Antony Worrall Thompson is part of a select band of chefs; who are recognised by the great British public with their first name alone! The term ‘celebrity chef’ only skims the surface of his career. He’s a TV entertainer and a highly articulate, passionate campaigner for food issues. Known for his soft humour and big opinions, Antony’s manner has ensured him long lasting popularity.
Antony Worrall Thompson: TV Chef
The chef’s cooking career has spanned over three decades; and his TV career has encompassed programmes such as Ready Steady Cook, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and current affairs shows: Panorama, Daily Politics and Question Time. He formerly presented the Daily Cooks Challenge, leading it to high success and great ratings.
Born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Antony Worrall Thompson’s route to culinary stardom has not exactly been smooth. Antony’s story very nearly came to an abrupt halt at the age of sixteen, when his face was crushed in a horrific rugby accident; which left him badly disfigured. But pioneering surgery saved the day, enabling Antony to pursue what was to become the enduring love of his life… cooking.
Antony studied in Hotel and Catering Management at Westminster College. He worked for various establishments in Essex, much to the horror of his grandmother who refused to write to him; because she could not bring herself to write the word Essex on the envelope.
Ménage a Trois with Di
By 1979 he was head chef at Brinkley’s Restaurant in the Fulham Road, recreating the menus, calling on his experience gained after undertaking a six month sabbatical in France; eating and working in 3 star establishments. In 1981 Antony opened Ménage a Trois in Knightsbridge (known to be the Princess of Wales’ favourite restaurant); to abundant publicity and reviews: it was the only restaurant in London to serve just starters and puddings.
In March 1988 he won the Mouton Rothschild Menu Competition; and shortly before in December 1987 the most prestigious accolade: the Meilleur Ouvrier de Grande Bretagne (MOGB), known as the chef’s Oscar. Which is the Academy of Culinary Arts competition held every four years, to find the most talented chefs. He is one of only seven chefs in the UK to have the lifelong title so far.
During the 1990’s Antony featured in Egon Ronay’s Guide, as a new entry with two stars. He opened many restaurants and became Managing Director for the Simpsons of Cornhill Group; where the accent was on robust and hearty Mediterranean and British food. Following this hugely successful formula, he opened: Zoe in St. Christopher’s Place, to rave reviews; Café dell’Ugo in the City of London, Atrium in Westminster, Palio in Notting Hill Gate, Drones in Belgravia and De Cecco in Parsons Green.
Towards the end of the 1990’s Antony left the Simpsons of Cornhill Group, to open Woz and became resident studio chef and presenter for Food & Drink on the BBC. He was also a Ready Steady Cook regular celebrity chef. He filmed several of his own series for Carlton Food Network, including; Worrall Thompson Cooks, Simply Antony and So You Think You Can’t Cook. In 2003 he was made presenter of BBC1’s hugely popular Saturday Kitchen, until May 2006.
In 2006 he left the BBC after 14 years, to host the live cookery show Saturday Cooks! on ITV1 until the end of 2007. He has been on many other programmes; GMTV, Hot Chefs, MasterChef, Junior MasterChef, Home Front, Channel 4’s Light Lunch and Quisine; as well as Have I Got News For You, Question Time, Richard and Judy to name but a few. Antony was twice the winner of The Weakest Link Chef Special and emerged from the jungle in 2003; as one of the nation’s favourites in the ITV series I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Antony also hosted Daily Cooks Challenge every week day afternoon on ITV1.
As someone diagnosed with Syndrome X (a condition which can lead to diabetes), Antony Worrall Thompson is always in demand by broadcasters; to comment on and discuss serious food issues such as diabetes, obesity, nutrition and the eating habits of children. He is also a prolific writer, having published many cookery books. He has also written a weekly column in the Saturday Express for more than 10 years and currently writes a cookery column for The Express on Sunday Magazine; where he has the longest serving recipe column on a national newspaper.
One of Antony’s many other interests is his passion for organic farming. Growing many herbs and vegetables for his restaurants; and he has created his own range of food and non food products.
A Taste of Antony Worrall Thompson
Should you wish to sample some of Antony’s delicious dishes, he currently has three restaurants; Kew Grill and Windsor Grill, serving his unique retro grill style cuisine using only the best, locally sourced ingredients; and The Greyhound where he can normally be found. His latest venture is Windsor Larder, a food and wine to-go shop; a small friendly shop where you can buy a variety of foods and other items from a snack to lunch for the office, or a complete meal at home.
He is patron of the following:
- North Yorkshire Smallholder Society
- NAPAC (The National Association for People Abused in Childhood)
- Child Bereavement Trust
- Battery Hen Welfare Trust
- Stokenchurch Dog Rescue (Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire)
- Breeders’ Society for Middle White Pig
An award winning chef, Antony Worrall Thompson is an excellent speaker and a fantastic personality to have at any event. Dynamic and entertaining he will impress a corporate audience with his culinary tales and live cooking demos.
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Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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