MasterChef returns to our TV screens this evening for its 16th series would you believe! The cooking competition has a legion of fans who love to see the wannabe chefs vie for the prestigious title – and the judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace bring their expertise and personality to the show. Australian chef John, age 54, is one of our favourite TV cooks and with his Sunday food programme John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen also proving popular, he’s definitely flavour of the month right now. But how much do you know about the charming chef? We’ve got the low down on his life story below…
WATCH: John Torode's recipe above
John Torode’s career journey
John started his culinary career when he was 16, having learnt to cook from his grandmother in Australia. He went to catering college and subsequently worked for the Conran restaurants in the UK; he met Greg Wallace while working at Quaglino’s as Greg’s company supplied vegetables to the restaurant. Cue a regular chef spot on This Morning, which made the chef a household name, then the star bagged a judging role on the new-look MasterChef in 2005 and also now hosts Celebrity MasterChef.
MORE: Bake this cute sweetheart cake for your beau on Valentine's Day - see the recipe
John Torode’s restaurants
The cook has had several restaurants to his name in previous years, most notably Smiths of Smithfield, Luxe and Cafeteria near London’s Notting Hill, which has since closed. He no longer owns these eateries, instead concentrating on his TV work and cookbooks.
John Torode’s first marriage and children
The star was married to Jessica Torode for 14 years from 2000; they separated in 2011. The couple share two children together, a son and daughter, and the chef has two more children from previous relationships. Now married to Lisa Faulkner, their family has expanded further as Lisa is mum to daughter, Billie, 14.
MORE: The Queen's favourite chocolates revealed – and they're perfect for Valentine's Day!
John Torode and Lisa Faulkner
John met actress Lisa when she competed in Celebrity MasterChef in 2015. Love blossomed in the famous TV kitchen and in 2019 the couple married at Aynhoe Park in Oxfordshire in front of family and friends. Their wedding celebrations were held over two days, with the happy couple enjoying a pre-wedding dinner on the eve of their big day. Lisa told HELLO! of her relationship with John: "I love being with him. We don't stop talking – chat, chat, chat. He's like my best mate."
John and Lisa's TV show
The loved-up couple co-present ITV1’s John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen where they share some of their favourite recipes. Fans adore watching the happy duo on telly each week together and they post regular clips on their Instagram pages. We wonder what's next for this popular foodie pair!