After an early career as a punk musician, Loyd Grossman went on to become a restaurant reviewer for Harpers and Queen and The Sunday Times. His TV debut was as a roving presenter on Through the Keyhole and in 1990 he became the first ever presenter of Masterchef, which he fronted for 10 years. He is currently a judge on Food Glorious Food on ITV.
What was your biggest career break?
I’m not sure I’ve ever had a big career break. Getting to write for Rolling Stone when I was quite young certainly encouraged me a great deal.
Have you had a notable mentor – and if so what was it about them that was so inspiring?
I’ve had a number of inspiring ‘mentors’: Bob Somma who was my first editor, Jack Fisher who taught me at LSE, Willie Landels who was the editor of Harpers & Queen, Ann Barr who was the features editor of Harpers and Duncan Robinson who was master of Magdalene College.
What qualities to do you look for in the people you work with?
Enthusiasm can’t be taught and it’s absolutely vital.
What one piece of advice would you give to the 20-year-old you?
I don’t think that the 20-year-old me was looking for advice.
Who do you admire and why?
The list of who I admire and why is TOO long. It ranges from B B King and his dedication to the craft of guitar playing, to James Salter and his brilliance at writing and on and on. I find new heroes all the time.
What does the future of your industry look like?
All predictions about the future are pretty unhelpful. The most important thing is remembering that there will always be a lot to learn.
If you hadn’t chosen your current career, what would you have been?
I am still trying to be a good guitarist.
What is your biggest extravagance?
Gosh! I have no idea.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and why? (you can invite three people – they must be alive)
My dream dinner party is me and my two daughters.
What do you do to relax away from work?
I find ‘work’ very relaxing.
If you could change one thing about Britain today, what would it be?
It would be a great improvement if people respected each other.
What would your last meal be? (please choose a starter, a main course and a pudding)
Easy: lobster, chips, ice cream.