James Tanner

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This article is about the chef. For the paediatrician, see James Mourilyan Tanner. For the person present at Abraham Lincoln's death, see James R. Tanner. For the singer, see James Tanner (singer).
James Tanner
Born (1976-11-28) 28 November 1976 (age 38)
Maidstone, Kent
Children Megan Tanner (age 7)
Culinary career
Restaurant Website

James Tanner (born 28 November 1976) is an English chef and television personality, best known for co-owning the Tanners Restaurant in Plymouth and cooking on various TV programmes.

In 1999, Tanner and his brother Chris set up Tanners Restaurant in Plymouth. Since then, he has appeared on the BBC cookery programme Ready Steady Cook and more recently the ITV Breakfast programme Lorraine.[1]

Early life[edit]

The third of four brothers, Tanner was born in Maidstone, Kent.

Tanner began his catering career, preparing salads and starters, in "Brookers Oast" a Whitbread Brewers Fayre in Kent in the early 1990s After studying hotel management[2] he worked in the kitchens of several restaurants, often with his older brother, fellow celebrity chef Chris Tanner.[3] Tanner worked his way up through the ranks until he was invited by the Roux brothers, Michel and Albert, to move to the US[4] and work in upstate New York, where he was Chef de partie at the Lake Placid Lodge. Within four months, he was promoted to junior Sous-chef.[2]


Tanners Restaurant opened in Prysten House in Plymouth

Tanner worked his way up the ranks and on returning to England took a job under Martin Blunos at the two Michelin-starred restaurant Lettonie in Bath before a Head Chef role at Right on the Green in Kent.[2]

In 1999, aged 23, Tanner and his brother opened Tanners Restaurant in Plymouth.[5][6]

In Spring 2006, the Tanner brothers opened a second restaurant in Plymouth, The Barbican Kitchen, a brasserie sited within the Plymouth Gin Distillery, a 500-year-old building in the heart of Plymouth's oldest area, The Barbican.[7]

In April 2011, the Tanner brothers opened The Kitchen Cafe, serving snack style foods as an offshoot from the brasserie style cuisine.[8]

In early 2014, the brothers bought a pub in Bidborough in Kent for £1.5m which opened in May 2014.[9]


James Tanner (right) with Ainsley Harriott and Lesley Waters on set of Ready Steady Cook in 2004

Tanner's television career began in 2002 when he and his brother made their first TV appearance on a competition called 'Chef Stars', a promotion run by UKTV Food and broadcast predominantly on their now cancelled Great Food Live. The brothers, however, did not make it through to the final.

Tanner became a semi-regular guest on Great Food Live which was shot at the same studios as Ready Steady Cook. He was recommended to audition for the show and became a regular. At the heart of his style during his TV appearances is the repetition of his catchphrase "Like so", used to make various culinary techniques seem easy, encouraging members of the public to give them a try, and also to assuage viewers' fears of unfamiliar ingredients, as well as "dig down deep".

Since 2010, Tanner has been a regular chef on the ITV Breakfast programme Lorraine.

Tanner also occasionally appears on Saturday Kitchen.[2]

Guest appearances[edit]


  • For Chocolate Lovers – Published 5 October 2006, co-written by Chris Tanner
  • Ice Cream – Published 25 March 2008, co-written by Chris Tanner
  • James Tanner Takes 5: Delicious Dishes Using Just 5 Ingredients – Published 30 September 2010
  • Old Favourites, New Twists: 100 classic recipes with a difference – Published 11 July 2013

Personal life[edit]

Tanner has one daughter, Megan.


  1. ^ Find out more about James Tanner | Presenters & Experts | Lorraine ITV1
  2. ^ a b c d "BBC Biography". BBC. Retrieved 29 October 2009. 
  3. ^ "Chefs of the future cook up a storm". The Herald. 21 June 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2009. 
  4. ^ "Brothers' fine food oasis". Europe Intelligence Wire. 19 March 2005. Retrieved 29 October 2009. 
  5. ^ "Flavour fest puts top chefs to test.". Europe Intelligence Wire. 19 August 2004. Retrieved 29 October 2009. 
  6. ^ "James Tanner at the Nottingham Food and Drink Festival". Nottingham Evening Post. 11 September 2009. Retrieved 29 October 2009. 
  7. ^ Plymouth Young Chamber – Sponsor – James Tanner of Tanners Restaurant and the Barbican Kitchen
  8. ^ Tanners, Plymouth | The staff Canteen
  9. ^ [1]

External links[edit]