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Mostly Food & Travel Journal

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Glynn Christian

Glynn Christian is best known in the UK as a BBC-TV food traveller and food writer. He has been popular on UK television since the start of the eighties and the early days of celebrity chefdom.

I asked Glynn when he first became interested in food. “I was not a kid who wanted to help Mummy with the baking, and only became interested when I was 21 and first went into a flat, and quickly realised (a) I enjoyed cooking, and (b) life was more fun when you could invite people around and give them something nice to eat.”

Glynn was born in New Zealand and worked there producing radio and TV commercials. He made the move to Britain in the early 60s and soon found employment writing brochures for Clarkson’s, the holiday company. He had the chance to travel and discover exotic ingredients, and explore the diverse tapestry of international cuisine.

Glynn Christian interviewMr Christian's was the cutting edge deli co-founded by Glynn in 1974. His immense experience of fine foods and speciality ingredients allowed him to fill the shop with amazing products, just at the time when Britain was starting to shake off its reputation as the nasty food nation of Europe. He piled the shelves with everything an enthusiastic cook would want or could want. I asked how it all started. “I learned that ingredients were more important than recipes - that good ingredients could tell you themselves what to do, if you had ever eaten them before, and ever taken notice of them before. Then I put all that knowledge of the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and the US into stocking the shelves of Mr Christian's, the deli just off Portobello Rd. That led to my first book, about cheese, that led to weekly broadcasts on LBC radio, that led to Pebble Mill at One just a few days after I turned 40, and that led to BBC Breakfast Time . . . the rest is on the website!” (

In 1982 Glynn made A Cook's Tour, the BBC's first cookery series shot on location.  The series cruised Eastern Mediterranean ports and showed how their ancient influences could still be found in modern food.

BBC Breakfast-Time TV began in 1983 and found Glynn broadcasting live from a sliced-bread factory!  He was seen three times each week, either cooking or out on location reporting food-related stories.

Glynn has written weekly on food and cookery in The Sunday Telegraph and he was runner-up for a Glenfiddich Food Writer of the Year award.  He was the Food Columnist for Elle UK for five years and wrote for House & Garden, Punch, Gardens Illustrated and other magazines and newspapers. But he returned to Australasia in 1995, where he became Senior Presenter on TVSN the shopping channel and wrote for The Weekend Australian. 

In 1999 he moved to New Zealand where he appeared on TVNZ and wrote weekly for the New Zealand Herald and its magazine Canvas. He also produced and directed the BBC series Glynn Christian Tastes Royal Thailand, and Glynn Christian's Entertaining Microwave. He wrote and presented numerous series and travelled on location to the Eastern Mediterranean, Australia, California, Sri Lanka, China and Thailand. His programmes have covered everything from fish cookery to the history of afternoon tea, and he is also co-presenter of Tasting Australia, a 26-part series.

In Britain he is a regular contributor to Fine Food Digest, the magazine dedicated to the fine food business, and has helped pioneer the sale of speciality foods on QVC UK. Glynn has also been in demand as a judge of speciality foods and the shops selling them. His most recent TV appearances were as a guest on the 70s episode of The Supersizers Go (BBC2) and on Market Kitchen (UKTV Food).

Glynn is still a regular guest on radio and TV and was often seen on Good Food Live for the UKTV food network. He is the only TV cook to make a series about the microwave, and enjoys demonstrating that the microwave is not a gadget just for heating up your instant soup but actually the fastest way to cook some of the healthiest food.  He is currently planning a series of Mediterranean Microwave classes and courses in a restored townhouse in the medieval part of Antibes on the Provencal Riviera.

France has been a popular place for Glynn but he says, “I am too busy once again in London to contemplate living in France, and do not visit enough. But I have just had a glorious long weekend in the Haute Savoie at the gorgeous chateau in Samoens owned by my cousin Jane Tresidder and her husband Jack - and fell in love with Annecy. I reckon I could live there with enormous pleasure.”

Glynn has written numerous food-related books and you can find out more if you visit his web site I have recently reviewed the excellent Real Flavours - The Handbook of Gourmet and Deli Ingredients, and I’ll soon review How to Cook without Recipes, but how about Glynn’s other projects?

“There are two current projects (excluding a follow up to How to Cook without Recipes).
“I want to tell the story of the Tahitian women stolen away by Fletcher Christian on BOUNTY, of their 20 bloody years on Pitcairn Island before it was rediscovered, and how they, born with no rights on Tahiti, became the first women in the world to have their right to vote written into law, 90 years before the women of Britain. There's a film script making the rounds and that would lead to a book.
“And I am researching a book about cooking and eating in the heat of battle, something not done in any language as far as I can see. Because everyone eats, it puts war into scarifying new focus that's impossible in the usual rehearsals of victories and battles and lists of armaments.  It will take a few years but be very worthwhile to do.
“And I am talking to several companies about some new television series ...”

Whatever Glynn does you can be sure that it will be surprising, informative, amusing and a credit to this celebrated and generous foodie.

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