Jay Rayner smiling

Jay Rayner: who is the food critic? All you need to know about the Masterchef star

Find out more about the Masterchef star

Emmy Griffiths

Jay Rayner is back on our screens with the new series of Masterchef, but just how much do you know about the talented food critic? Find out everything you need to know about the 53-year-old, from his other hobbies, previous television appearances and family life…

What is Jay Rayner's family life?

Jay was born in Harrow, London to parents Desmond and Claire Rayner. The latter, who sadly passed away in 2010, was a well-known journalist herself, particularly thanks to her work as an agony aunt for Women's Own, The Sun and the Sunday Mirror. She was also a television agony aunt on TV-am in the 1990s – and was voted medical journalist of the year in 1987 – what a woman!

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Jay's mum was a popular agony aunt

Jay has previously opened up about her on BBC Radio 4's Today show, saying that she was a "fantastic communicator underpinned by huge, huge knowledge. She wasn't just playing it off the top of her head: she was a great hack, a great journalist. She knew her stuff, that's what really made her so compelling". He added that he was "very, very proud of her".

Jay is a happily married man, and is married to Pat Gordon-Smith, an editor and jazz singer. Jay is also a jazz musician, and plays the piano. The pair share two sons, 20-year-old Eddie and 16-year-old Daniel.

WATCH: Meet the Chef for the Royal Wedding

What is Jay Rayner's career?

Jay has had a hugely successful career as a journalist and food critic, and has written for titles including The Guardian, The Mail on Sunday and The Observer, as well as magazines including Esquire and New Statesman. He has been the recipient of several awards, including Young Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards, and the Sony Radio Award.

READ: MasterChef’s John Torode: his career journey, relationships and children revealed

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Jay is on the latest series of Masterchef

The Masterchef star is also a novelist, and has written The Apologist, Day of Atonement and Stardust Falling. He has been nominated for several awards for his fiction, including the Jewish Quarterly Prize for Fiction and the Author's Club First Novel Award.

READ: John Torode reveals surprising reason he is unhappy with Masterchef