||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2008)|
19 September 1967
|Occupation||Television presenter and food writer|
|Years active||1990 – present|
Stefan Gates (born 19 September 1967, in London) is a British television presenter, author, broadcaster and live-show performer who writes mostly about food and science. He has written six books about extraordinary food and cooking, and has presented 14 TV series, mostly for the BBC, including Cooking in the Danger Zone about unusual food from the world's more dangerous and difficult places. He develops half of these TV series himself, including the CBBC children's food adventure series Gastronuts and Incredible Edibles.
Gates presented BBC One's Food Factory, leading to debate about whether or not a change of lead presenter is good or bad for TV programmes. He wrote and presented the BBC Two series E Numbers: An Edible Adventure, Full On Food and the BBC Four series Feasts.
Gates has also written and presented two BBC Four documentaries: Calf's Head and Coffee: The Golden Age of English Food on food history, and Can Eating Insects Save the World? on entomophagy. He appears as a guest on TV and radio programmes including Newsnight, Loose Ends, BBC Breakfast, Sunday Brunch, The Wright Stuff, Iron Chef, Blue Peter, The Alan Titchmarsh Show and This Morning. Gates is a panellist on BBC Radio 4's Kitchen Cabinet and has made two radio documentaries. He also performs live shows and lectures, many at science festivals.
As a child, Stefan, along with his sister Samantha, were photographed for knitwear patterns and appeared separately in commercials and TV dramas, including Poldark. They were the child models on the cover of English rock band Led Zeppelin's album Houses of the Holy (1973). Stefan was aged five at the time of the photo shoot.
After leaving Oxford University, Stefan spent the first 16 years of his working life in film and TV - the jobs were varied and included: Assistant director, scriptwriter, director and producer, finally ending up in BBC Comedy as a development producer. Due to his fascination with unusual foods he started writing about them and this led to him becoming a presenter and co-writer on the BBC Two series Full on Food in the winter of 2004. Stefan is currently working on Incredible Edibles for CBBC (Children's TV Show).
Cooking in the Danger Zone
Stefan presents food programmes including three series of Cooking in the Danger Zone, which has been shown in 25 countries, as well as broadcast globally on BBC World News. In each episode of the series he visits crisis zones around the world such as Afghanistan, Chernobyl, Haiti and Burma where the living is not easy and the food is unusual. This has gained him a reputation for travelling to difficult or extreme places and eating unusual or shocking food. The series won the Slow Food award for best TV series at the 2008 Slow Food On Film Festival in Bologna and was nominated for the 2009 Guild of Food Writers Food and Travel award.
Other TV and radio programmes
Stefan presents a children's TV series, based on his Gastronaut concept, called Gastronuts and produced by Objective Productions. The series was nominated for the 2009 Guild of Food Writers Broadcast of the Year award. He wrote and presented Feasts, broadcast on BBC Four in 2009 – it consists of three episodes filmed in Japan, Mexico and India, each one hour in duration. In 2010 he presented a three-part series on food additives for BBC Two, E Numbers: An Edible Adventure. In 2012, he controversially took over the role of presenting of Food Factory on BBC One, after former presenter Jimmy Doherty left the BBC to join Channel 4. The series began airing on 25 June 2012.
He also appears regularly on Five's The Wright Stuff and BBC Two's Something for the Weekend the Good Food Channel's Market Kitchen. In 2010 he presented a documentary for Radio 4, Stefan Gates' Cover Story, concerning his part in the Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy photoshoot.
Stefan writes articles for newspapers and magazines including New Scientist and BBC Food and has written six books. The most recent is his first children's book Incredible Edibles (2012), which won the 2013 Information Book Award. His first book was Gastronaut: Adventures in Food for the Romantic, the Foolhardy, and the Brave, winner of the 2005 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards Best Food Literature Book. In 2008 a companion to the TV series Cooking in the Danger Zone was published by BBC Books titled In the Danger Zone. He has also written 101 Dishes to Eat Before You Die, Stefan Gates On E Numbers, which is a companion to the TV series E Numbers: An Edible Adventure and The Extraordinary Cookbook (Kyle Books 2010).
- Full On Food BBC Two 2004
- Cooking in the Danger Zone series 1-3 BBC Two and BBC Four 2006-08
- Food Uncut UKTV Food 2007 
- Gastronuts I BBC One and CBBC 2008-09
- Feasts BBC Four 2009
- Gastronuts II BBC One and CBBC 2010
- E Numbers: An Edible Adventure BBC Two 2010
- Ecomaths BBC Learning 2012
- Incredible Edibles I CBBC 2012
- CBBC's Olympic Challenge CBBC 2012
- Food Factory BBC One 2012
- Calf's Head and Coffee: The Golden Age of English Food BBC Four2012
- Can Eating Insects Save the World? BBC Four Spring 2013
- Incredible Edibles II CBBC Spring 2013
- Gastronaut (2005), ISBN 978-0-563-52272-0
- In The Danger Zone (2008), ISBN 978-1-84607-264-2
- 101 Dishes to Eat Before You Die (2009), ISBN 978-1-4075-6441-8
- Stefan Gates On E Numbers (2010), ISBN 978-1-84091-561-7
- The Extraordinary Cookbook (2010), ISBN 978-1856269216
- Incredible Edibles (2012), ISBN 978-1406339062
Gates performs "food stunt shows", mostly at science festivals such as Cambridge Science Festival, Cheltenham Science Festival, The Big Bang Fair and also at schools, theatres and food festivals including the BBC Good Food Show and the Ideal Home Show.
Gates is married to the food photographer Georgia Glynn Smith and they have two children.
- Heritage, Stuart (26 June 2012). "Can a change of presenter ever improve a show?". The Guardian (London).
- Hewett, Rick (8 December 2007). "Solved: Mystery of the iconic Led Zeppelin album cover and its golden-haired children". MailOnline (London: Associated Newspapers Ltd). Retrieved 24 February 2012.
- Stefan Gates autobiographical details
- Independent Travel interview
- Me and my travels The Observer, Sunday 9 July 2006
- Pass the igunaq! - that's rotten, frozen walrus to you Independent Newspaper interview
- BBC One - Food Factory - Episode guide
- Stefan's recipes on UKTV Good Food Channel web site
- Stefan Gates' web site
- Stefan Gates' Twitter feed
- CBBC Gastronuts game
- BBC site for 'Feasts'
- BBC site for the first series of Cooking in the Danger Zone
- BBC site for the second series of Cooking in the Danger Zone