Gary Rhodes - Biography
When most boys his age were out in the street kicking a football around, young Gary Rhodes preferred to spend his days experimenting in the kitchen, preparing family meals while his mum was at work. One look at his family's delighted faces after they tucked into the first major culinary venture - a full roast dinner he produced at the age of 13 was enough to convince him his future lay in the role of chef.
Birthplace: London, England
Who was Gary Rhodes?
The spiky-haired culinary genius was born on April 20, 1960, in south London. His family moved to Kent where he grew up and attended a local catering college. It was there he met future wife Jennie, with whom he tied the knot in 1989. The couple have two children, Samuel and George.
Gary Rhodes' Early Career
Aware he'd need to travel to develop his culinary skills Gary headed for Amsterdam where his got his first job as a commis chef at the city's Hilton hotel. His career looked in doubt briefly, however, when a 1979 accident caused him to lose his sense of smell. Fortunately he made a full recovery.
Gary Rhodes' First Michelin Star
The budding talent landed his first head chef job at the Castle Hotel in Somerset. It was there he developed the passion for British food which set the course of his career, and gained his first Michelin star, aged just 26.
Gary Rhodes' Career
A year later he made his first small screen appearance - a guest slot on BBC cookery programme Hot Chefs. TV bosses were so impressed he was given his own show, Rhodes around Britain, which fast became a cooking favourite.
In 1997 Gary opened his first London restaurant, City Rhodes, which was followed 12 months later by Rhodes In The Square located in luxury apartment complex Dolphin Square. Both were awarded Michelin Stars. From that point on his empire grew swiftly to include brasseries in Edinburgh, Manchester and Crawley as well as further afield in Grenada, Dubai and aboard a luxury cruise ship.
Despite devoting increasing amounts of time to his different business ventures, which include numerous product endorsements, food magazine contributions and countless cook books, Gary says his number one passion is still cooking. "I will never let go of the stove," he said.
He cooked on almost every continent, including special meals prepared for royalty and prime ministers, as well as on the QE2 and the Orient Express. In addition to his OBE, awarded in 2006, Gary has achieved many personal ambitions, including serving up food for Princess Diana, the Jordan Formula One team, and his beloved Manchester United football team.
Gary Rhodes' Death
Gary was taken ill whilst in Dubai at the end of 2019, and sadly passed away on 26 November, aged 59. It was later confirmed that the cause of death was the consequence of a subdural haematoma, associated with brain injuries.
Gary Rhodes' Legacy
From humble beginnings to international stardom, Gary left a mark unmatched on the culinary world. Celebrity chefs the world over flocked to pay tribute to the cooking phenomenon, including Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, Ainsley Harriott and Tom Kerridge, the latter of whom praised the late star as "one of the greatest British chefs who almost single handedly put British food on the world stage".