John Torode Biography

(Australian-British Celebrity Chef and TV Presenter Known for His Show ‘MasterChef’ on BBC One)

Birthday: July 23, 1965 (Leo)

Born In: Melbourne, Australia

John Torode is an Australian celebrity chef, restaurateur, culinary TV show host, and cookbook author. In the 1990s, he moved to the U.K. and began working with the restaurants of the Conran Group. He began his stint on TV with the culinary show This Morning. He later presented MasterChef and Celebrity MasterChef with his co-host Gregg Wallace. He launched multiple restaurants, such as Smiths of Smithfields, Cafeteria, and Luxe. Over the years, he has hosted numerous culinary shows, such as New British Kitchen, John Torode's Australia, and John Torode's Asia. He has also written countless cookbooks, such as The Mezzo Cookbook, My Kind of Food, and Sydney To Seoul. He is married to actor/food expert Lisa Faulkner. In 2019, the duo began hosting their weekend show John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen.

Quick Facts

Australian Celebrities Born In July, British Celebrities Born In July

Age: 58 Years, 58 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Jessica Torode, Lisa Faulkner, Jessica Torode (2000–2014)

father: Douglas Torode

mother: Anne Torode

children: Casper Torode, Jonah Torode, Lulu Torode, Marselle Torode

Born Country: Australia

Chefs TV Anchors

City: Melbourne, Australia

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    What is John Torode's signature dish?

    John Torode's signature dish is his famous beef rendang.
Childhood & Early Life

John Torode was born on July 23, 1965, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He was the youngest of the three children of his parents.

When John was 4, his mother died. Following this, he and his brother Andrew went to live with their grandmother, in Maitland, New South Wales.

His grandmother not only taught John to cook but also helped him develop a taste in fine cuisine.

At 10, he moved in with his father and brothers in Edithvale, Melbourne, though his father was mostly away from home due to work.

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John Torode began cooking at the tender age of 16, after he left school to join a catering institute. John’s first job as a chef was at the restaurant Le Coq Au Vin in Aspendale, Melbourne. He also worked as a culinary apprentice at various restaurants in Beaumauris, Melbourne.

In 1991, John moved to the U.K. and bagged a job as a sous chef at the Conran Group restaurants Le Pont de la Tour and Quaglino's. During this time, he worked under Terence Conran.

While at Quaglino's, John met Gregg Wallace (with whom he worked on a few culinary shows later in life). Apparently, Gregg was the supplier of vegetables for the restaurant.

While John worked at Mezzo in London, a TV crew came to the restaurant to film. He went up to the producer and told him he wished to be part of some culinary program on TV. This eventually led to his debut TV show, ITV’s culinary show This Morning, in the late 1990s. He continues to appear on the show.

He began presenting MasterChef on BBC One, when the show was relaunched in 2005. He appeared as a co-host, along with Gregg Wallace, replacing the previous host, Gary Rhodes. John also appeared on Celebrity MasterChef.

In 2000, John launched his first restaurant, Smiths of Smithfields, in London. The following year, he launched another restaurant, Cafeteria, near Notting Hill Gate. The restaurant later closed down. In October 2009, he launched a restaurant named Luxe near New Spitalfields Market, London.

He has, over the years, appeared on many shows, such as Loose Women, The One Show, Alan Carr: Chatty Man, John Bishop's Britain, Breakfast, The Wright Stuff, Saturday Kitchen, and The Graham Norton Show.

He has been a co-host on the Good Food show New British Kitchen, along with Hardeep Singh Kohli. The show focused on imported cuisines in Britain.

John has also appeared on the BBC show The Magicians. He hosted the 10-episode 2014 series John Torode's Australia, which tracked his culinary journey across the country. The show recorded the largest viewership on BBC Good Food in 2014.

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In 2015, John hosted John Torode's Argentina, as part of BBC Two’s series A Cook Abroad.

