Portrait of Jay Rayner

Jay Rayner

Jay Rayner is an award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster with a fine collection of floral shirts. He has written on everything from crime and politics, through cinema and theatre to the visual arts, but is best known as restaurant critic for the Observer.

For a while, he was a sex columnist for Cosmopolitan; he also once got himself completely waxed in the name of journalism. He only mentions this because it hurt.

Jay is a former Young Journalist of the Year, Critic of the Year and Restaurant Critic of the Year, though not all in the same year. In the 2014 British Press Awards he was shortlisted for both Critic of the Year and Specialist Journalist of the Year.

Somehow, he has also found time to write four novels and five works of non-fiction. Following the success of his 2013 book A Greedy Man in a Hungry World: How (almost) everything you thought you knew about food is wrong, his most recent book is The Ten (Food) Commandments.

He chairs BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet, and is a regular on British television, where he is familiar as a judge on Masterchef and, since 2009, as the resident food expert on The One Show. He likes pig.

Photo: Levon Biss