Gary Rhodes
Rhodes in 2008
Born(1960-04-22)22 April 1960
London, England
Died26 November 2019(2019-11-26) (aged 59)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Jennie Rhodes
(m. 1989)
Culinary career
Cooking styleBritish cuisine
Current restaurant(s)
  • Rhodes W1, Dubai
    Rhodes Twenty10, Dubai
    Rhodes Calabash, Grenada
Television show(s)
  • Gary Rhodes Autumn into Winter
    Gary Rhodes Spring into Summer
    Hell's Kitchen
    Masterchef USA
    MasterChef UK
    New British Classics Nov/Dec
    Gary's Perfect Christmas
    Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes
    Open Rhodes Around Britain
    More Rhodes Around Britain
    Rhodes Around Britain
    Hot Chefs
    Rhodes Across India
    Rhodes Across China
    Rhodes Across the Caribbean

Gary Rhodes OBE (22 April 1960 – 26 November 2019)[1] was an English restaurateur and television chef, known for his love of English cuisine and ingredients and for his distinctive spiked hair style. He fronted shows such as MasterChef, MasterChef USA, Hell's Kitchen, and his own series, Rhodes Around Britain. As well as owning several restaurants, Rhodes also had his own line of cookware and bread mixes.[2] Rhodes went on to feature in the ITV1 programme Saturday Cooks, as well as the UKTV Food show Local Food Hero before his sudden death at age 59.

Early years

Rhodes was born in Camberwell, South London, in 1960, to Gordon and Jean (née Ferris) Rhodes.[3][4] He moved with his family to Gillingham, Kent, where he went to The Howard School in Rainham.[5] He then attended catering college in Thanet where he met his wife Jennie.[6]


Rhodes' first job was at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel.[3] He was hit by a transit van in Amsterdam leaving him with serious injuries. He then toured Europe in various jobs before becoming sous chef at the Reform Club in Pall Mall, and then on to the Michelin-starred Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge where he worked under Brian Turner.[7] Rhodes became the head chef at the Castle Hotel, Taunton, in Somerset. He retained the hotel's Michelin star at the age of 26.[8] As part of his programme Floyd on Britain & Ireland, Keith Floyd watched Gary make roast oxtail.

In 1990, Rhodes returned to London with his family to become head chef at The Greenhouse restaurant in Mayfair. The menu became known for reviving British classics, including faggots, fishcakes, braised oxtails and bread and butter pudding.[5] He was awarded a Michelin star for The Greenhouse in January 1996. In 1997 he opened his first restaurant, City Rhodes, and in 1998 Rhodes in the Square, both in London with global contract catering company Sodexo.[9] This partnership expanded into the brasseries Rhodes & Co in Manchester, Edinburgh and Crawley.[10]

In 2003, following the closure of the restaurants City Rhodes and Rhodes in the Square,[11] he opened Rhodes Twenty Four in one of London's tallest buildings, Tower 42. Rhodes described his hopes for the restaurant on its launch: "If we never get a Michelin star here, I will be very disappointed, but what I really want is customers."[12] It won a Michelin star in 2005,[13] which it retained as one of Rhodes' two Michelin-starred restaurants in London until its closure in 2014.[14]

Rhodes also owned Arcadian Rhodes on the P&O superliner MS Arcadia, Rhodes W1 at The Cumberland Hotel in London, and Rhodes Calabash at The Calabash Hotel in Grenada.[10] He was also a contributor to the BBC Good Food magazine.[15]

His first TV appearance was at the age of 27, courtesy of TV chef Glynn Christian on Hot Chefs. This led to the BBC series Rhodes Around Britain in 1994 and Gary's Rhodes' Perfect Christmas in 1998.[16] In 1999, Rhodes presented a BBC TV series Gary Rhodes' New British Classics, reintroducing classic British cuisine, and published a book of the same name.[17][18] For two seasons, in 2000 and 2001, Rhodes hosted the original MasterChef USA on PBS.[19]

Rhodes starred in the television series Rhodes Across India,[20] with apprentices Bushra Akram, Scott Davis and Kalwant Sahota, and, in 2008, Rhodes Across China, which explored Chinese cuisine, with sous chefs Melissa Syers and Teresa Tsang.[21]

Rhodes appeared in a commercial tie-in with Tate & Lyle in the late 1990s, and his recipes endorsed sugar and treacle products accordingly; his name was printed on every Tate & Lyle sugar sachet across the country.[22] Rhodes was associated with a Cooking in Schools campaign with Flora UK and appeared in television adverts for Flora margarine, some of which featured him "driving a van topped with a giant styrofoam crumpet" which were banned.[23]

He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) on 17 June 2006.[3] In the same year he competed, representing the South of England, in the BBC's Great British Menu, but lost to Atul Kochhar.[24]

Rhodes appeared on the BBC Two spoof game show Shooting Stars, during which hosts Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer asked him to "represent fire through the medium of dance".[25] He also competed, with professional partner Karen Hardy, in the sixth series of Strictly Come Dancing which began on 20 September 2008, and finished in 14th place.[3]

