Ainsley Harriott was born 28 September 1957 in England. He is a TV celebrity chef and a cookbook author. He is very tall, 6′ 4″ (1.9 metres) and is an avid chess player.
Harriott’s father father was Chester Harriott, the jazz pianist from Jamaica who came to England in 1952 on a scholarship for the Royal School of Music. His mother Peppy Strudwick was a nurse from Jamaica. Her father, Clifford T Strudwick, had cooked at the White House for American President Franklin Roosevelt.
Ainsley, along with his brother and sister, grew up in Balham, south London; he still lived in the Wandsworth Common area (as of 2010.) Peppy and Chester’s marriage later broke up.
In 1989, he married a costume designer named Clare Fellows, whose brother Graham Fellows is an actor. They had two children, Jimmy and Madelaine. The two separated in 2012 after 23 years. Sheridan, Emily. Not so Steady any more: TV chef Ainsley Harriott splits from wife Clare after 23 years of marriage. London: Daily Mail. 22 November 2012.
Ainsley learned to cook from his mother, and trained in cooking at Westminster College. At 16, he became a trainee in a restaurant called “Verry’s” in London, where he went on to become commis chef. He then moved to become Chef Tournant at Strand Palace Hotel, and tried his hand at running a catering company. He then left the restaurant business for a bit, and toured around singing and doing comedy as part of a duo called “The Calypso Twins” (with Paul Boross.) They made one record in the early 1990s.
Chronology of work
- 1988 — Appeared in four episodes of a British comedy series, “Hale and Pace”
- 1990 — Two episodes of “Davro” comedy series
- 1993 — appeared in the science-fiction comedy called ” Red Dwarf”
- worked as head chef of The Long Room, the restaurant at Lord’s cricket ground
- early 1990s — “More Nosh, Less Dosh” on BBC Radio 5
- 1995ish — “Good Morning With Anne And Nick”, BBC
- 1995 — honorary degree from the University of Warwick
- 1997 — TV show “Ainsley’s Barbecue Bible”
- 1998 — did “Ainsley’s Meals in Minutes” and “Party of A Lifetime”
- 1999 — did “Ainsley’s Big Cook Out”
- presenter of TV show “Can’t Cook Won’t Cook” on BBC Two
- 2000 — became host of “Ready Steady Cook” on TV  “Ready Steady Cook originally ran for 21 series and was hosted by Fern Britton from 1994 until 2000, and by Ainsley Harriott until it ended in 2010.” BBC. Rylan Clark-Neal to revive BBC daytime show Ready Steady Cook. 4 September 2019. Accessed September 2019 at https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-49577400
- 2000 — The Ainsley Harriot Show (America)
- 2000 / 2001 — Gourmet Express
- 2002 — became a spokesperson in the UK for Procter and Gamble’s Fairy Liquid (a popular dishwashing soap)
- 2004 — Off The Menu (two episodes)
- 2005 — BBC TV show “The 50 things to eat before you die”
- 2010 — continued as host of “Ready Steady Cook” on TV until it was discontinued in 2010.
- 2019 — it was announced that “Ready Steady Cook” would be returning to television in 2020 but with a new host, Rylan Clark-Neal BBC. Rylan Clark-Neal to revive BBC daytime show Ready Steady Cook.
Books by Ainsley Harriott
- 1996 — In The Kitchen
- 1997 — Barbecue Bible
- 1997 — Can’t Cook Won’t Cook
- 1997 — Meals In Minutes
- 2000 — Gourmet Express One
- 2001 — Gourmet Express Two
- 2002 — Low Fat Meals in Minutes
- 2003 — All New Meals in Minutes
- 2003 — My Favourite Hot & Spicy Recipes
- 2003 — Top 100 Recipes from Ready Steady Cook
- 2004 — Olympic Cookbook
- 2004 — Friends and Family Cookbook
- 2006 — Feel Good Cookbook
- 2008 — Fresh and Fabulous Meals in Minutes
- 2009 — Just Five Ingredients
A quick BBC roundup of 7 of Ainsley Harriott recipes.
|↑1||Sheridan, Emily. Not so Steady any more: TV chef Ainsley Harriott splits from wife Clare after 23 years of marriage. London: Daily Mail. 22 November 2012.|
|↑2||“Ready Steady Cook originally ran for 21 series and was hosted by Fern Britton from 1994 until 2000, and by Ainsley Harriott until it ended in 2010.” BBC. Rylan Clark-Neal to revive BBC daytime show Ready Steady Cook. 4 September 2019. Accessed September 2019 at https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-49577400|
|↑3||BBC. Rylan Clark-Neal to revive BBC daytime show Ready Steady Cook.|