BBC News featured him as one of participants of the project Come..Eat Together!, which encouraged the elderly to mingle with the community and have food together.

In 2016, he presented the 10-episode Good Food series John Torode's Malaysian Adventure, which was filmed in the U.K. and Malaysia.

The 2017 Good Food program The Korean Food Tour featured John traveling around South Korea and exploring the country’s favorite cuisines.

The Good Food show (2017-2018) recorded the highest viewership for the Good Food channel since March 2013. The show was commissioned by Luke Hale of Good Food and Sally Quick of UKTV, in association with organizations such as the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

John Torode's Middle East, a Blink Films production, was aired in 2018. In March the following year, John teamed up with actor/food writer (and his wife now) Lisa Faulkner to host his own weekend culinary show, John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen, aired on Sunday mornings on ITV.

John has also co-hosted Junior MasterChef, first along with Nadia Sawalha, winner of Celebrity MasterChef, and then with Donal Skehan.

In 1998, his cookbook The Mezzo Cookbook (co-written), which was published in 1997, was awarded the James Beard Foundation Award for the "Best Food Photography.”

He has written many other cookbooks, such as Relax – It's Only Food (1999), Torode's Thai Trip (1999), MasterChef Goes Large (2005), Good Mood Food (2007), John Torode's Beef (2008), MasterChef Kitchen Bible (2011, co-written), My Kind of Food (2015), and Sydney To Seoul (2019).

Personal Life

On October 24, 2019, John Torode married actor Lisa Faulkner at Aynhoe Park, a 17th-century country house in Banbury, Oxfordshire. Their wedding was attended by celebrities such as Gregg Wallace, Charlie Condou, and Amanda Holden.

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John and Lisa had met in 2010, on Celebrity MasterChef. She was a contestant on the show and had eventually won.

In April 2012, Lisa divorced her previous husband, Chris Coghill, after a 7-year marriage.

John and Lisa started dating each other publicly in October 2012. John once described Lisa as “easy to live with and work with.” He proposed marriage to Lisa on Christmas 2018 in Goa.

John was previously married to Jessica Torode. They had married in 2000 and had separated in 2011. Their divorce was finalized in 2014.

He has four children, namely, Casper, Lulu, Jonah, and Marselle. Lulu and Jonah are from his marriage to Jessica, while Casper and Marselle are from another relationship.

One of his favorite dishes is roast chicken. He was also fond of lamb cutlets in childhood. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was one of the first books he had read.

John once stated that cooking helps him relax and compared it to yoga. John is also a skilled cyclist. At age 9, John was gifted his first bike. When he first moved to the U.K., he would often cycle from South Kensington to Camden.

He once told Cycling Weekly that cycling prevents him from gaining weight. On July 23, 2014 John was featured as a guest on the ITV4 program The Cycle Show.


In an episode of MasterChef in 2018, John and his co-host, Gregg, criticized a dish prepared by a Malaysian contestant, Zaleha Kadir Olpin, saying it was not “crispy” enough.

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Following this, several Malaysian, Singaporean, and Indonesian people attacked John and Gregg online, saying the dish in question, rendang, was not supposed to be crispy.

On Social Media

John Torode is quite popular on Instagram. His Instagram account, johntorodecooks, has gained over 163 thousand followers.

He joined Twitter in October 2010. His account on the platform, JohnTorode1, has gained more than 177 thousand followers.

He has his own website,

Facts About John Torode

John Torode is an accomplished pilot and holds a private pilot's license, showcasing his passion for aviation outside of the kitchen.

In addition to his culinary skills, Torode is also a talented artist and enjoys painting in his spare time.

He is known for his love of motorcycles and has been spotted riding around town on his favorite bike, showing his adventurous side.

Torode is a published author, having written several cookbooks that showcase his creative recipes and culinary expertise.

In his free time, John Torode enjoys practicing yoga and meditation to stay balanced and focused in both his personal and professional life.

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