The star presenter of BBC's MASTERCHEF tells his story for the first time.Gregg Wallace, star presenter of BBC's MASTERCHEF, restaurateur and expert on all things pudding, shares his story for the first time. After leaving school at 14, he started his career as a greengrocer at the New Covent Garden market and went on to create his multi-million pound fruit and veg business a decade later. A star slot on BBC VEG TALK,and an award-winning television programme followed and, in 2005, the chance to front MASTERCHEF, a show that has drawn in over 4.5 million viewers and produced some of the nation's best up-and-coming chefs.He has since opened two restaurants, Wallace & Co and Gregg's Table, penned numerous cookery books, and has written for the national and trade press. In this, his first memoir, Gregg tells how his early passion for food growing up in Peckham, south London, led to a world of Michelin star restaurants, celebrity chefs and a mission to save Britain's produce - and in an extraordinary turn with more than a few life-changing hurdles - brought him back to his roots.
Life on a Plate: The Autobiography by Gregg Wallace was published in paperback by Orion in November 2013.
People who know me personally know about my crush on Gregg Wallace, he of Masterchef fame. I really really really like him. I once saw him at the Good Food Show and did a little squeal which made my husband move very swiftly to the other side of the arena. I've had a couple of Tweets from Gregg too, and those have made me smile widely and tell everyone within earshot about my tenuous link to Gregg.
Life on a Plate was written a few years ago, but I've only just read it and finished it a couple of weeks ago. I've enjoyed it very much. Gregg is not the world's best writer, but he does tell a cracking tale, with humour and honesty. He's not always been the good guy, he hasn't always treated the women in his life very well, and he's found himself up in front of the judge before, but he doesn't try to hide this, or make excuses for it, he's upfront and truthful, and very very interesting.
I grew up at the same time as Gregg, we are almost the same age and one of the joys in reading Life on a Plate is his memories of the food of the 70s. I too adore butterscotch Angel Delight, and although I do enjoy fine food, like Gregg, I am more than happy to tuck into a good plate of egg and chips or a greasy spoon special bacon butty.
It was fascinating to read about Gregg's rise in the world of greengrocery. He didn't get it right the first time, but he's a hard worker who has learnt many lessons from some huge mistakes, and has shown determination and grit throughout his life.
Life on a Plate is a really interesting read, love him or hate him, you cannot fail to be impressed by his rise from humble Peckham beginnings to the top of his game. I'd really love to read about the years that follow on from the end of this book, and if he does decide to write the next installment, I will be sure to buy it.
Gregg Allan Wallace (born 17 October 1964) is an English television presenter known for co-presenting MasterChef, Celebrity MasterChef and MasterChef: The Professionals on BBC One and BBC Two. He is also a writer, media personality and former greengrocer, costermonger and farmer. He has jokingly referred to himself as "just the fat, bald bloke on MasterChef who likes pudding"
For more information about Gregg Wallace, check out his website at www.greggwallace.com
Follow him on Twitter @GreggAWallace