Ainsley Harriott, after 18 years as one of the country’s favourite TV chefs, is something of a national institution.
There are only a handful of personalities whose enduring popularity places them in that rare category where they are instantly recognized simply by their first name. “Ainsley” can only mean Ainsley Harriott. He’s the master of fresh, fun, accessible cuisine. Ainsley’s food reflects the needs of real life – it’s diverse and delicious but easy to prepare and speedy to cook.
Ainsley was most recently on TV with his new series 'Ainsley Harriott's Street Food' which first aired in the UK 17th May 2015 on More4, for ten weeks. Throughout the ten-part TV series, Ainsley visted a number of exotic cities and holiday destinations to discover the street food delights.
It all started in the early 1990s, when Ainsley was Head Chef of the Long Room at Lord’s Cricket Ground, BBC Radio asked him to present More Nosh, Less Dosh for Radio 5 Live. A call from Pebble Mill soon followed and Ainsley moved in to become resident chef on BBC TV’s Good Morning with Anne And Nick. Shortly afterwards he was invited to join a new series which went on to redefine cookery television – Ready Steady Cook.
Ready Steady Cook began its life in 1994 and it became a hit around the world. In the UK, almost two thousand episodes were recorded over twenty one series, making it one of the longest running food shows ever. Ainsley moved from chef to host in 2000, regularly recording over a hundred episodes a year.
His Can’t Cook Won’t Cook was also hugely popular, running for several series during the 90s.
Over the past couple of decades he’s travelled the world, making television series for the UK, the US and South Africa. British series include Ainsley’s Barbeque Bible, Ainsley’s Meals in Minutes, Ainsley’s Big Cook Out, Gourmet Express, 50 Things To Eat Before You Die, Take on The Takeaway. He also joined the presenting team of The Great British Food Revival, championing honey and peas!
Entertainment and factual programmes include City Hospital, The Hidden Camera Show and Party of a Lifetime...
For the USA he has made Ready Set Cook (for The Food Network) and over a hundred episodes of The Ainsley Harriott Show (for NBC). For South Africa he has made two series of Off the Menu.
Alongside his TV career, Ainsley is also a No.1 best selling author. He’s sold more than two million books worldwide, with co-editions in Dutch, Danish, Slovenian, Romanian - and American. After his debut book in 1996, In The Kitchen, he wrote books to accompany his many television series, including Ainsley’s Barbecue Bible and Ainsley’s Gourmet Express. In 1998, he launched the enduring Meals in Minutes series which continues to appeal today. His latest book was published in 2012.