Loyd Grossman

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Loyd Grossman
Loyd Grossman opens Pulse FM student radio station, 1999.jpg
Grossman in 1999
Born Loyd Daniel Gilman Grossman
(1950-09-16) 16 September 1950 (age 63)
Marblehead, Massachusetts, US
Nationality American, British
Occupation Television presenter / Gastronome
Spouse(s) Deborah Jane Puttnam (Divorced)

Loyd Daniel Gilman Grossman, OBE, FSA (born 16 September 1950) is an American-British television presenter, gastronome and musician who has mainly worked in the United Kingdom. He is currently a judge on ITV Food series Food Glorious Food.

Early life and education[edit]

Grossman was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts on 16 September 1950, the son of David K. Grossman and Helen Katherine (née Gilman).[1] He is of Jewish heritage. His father worked as an antiques dealer.[2] His initial education was at the General John Glover School in Marblehead,[3] and then at Marblehead High School.[1] He graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history before going to the United Kingdom in 1975 to study at the London School of Economics where he received a Masters degree in economic history.



Loyd Grossman playing guitar on stage

Grossman had a short-lived career as a singer with punk band Jet Bronx And The Forbidden, who reached number 49 in the UK singles chart in December 1977 with "Ain't Doin' Nothing". He returned to playing music in 2008. Following a guest appearance playing "Ain't Doin Nothin" with the Pork Dukes at the Vienna Rebellion punk festival on 27 April 2008, he played with his new band Jet Bronx and the New Forbidden at the 2008 Rebellion Festival in Blackpool.[4]

Restaurant critic[edit]

Grossman became a restaurant reviewer for Harpers & Queen[5] and The Sunday Times.

Television career[edit]

Grossman's television début came in April 1987, as a roving presenter for Through the Keyhole, a programme examining the homes of the famous. Before leaving in 2003, Grossman made almost 400 appearances on the programme. In July 1990, he became the first presenter of MasterChef, which he presented for 10 years (apart from a year off), also fronting the children's version from 1995 until 1999. Other programmes include the History of British Sculpture (2003),[6] and cookery show Step up to the Plate (2008) with Anton du Beke in which three amateur chefs competed against two professionals to produce the best three-course meal.[7]

Grossman won an edition of BBC's Celebrity Mastermind on 27 December 2009. His specialist subject was 18th Century art and artists.

Other work[edit]

In 2000, he was appointed to head the £40 million project to improve the quality of food served in British NHS hospitals and visited the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in December 2002 to raise awareness of the Better Hospital Foods project.[8]

From 1995, Grossman in association with Premier Foods have produced the Loyd Grossman sauces brand of cooking sauces.[9]

Grossman is also involved in charity work with a particular interest in museums and heritage in the UK, being Chairman of the Museums Advisory Committee and the Blue Plaques Panel), the President of the British Association of Friends of Museums, the Campaign for Museums, the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association, National Museums Liverpool, the vice-chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company and a trustee and a Fellow of St Deiniol's Library. He founded the 24 Hour Museum (now Culture 24) and was its Chairman until 2005. Grossman is a patron of the Association for Heritage Interpretation, and patron of Heritage Open Days, the Haslemere Educational Museum and the Historic Lincoln Trust. In 2007 he was appointed Chairman of the Churches Conservation Trust by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.[6]

He was a member of the Court of Governors of the LSE from 1996-2009 and is now an Emeritus Governor of the LSE. He is a Member of the Council of the British School at Rome. In 2008 he became Chairman of the University for the Creative Arts. In 2009 Grossman was appointed Chairman of the Heritage Alliance which represents more than 90 of the non-governmental and voluntary organisations working in the heritage sector. He is a member of the Court of Assistants of the Company of Arts Scholars, an Honorary Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.[1]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Deborah Puttnam, the daughter of the movie producer David Puttnam, and has two daughters. The couple divorced in 2004.[10] His interests include scuba diving (in which he is a PADI-qualified Divemaster), tennis, chess, fishing and music. He is also a fan of the Boston Red Sox.[1] He is a member of a few private members' clubs, including Brooks's, the Hurlingham Club and the Chelsea Arts Club.[1]

His Mid-Atlantic accent reflects his Boston origins as well as the many years he has spent in the UK. It is often the subject of parody including in ads for his own sauces, where home cooks imitate his speech as they use sauces that are promoted as having a "distinctive voice."[11]

He was parodied by Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer in The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer in a Masterchefsketch. His accent was also extensively imitated by Rob Brydon in the BBC 2 series, The Trip.

Awards and honours[edit]

In 1996, Grossman was awarded a Glenfiddich Food and Drink Award for his involvement in the MasterChef television series.[1] He was awarded an OBE in 2003.[1][2] Grossman is a member of the Council and the Court of Governors at the London School of Economics. He became a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2003.[12] On 9 November 2007, he became an Honorary Graduand of the University of Chester where he was presented for admission to the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa. In September 2008 he took up a place at Magdalene College, Cambridge, to read for a Master's degree in History of Art.[13] He was granted armorial bearings by letters patent of the English College of Arms on 5 March 2004.[14] In 2011 the University of Lincoln awarded him an honorary Doctor of Arts degree in recognition of his contribution to the cultural heritage sector.[1]


  • The Social History of Rock Music (1975)
  • Harpers and Queen Guide to London's 100 Best Restaurants (1987)
  • The Dog's Tale (1993)
  • Loyd Grossman's Italian Journey (1994)
  • Courvoisier's Book of the Best (1994–96) - as editor
  • The World on a Plate (1997)
  • The 125 Best Recipes Ever (1998)
  • Foodstuff (2002)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h 'GROSSMAN, Loyd Daniel Gilman', Who's Who 2012, A & C Black, 2012; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2011. Accessed 21 June 2012.
  2. ^ a b "How 'Mastersnob' Loyd Grossman conquered polite society". Daily Mail. 29 June 2006. Retrieved 20 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "Loyd Grossman". TES Magazine. TES. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Marcus Barnes (1 February 2008). "Grossman gears up for anarchy". The Sun. Retrieved 9 July 2009. 
  5. ^ "Varsity Profile: Loyd Grossman". Varsity. 6 February 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2009. 
  6. ^ a b "Loyd Grossman appointed to the Churches Conservation Trust". Prime Minister's Office. 29 June 2007. Retrieved 9 July 2009. 
  7. ^ "Step up to the Plate". Food News (Press & Journal). 29 May 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2009. 
  8. ^ "Loyd Grossman goes on the wards". BBC News. 6 December 2002. Retrieved 9 July 2009. 
  9. ^ "lovefood meets... Loyd Grossman by Andrew Webb". Lovefood.com. Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  10. ^ "How 'Mastersnob' Loyd Grossman conquered polite society". Daily Mail. 29 June 2006. Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  11. ^ Stecklow, Steve (4 October 2003). "That's just so, like, totally... spiffing". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 February 2007. 
  12. ^ "List of the Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries". Society of Antiquaries of London. Retrieved 9 July 2009. 
  13. ^ Graham Tibbetts (12 November 2008). "Loyd Grossman studies history of art at Cambridge University". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 July 2009. 
  14. ^ "The Arms of Loyd Daniel Gilman Grossman, O.B.E.". College of Arms. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 

External links[edit]