at home with James Martin - December 2012 - (Page 28)

| celeb spotlight| of the crop Popular chef, James Martin, continues to attract nearly three million viewers to his flagship BBC cooking programme, Saturday Kitchen. With his work ethic and determination, the ambitious Yorkshire lad cooked his way to the top, but how did he become such a recipe for success? words: georgina MariC | photographs: easy every day by jaMes Martin (£14.99, MitCheLL beaZLey) cream here is something reassuring about Saturday Kitchen – whether it is the delicious food being made in front of your eyes that sets your tastebuds tingling, the exciting omelette challenge where the fiercely competitive chefs battle to be the speediest, or the deep and dulcet tones of the host celebrity chef James Martin. He keeps the proceedings on an even keel, despite the huge potential for disaster at every turn on this very live show. Whatever it is, the programme is a huge success and despite many other cooking shows floating off to television heaven in the sky, Saturday Kitchen is still very much alive and cooking. When the programme launched back in 2002, its presenter was the then relatively unknown Gregg Wallace, now a huge name as one half of BBC1’s MasterChef, alongside John Torode. Saturday Kitchen was instantly popular, its success regularly attracting over one million viewers. However, it was when James took over from his former mentor, Antony Worrall Thompson in 2006, that viewing figures shot up. To be fair, when James started he was visibly nervous – no surprise there as the 90-minute live programme means juggling several different things in front of the camera, not least flames, heat and (some) temperamental Michelin-starred chefs. But over the weeks James warmed up like a proverbial stove and, now, six years later, seems completely natural, bantering away with the big name chefs and charming the guests, with his brusque, serious-aboutfood and knowledgeable tone. Although there has been the occasional slip-up. Calling chef Rick Stein’s pork chops ‘delicious d**k’ instead of dish recently was perhaps not his finest hour! But there is something about the 6ft 3in lad from Malton that keeps viewers hooked T family at the age of seven. It is a testament to his hard work, tenacity and talent that he had actually achieved all of these, some would say, grand ambitions, way ahead of his childhood schedule. And it also may be down to his father who was catering manager at historic stately home, Castle Howard in York, when James was growing up. ‘My dad had one great guiding philosophy, if you can walk, you can work,’ says James. ‘So, if you wanted pocket money in our house, you bloody well worked for it.’ By the age of seven, James was washing up at Castle Howard and, with his friend, directing cars into the car park for big events. By the age of 12, he was in the kitchen and even helped to cook a meal for the Queen Mother, no less. But his passion for food first started at home with his beloved gran. ‘When I was little, I spent hours in the kitchen watching her cook. She was one of the greatest people in the world and, among many things, I can safely say she made the best bacon sandwiches ever, which were the perfect cure for every hurt,’ he said. The family kitchen also fuelled his love for food. ‘The kitchen was the hub of the family as well as the house. The table sat 10 and was always busy. People didn’t knock on the door of our house, they just walked straight into the kitchen and made themselves at home. That’s where my love of food started. If my mum wasn’t cooking, my dad was. Mealtimes were a big deal and Sunday lunch was the most important.’ Burning amBiTion James pursued his food dream, despite the best efforts of a home economics teacher at school. ‘I was never good at school. I even failed cookery. I was always too thick to be academic. If it involved anything written I wouldn’t be able to do it, which was one of the reasons I failed cookery, or home economics as it was called back then. I say one of the reasons; I’m convinced the other was that the teacher hated me because I could cook better than she could.’ He wasn’t put off, though, and studied at Scarborough > cheeky charm ‘I want to be head chef at 30, have my own restaurant at 35 and have a Ferrari when I’m 40,’ James claimed to his 028 | december 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of at home with James Martin - December 2012

DIARY DATES
YOUR CHRISTMAS KITCHEN
UP THE ORANGE APPEEL
MEET MR MARTIN
THE CHEF DIARIES
FLAVOURS OF THE FUTURE
COOK LIKE A PRO
THE STAR EVENT
COOKING SOS
UNDER THE SEA
VEG OUT
JUST DESSERTS
WINE O’CLOCK
TASTEBUDS ON TEST
GUYS’ GIFT LIST
SANTA SPOILS FOR HER
FOR FOOD LOVERS
CHINESE, PLEASE?
THE ROAST WITH THE MOST
MARY CHRISTMAS
BAKE LIKE THE BEST
THE BIG CHEESE
FAT’S YOUR LOT
CLEAN UP
PINES AND NEEDLES
WINTER FOODIE BREAKS
ALL ABROAD
COFFEE BREAK
‘MY FOOD FANTASY TURNED INTO REALITY’
LAST WORD
EDITOR’S LETTER
FESTIVE WELCOME
NEWS AND VIEWS

at home with James Martin - December 2012

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