In 2011, Rhodes moved to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He headed Rhodes Mezzanine, later Rhodes W1 Dubai, at the Grosvenor House Hotel,[26] and another restaurant Rhodes Twenty10 at Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa.[10] In 2013 he opened his first restaurant in Abu Dhabi, Rhodes 44 at The St. Regis Hotel.[27] Rhodes was a supporter of Manchester United.[28][29]


Rhodes died in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 26 November 2019; he was aged 59.[10] Rock Oyster Media and Goldfinch TV said in a statement to the PA news agency that Rhodes had become unwell, while filming, and died shortly thereafter.[30] It was later confirmed by Rhodes' family that his death was a result of a subdural haematoma, normally associated with a head injury.[31]



  1. ^ "Celebrity British chef Gary Rhodes dies suddenly at 59". NBC News. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Gary Rhodes Cookware Launch And Photocall Stock Photos and Pictures | Getty Images". Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "Gary Rhodes: Chef and TV presenter dies aged 59". BBC News. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Gary Rhodes obituary". The Times. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Gary Rhodes dead: TV chef and Masterchef star dies aged 59 with wife Jennie by his side in Dubai". The Standard. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  7. ^ Sven-Erik Bergh, ed. (1993). Bergh's International Annual Digest of Gastronomy '93/94: All About Cookery and Wine. Bergh Publishing Group. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-930267-37-7.
  8. ^ Marsh, Sarah (27 November 2019). "Gary Rhodes, TV chef and presenter, dies aged 59". The Guardian.
  9. ^ "Gary Rhodes". Cook's Info. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d Petter, Olivia. "Gary Rhodes Dead: Celebrity Chef Dies in Dubai, Aged 59". The Independent. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  11. ^ Coren, Giles (20 December 2003). "Rhodes 24". The Times. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  12. ^ Wood, Joanna; Walker, Ben (6 November 2003). "Rhodes in the Tower". Caterer Search. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  13. ^ "An interview with Gary Rhodes". Caterer Search. 18 April 2007. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  14. ^ Wallop, Harry (18 January 2011). "Michelin Guide 2011: record number of UK stars". The Telegraph. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  15. ^ "Gary Rhodes". BBC Good Food.
  16. ^ "Gary Rhodes, chef and sparkling television presenter who championed British cuisine". The Daily Telegraph. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Gary Rhodes' New British Classics". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  18. ^ "Gary Rhodes: New British Classics". BBC. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  19. ^ Yasharoff, Hannah (27 November 2019). "Gary Rhodes, British chef and personality on 'Hell's Kitchen,' 'MasterChef,' dies at 59". USA Today. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Gary Rhodes' life in pictures". BBC News. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  21. ^ Gee, Catherine (24 July 2008). "Rhodes Across China". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  22. ^ Heritage, Stuart (27 November 2019). "Gary Rhodes: the spiky-haired scoundrel who became the first superstar chef". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  23. ^ Hayward, Tim (25 February 2009). "Rhodes to perdition". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  24. ^ Robinson, James (27 November 2019). "Gary Rhodes, TV chef and restaurateur, dies aged 59". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  25. ^ "Celebrity Chef Gary Rhodes Has Died at 59". London Eater. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  26. ^ Keith J Fernandez (24 December 2017). "Gary Rhodes: 'I don't regret moving to Dubai'". Gulf News. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  27. ^ Sambidge, Andy (30 September 2013). "Gary Rhodes opens first Abu Dhabi restaurant". Hotelier Middle East. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  28. ^ "Gary Rhodes: The smiling, spiky-haired saviour of the British menu". ITV News. 27 November 2019.
  29. ^ "TV chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59". 27 November 2019.
  30. ^ Channon, Max (27 November 2019). "Gary Rhodes 'suddenly taken ill' during filming break before death". Plymouth Herald.
  31. ^ "Gary Rhodes died from bleed to the brain, family confirms". BBC News. 28 November 2019. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  32. ^ Bishop, Edward (19 November 2008). "Gary Rhodes's heaven on earth: Grenada". The Daily Telegraph.
  33. ^ "Menuwatch Rhodes Twenty10". The Caterer. 26 August 2010.
  34. ^ Johnson, Stacie Overton (2 October 2014). "Rhodes 44 at the St Regis Abu Dhabi has closed". The National. Abu Dhabi.
  35. ^ Gerrard, Neil (7 July 2014). "Gary Rhodes to resurrect Rhodes W1 name in Dubai". The Caterer.
  36. ^ Archer, Jane (18 February 2006). "Shipping out with chef". The Daily Telegraph.
  37. ^ Crawshaw, Georgina (14 May 2007). "Sea Fayre". Bournemouth Echo.
  38. ^ Duffy, Rónán (27 November 2019). "TV chef Gary Rhodes dies aged 59".
  39. ^ a b Peachey, Paul (16 January 2003). "Gary Rhodes to close London restaurants". The Independent.
  40. ^ a b McClary, Samantha (13 January 2003). "Rhodes and Sodexho part as restaurants close". The Caterer.
  41. ^ Channon, Max (27 November 2019). "Gary Rhodes dies in Dubai aged 59". Plymouth Herald.