Tom Parker Bowles is an award-winning British food writer, food critic, and broadcaster. He is also famous as stepson of Charles, Prince of Wales. Bowles has authored seven cookbooks of which the third, ‘Full English: A Journey Through the British and Their Food,’ won him the Guild of Food Writers 2010 award for best work on British food. Over the years, Bowles have judged several food and cooking shows on television, including ‘Food Glorious Food’ and ‘The Hot Plate’. He reviewed meals of various restaurants in the UK and other countries for the newspaper ‘The Mail on Sunday’ and magazines, ‘GQ’ and ‘Esquire’. He serves as food editor of the latter and regularly contributes in ‘Town and Country’, ‘Harpers Bazaar’ and ‘Country Life’. He collaborated with farmer Rupert Ponsonby and food writer Matthew Fort on a pork scratchings snack called ‘Mr Trotter's Great British Pork Crackling’. The three later partnered with the Lancaster Brewing Company and launched the ‘Mr Trotter's Chestnut Ale’ beer brand that is regarded as the first chestnut beer produced in the UK.
Childhood & Early Life
Thomas Henry Charles Parker Bowles was born on December 18, 1974, in Westminster, London, England to British Army officer Andrew Parker Bowles and Camilla Shand (Presently Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 2nd wife of Charles, Prince of Wales and a British royal family member). Parents of Bowles divorced in 1995. Charles, Prince of Wales is the godfather and stepfather of Bowles.
Bowles was raised as a Roman Catholic along with his sister Laura. He spent his childhood at the 17th-century manor house Bolehyde Manor in Allington, Wiltshire, and thereafter at the Grade II listed Georgian-style house Middlewick House in Corsham, Wiltshire. He is in remainder to the Earldom of Macclesfield like his father.
He attended the Summer Fields prep school in Oxford. Thereafter he studied at the Heywood Preparatory School in Corsham along with his sister in the 1980s. He later attended the Eton College in the historic town of Eton in Berkshire, England. He once mentioned that he became passionate about food writing just after his school education and said that he forged into the field inspired by his mother’s cooking skills and recipes.
He furthered his studies at the Worcester College, Oxford. There he remained a member of the Piers Gaveston Society.
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He worked as a junior publicist in the public relations firm called Dennis Davidson Associates from 1997 to 2000. He became food columnist of the British fashion and lifestyle magazine ‘Tatler' in 2001.
For over a decade and a half now, Bowles has been working as a food writer, food critic and broadcaster. He has been associated with the British conservative newspaper ‘The Mail on Sunday’ as a restaurant critic and works with the American men's monthly magazine ‘Esquire’ as a food editor.
He works as contributing editor of the American quarterly lifestyle magazine ‘Departures’ and the Condé Nast published luxury and lifestyle travel magazine ‘Condé Nast Traveler’ produced in the US headquarters of the American mass media company. He also works in such capacity for a separate UK edition of the latter titled ‘Condé Nast Traveller’. He regularly contributes to the magazines ‘Town and Country’, ‘Harpers Bazaar’ and ‘Country Life’; and is a regular critic of the competitive cooking show ‘MasterChef’. He was named among the Top 10 most followed British restaurant critics on Twitter in 2014.
Apart from making his name as food writer, critic and columnist for different tabloids and magazines, Bowles has also appeared on several television programs on food and cooking. He was a co-presenter of the Good Food channel aired cookery programme ‘Market Kitchen’ that premiered in April 2007 and ran till 2010. Meanwhile during June-July 2008, he appeared in two episodes of the Channel 4 aired British food magazine and cookery show ‘The F Word’ featuring chef Gordon Ramsay.
He had a one year stint as presenter of the ‘Food and Drink Programme’ that aired on the London based phone-in and talk radio station LBC. He featured as one of the judges of the Carol Vorderman hosted British cooking competition show ‘Food Glorious Food ‘. It was broadcast from February 27, 2013 to April 24 of that year on (1)ITV Food. Moving on he appeared as a judge of the Nine Network aired Australian cooking reality TV series ‘The Hotplate’ (2015) and Australian reality competition TV series ‘Family Food Fight’ (2017-18).
He joined hands with farmer Rupert Ponsonby and food writer Matthew Fort and launched a pork scratchings snack. They named it ‘Mr Trotter's Great British Pork Crackling’. It eventually became popular and garnered positive reviews leading the three men to partner with the Lancaster Brewing Company and come up with the beer brand called ‘Mr Trotter's Chestnut Ale’. It is considered as the first chestnut beer produced in the UK. With time Mr. Trotter's came up with several other products.
So far Bowles has penned down seven cookbooks. These include ‘E is for Eating: An Alphabet of Greed’ (2004), ‘The Year of Eating Dangerously: A Global Adventure in Search of Culinary Extremes’ (2007), ‘Full English: A Journey Through the British and Their Food’ (2009), ‘Let's Eat: Recipes from My Kitchen Notebook’ (2012), ‘Let's Eat Meat: Recipes for Prime Cuts, Cheap Bits and Glorious Scraps of Meat’, (2014), ‘The Fortnum & Mason Cookbook’ (2016) and ‘Fortnum and Mason: Christmas and Other Winter Feasts’ (2018). Among these ‘Full English: A Journey Through the British and Their Food’ published by Ebury earned Bowles the Guild of Food Writers 2010 award for best work on British food.
Family & Personal Life
He dated Sara Buys, senior editor of British Town & Country magazine and associates editor of Harpers & Queen magazine, for five years. The two married at St. Nicholas' Anglican Church in Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire on September 10, 2005 with Bowles’ cousin Ben Elliot as his best man. The marriage ceremony was attended by his father, his stepmother Rosemary Parker Bowles, his mother, his stepfather Charles, Prince of Wales, and the latter’s two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Bowles has two children with Buys, daughter Lola born on October 9, 2007 and son Freddy born on February 28, 2010.