Antony Worrall Thompson is a British celebrity chef.
He has published many books, has owned and run several restaurants and been on food programmes on TV. He writes for the Daily Express newspaper, and the BBC’s “Good Food” magazine.
Antony has bright red hair, a nose that he broke seven times while playing sports, and is just 5 feet 8 inches tall (1.7 metres.) He has been married three times: he once tried to kill himself on a runway at Los Angeles airport over a woman.
He is often quite critical in public of other food celebrities, and they have responded in kind. He even got a response out of Delia Smith, when he dismissed her scrambled eggs as lousy and said she was “the coldest woman on the television.” She said, “He is dreadful, just repulsive. Food and Drink (Antony’s TV show) is the most disgusting programme on television. I will never ever know, as long as I live, how the BBC or the general public can tolerate it.” For his 50th birthday, though, Delia sent him a picture of herself wearing a T-shirt that said “I love you really Antony.”
Antony was born 1952, in Stratford-upon-Avon. His grandmother helped pay for his schooling at The King’s School (a private school) in Canterbury. Just outside Canterbury, an aunt of his ran a pub. He went there often on Sundays to help out in the kitchen. When he was 16, he swam across the English channel.
He then studied cooking and the restaurant business at Westminster College. When he left Westminster College and worked at some jobs in Essex County, his grandmother, who was a bit of a snob, wouldn’t write to him because she didn’t think Essex County was high enough up on the social scale for her family.
He moved into London in September 1978 to take the job of sous-chef at Brinkley’s Restaurant in the Fulham Road. Within one month, he had become head chef. In 1979, he took six months off to do a working sabbatical in France, then returned to Brinkley’s.
In 1981, he opened his own first restaurant, the Menage à Trois in Chelsea, which became a favourite of Princess Diana’s. It served just starters and desserts.
In 1998, he became the main presenter for “Food and Drink” programme on BBC Two television until 2002, along with Emma Crowhurst.
In 2004, Thompson acquired a food pub, The Greyhound in Rotherfield Peppard, Oxfordshire. He was forced to close it at the end of January 2009 owing to financial difficulties, but reopened it again that same year on 13 July 2010. A year later, in July 2010, The Greyhound received a hygiene score of just 1 out of 5 from the South Oxfordshire District Council. Thompson dismissed the rating scheme, and score, as “nonsense… We are in the recession and they are trying to kill people’s businesses.”
Rumbold, Judy. Little big mouth: Antony Worrall Thompson. The Observer. London. 15 July 2001.
Watson-Smyth, Kate. Chef laughs off verbal mauling by ‘bitchy’ Delia. London: The Independent. 26 September 2000.
Kitchen credit crunch: Antony Worrall Thompson is forced to close his countryside restaurant. London: Daily Mail. 27 January 2009.
Chef Antony Worrall Thompson re-opens The Greyhound. Reading, Berkshire, England: Reading Post. 14 July 2009.
Antony Worrall Thompson’s gastropub given one hygiene star: A gastropub run by the celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson was awarded just one star out of five in a food hygiene ratings system. London: Daily Telegraph. 12 July 2010.