's Kitchen" Cookbook


      Gary Rhodes: I’m so fanatical about ironing that I press everything – even if it’s already been dry-cleaned! London: Daily Mail. 9 June 2011.

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      Oulton, Randal. "Gary Rhodes." CooksInfo.com. Published 08 September 2005; revised 11 June 2012. Web. Accessed 04/21/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/gary-rhodes>.

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