TV chef Ainsley Harriott heartbreakingly admits to racist abuse at the start of her career

The TV star was turned down a job as a celebrity chef at the start of his career because of the color of his skin. The star was turned down from a restaurant despite his impressive CV.

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Ainsley Harriott has shared about the shocking racism he experienced at the start of his career before rising to fame as a TV chef.

64 years old full of energy is one of the UK’s most beloved chefs and TV presenters with a screen career stretching back to the 1980s.

Before I found famous on screen, Ainsley – who was born and raised in London – has forged an impressive career in the capital’s restaurant world.

But he has revealed that he has suffered from brutal racism in the past, saying he has been turned down for jobs purely due to the color of his skin and despite an impressive chef CV.

Ainsley Harriott reflects on the racism he experienced in his career


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Speaking on Radio 4’s Food Show, Ainsley said: “I was a young sous chef at a West End hotel at the time, it was really good, and couldn’t get the gig.

“There’s a specific place, I won’t name it, that says: ‘We really don’t want a black chef standing in front of our restaurant.’ Which I respect in a way.

“I think it’s nice that they can just tell me straight up instead of putting a bunch of nonsense in there or just saying, ‘You’re not quite what you’re looking for’.”

Ainsley is one of the UK’s most loved TV chefs


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He continued: “I was a bit shocked because when you work in a happy environment, you create a happy environment. But then go for the interview – you can just say.

“It got to the stage where in five minutes I knew, ‘I’m not going to land this gig’.”

However, the loss of the unnamed restaurant ended up being in the entertainment industry’s favor – as Ainsley went on to host Ready Steady Cook, the hit show that can’t cook, won’t cook and returns into a familiar name.

Reflecting on his career, the TV chef explains that he has done what he can to grow the television industry’s on-screen cooking sector.

“There’s not much humor in cooking,” he said. You always feel like you are having a lesson at school.

“If you make people feel good… then it all comes naturally to you. That’s where the love of food originates, the love of cooking. ”

More featured shows hosted by Ainsley are ready… Set… Cook! and Ainsley Eats the Street.

He is a contestant on Seriously come to dance in 2015 – in which he was voted down in week 4 – and has also served as the on-site chef for Lorraine over the years.

Ainsley was awarded an MBE for culinary arts and broadcasting services in 2020



The star has also sold more than two million books over the course of her career – and in 2020 was awarded an MBE for culinary arts and broadcasting services.

Talking about when she received news of her MBE, the star said in an interview last year: “You have to keep it a secret for a few months because they contact your agent first. It’s difficult because you see your friends and you want to share.

“The first time I got it, I thought it was a parking ticket! It had a logo on it. When you see an official stamp, you ask, ‘What is this? “

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/top-chef-ainsley-harriott-heartbreakingly-26247950 TV chef Ainsley Harriott heartbreakingly admits to racist abuse at the start of her career

Fry Electronics Team

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