Photo: Bobby Goulding

Photo: Bobby Goulding

STEFAN GATES

I have the best job in the world: I’m a food adventurer. I know that sounds a bit odd, but there’s really no other way of explaining it. I spend my life working to inspire fascination with food and I do it by cooking, exploring and occasionally blowing stuff up. Actually, I do quite a lot of blowing stuff up.

I live in North London with my family and a menagerie of crazy animals but spend a lot of my time travelling or on tour. I graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English and worked in TV and film production as well as the BBC's New Comedy Department before I realised that all I really cared about was exploring extraordinary food stories and talking to people about them.

I develop half of my own TV shows, and I’ve made some pretty wild series to get people excited by what they eat: Food Factory (BBC1), Gastronuts (CBBC), Incredible Edibles (CBBC), Full on Food (BBC2), Cooking in the Danger Zone BBC2) and also lots of serious documentaries about hunger, conflict and anthropology: Can Eating Insects Save the World?, Feasts, Calves Heads and Coffee: The Golden Age of English Food (all BBC4). I love food science: Food Factory, E Numbers: An Edible Adventure (BBC2) and I particularly enjoy staging big live food stunt shows. Basically, I like cooking food that will blow your mind.

So, how do I earn my biscuits? Well, I work as a TV presenter/writer (I’ve made eighteen TV series of my own and often appear in other people’s), an author (I’ve written seven books), I've written for various magazines and newspapers and I perform and host about 100 live events every year. I do a fair amount of corporate work hosting conferences and helping companies come up with new food ideas, too.

My hobbies are cooking, hanging out with my kids, cooking, windsurfing, cooking, travelling, cooking, cycling...you get the picture. Mostly, I like blowing stuff up with food, though.