A new biography of flamboyant celebrity chef and TV personality John Burton-Race, based in Devon, has all the ingredients for a delicious read – big money, betrayal, heartache, guns, sports cars and great food.
In John Burton-Race: The Man, The Magic and The Mayhem by Michael Cowton, Burton-Race talks for the first time about the bad boy antics which led to the break-up of his second marriage, including his infamous stint on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!
The Michelin-starred chef has opened up to journalist and author Michael Cowton on everything from his early years in late 1950s Singapore to working under renowned chef Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, going on to open his own restaurant, L’Ortolan in Berkshire.
Burton-Race’s mercurial nature has fascinated viewers on the small screen ever since his fly-on-the-wall series French Leave and Return of the Chef. His appearance on I’m a Celebrity ended in disaster when his second wife closed his Devon restaurant while he was still in the Australian jungle.
Despite all the drama – in and out of the kitchen – Burton-Race remains as driven as ever, and just as spectacular when it comes to cooking food.
On the topic of his turbulent life, he said: “Sometimes I think I am on a boat that is upturned, and I am in the sea drowning. Every time I manage to scramble back on, I am flung off again.”
Author Cowton has worked on a number of national newspapers variously as a features writer, columnist and chief sub-editor, including the Daily Express, The Observer and the Mail on Sunday. The Lincolnshire-based biographer’s previous works include Level 42 – The Definitive Biography and Pet Shop Boys – Introspective.
Cowton said: “Working with John Burton-Race over the last two years has been an unforgettable experience. The book explores John’s life and includes recipes from significant points in his career and which helped lead to him being the star chef he is today.”