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James started his cooking career as an apprentice at the ripe old age of 15 in his hometown of Bristol in the UK.

For the first six months, he did nothing but the menial tasks of peeling and scrubbing, while revelling in provincial French cooking at its finest.

He quickly discovered travel and cooking were beautifully paired, so he packed his bags and headed for the south coast of England. James started work in the best hotel in Plymouth but quickly found the rigidity of an establishment style kitchen was not his style.

Then James discovered the wonders of Paris and spent five years working in an intimate bistro just off the Avenue des Champs Élysées, reinforcing his love of French food. He also worked in the Antibes, cooking on a 60 foot ketch in the Mediterranean and then on a 50 metre cruiser, cooking for a Saudi Prince.

With his feet back on dry land, his next appointment was head chef in a 200 seat restaurant in Guernsey on the Channel Islands. The restaurant was situated right on the beach, which allowed James to indulge his second love, surfing. The produce available to James on Guernsey was fantastic with fabulous fresh seafood served the same day it was caught.

James temporarily left the cooking profession and tried his hand at modelling. He even trained to be a movie stunt man but he found he missed cooking too much.

James then built and ran his own café bistro and catering company. This is where he was discovered by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and given his first series, ‘The Occasional Cook’.

James In Kitchen

James finally found his nirvana in Australia, which has become his permanent home with wife Josie and young son Dylan.

Having cooked around the world, he rates Australia without peer for diversity of produce, innovative cuisine and style.