Who’s your 2015 food champion? olive helps Radio Times find Britain’s best-loved cookery star

Who would you pick out of Gordon Ramsay and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall? Or Nigella Lawson and John Torode? Radiotimes.com is on a mission to find the nation’s ‘food champion’, and we’re right behind them…

It’s all part of a Radio Times TV Champion competition that pits 512 television stars from eight different genres (drama, entertainment, sci-fi & fantasy, comedy, food, news & factual, soap operas and sport) against each other. The section stars battle in head-to-head polls (with the public voting for their favourite), and the winner then moves on to the next round. The eight eventual champions will fight to the bitter end over the coveted ‘TV Champion’ title. 


Of course, we’re most interested in who’s crowned Food Champion 2015. There are four groups of contestants in total, with eight battles in each – that’s 64 cookery show stars to choose from! Here web editor Charlotte and food editor Janine reveal how they would vote in the group A games…

Game 1: Gordon Ramsay v Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Charlotte: It has to be Gordon Ramsay. He may have a potty mouth, but he never fails to entertain… plus we really like the food at his Maze Grill Park Walk restaurant (are we allowed to let that influence our vote?)

Game 2: Richard Corrigan v Tom Kerridge

Janine: We love Tom Kerridge for his easy-going cooking style, West Country burr and ability to get more flavour (and butter) in recipes than seems humanly possible. In his words, totally LUSH. The chef you’d most like to have a pint with.

Game 3: James Martin v Nigel Slater

Charlotte: Ahhh the friendly Yorkshire-man or the ingredients expert food writer… we do love James Martin’s heavy hand with the butter, but nothing beats Nigel Slater’s simple, seasonal recipes. Plus his autobiography, Toast, had us in stitches.

Game 4: Delia Smith v Marcus Wareing

Janine: I still have a battered old copy of Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course and it’s the first book I’d recommend to any budding young cook as it covers EVERYTHING. Watching Delia on telly sends me into a blissful trance – nothing bad can happen when Delia is around.  

Game 5: Sue Perkins v Giarda De Larentiis

Charlotte: No contest. Who doesn’t love a bit of Sue Perks? She brightens up the Great British Bake Off tent, and although she’s not a renowned cook, we’re sure she could rustle up a pretty good pie.

Game 6: Monica Galetti v Rick Stein

Janine: I’m going with Rick Stein, because of his campaigning to get people eating more of the great variety of fish our waters produce, his brilliantly researched recipes, and the best TV companion ever, Chalky the Jack Russell!

Game 7: Bobby Flay v Atul Kochar

Charlotte: Sorry Bobby, our money is on Atul Kochar. He’s the king of spice, after all. And one of his best recipes, black pepper chicken curry, just happens to be on our website… (you only need eight ingredients and 40 minutes of free time)

Game 8: Cat Cora v Mario Batali

Janine: I’ve been to Eataly (Batali’s huge Italian food emporium in NYC) and for that reason alone I’m picking Mario Batali.

Our ultimate winner?

As for who should win the Food Champion title, we’re gunning for Tom Kerridge – simply because he makes the best brioche treacle tart in the world… 

We want to know who your winner is! Click here to vote for your food champion, and remember to show your support for them on twitter (#FoodChampion). 

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