Jean-Christophe Novelli

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Jean-Christophe Novelli
Born (1961-02-22) 22 February 1961 (age 54)
Arras, France
Culinary career

Jean-Christophe Novelli ([ʒɑ̃ kʁis.tɔf nɔ.vɛ.li]; born 22 February 1961) is a French celebrity chef.

Early life[edit]

Novelli was born in Arras, in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France, in 1961. He left school at 14 and worked in a bakery before, at the age of 20, becoming a personal chef to the Rothschild family.


Novelli moved to Britain in 1983, working in several establishments including the Chewton Glen Hotel in New Milton, Hampshire, later running Keith Floyd's Maltster's Arms restaurant in Totnes, Devon. He won the first of two Michelin stars as Chef Patron at Gordleton Mill in Lymington, Hampshire and was awarded Best Outstanding Dessert by Egon Ronay before becoming head chef at the Four Seasons Hotel on Hyde Park Corner, London. In 1996 he founded his restaurant, Maison Novelli, in Clerkenwell, London. He opened further restaurants in London, France and South Africa (where his second wife is from). Novelli also expanded into the gastro-pub market, his first being The White Horse, in Harpenden, Hertfordshire but decided not to get involved in another restaurant due to family commitments until 2015. He is due to open his first brasserie in the Double Tree Hilton Hotel in April 2015 to be called Jean Christophe Novelli at Michelle with a further hotel restaurant opening shortly afterwards.

He appeared in the first series of The Games in 2003 and also became a head chef on Hell's Kitchen in 2005. In the same year he opened his cooking school called the Novelli Academy at his Hertfordshire farmhouse near Luton. In December 2006 Novelli launched a range of frozen ready meals in association with frozen food manufacturer Findus; these ready meals were discontinued in 2008 but the chef continues to endorse a range of products on his website.


Jean-Christophe Novelli is a 5 out of 5, AA Rosette and multi Michelin Star award winning chef who has also been dubbed “The Nation’s Favourite French Chef”, European Chef of Year finalist representing Great Britain, recipient of the prestigious Egon Ronay Dessert of the Year award and privileged recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Bedford University. His Novelli Academy has been voted one of the Top Cooking Academies in the World, which he still owns and performs his own demonstrations. Jean-Christophe has made 'countless' appearances on both British and US TV.

On 5 September 2007 Novelli was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts from the University of Bedfordshire.

TV appearances[edit]

In 2005 Jean Christophe became one of two Head Chefs in the second series of Hell's Kitchen with Gary Rhodes. Jean Christophe became the head of the blue kitchen. But this time the two chefs had to teach members of the public rather than celebrities.

In 2006, Novelli appeared on The X Factor: Battle of the Stars, performing in a group with fellow chefs Aldo Zilli, Paul Rankin and Ross Burden.

He has been a contestant on Family Fortunes and on 2 May 2007 appeared on "You're Fired!" on BBC Two, the show following "The Apprentice" on BBC One.

2009 saw Jean-Christophe presented his own show for Bravo TV (USA) called Chef Academy where he tried to train 9 aspiring chefs into professionals over a 10 part series (originally planned for 6 episodes).

In October 2010, he teamed up with the Potato Council for a nationwide competition called Master Spud which gave the winner a chance to star alongside him in a national TV advert.

Recently (2012) Jean-Christophe has been a judge on Britain's Best Chef (ITV) and a welcome guest on Loose Women (ITV) as well as many other shows across the Uk Networks.

Jean-Christophe performs many demonstrations around Europe and the World passing on his passion for cooking and trying to teach people to cook MORE healthily using little saturated fats and salt.

Jean-Christophe has in the past put his name on a range of foods including, Findus ready meals [1].

5 November 2013 Jean-Christophe launched his latest recipe book, "Simply Novelli". In it he aims to eliminate the myth that French cuisine is difficult and time consuming to prepare. With over 100 recipes, all with fabulously detailed photographs, this recipe book is a must have for any foodie. Written in a clear concise way, Jean-Christophe describes how to cook French classics quicker, easier and where possible healthier.

In an interview on the BBC's Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Novelli burnt and scratched (with a knife) Jonathan Ross' desk in a cooking demonstration.

He was also a member of the celebrity audience in Derren Brown's TV special "The Gathering."

He regularly appears on day-time TV including Loose Women, This Morning and Alan Titmarsh's past shows including his last show.

The Novelli Academy[edit]

Jean Christophe Novelli opened The Novelli Academy in 2005 and is still based in his Hertfordshire home. He entertains both the voucher buying public but Corporate entertaining is increasingly more popular to the point that external larger premises are having to be used. This enables Jean Christophe to reach more of the public whilst remaining true to his values and passing his passion for healthy cooking by replacing salt and sugar with his own unique flavours and reduce the amount of saturated fats.

Personal life[edit]

Novelli has been divorced twice. His first wife, Tina, was of English descent; he has a daughter from his first marriage, Christina Novelli (born 1985), who is a very successful musician and songwriter, having a huge presence around the world.[1][2] He married his second wife, Anzelle Visser, from Stellenbosch in South Africa, in 1999. At the time she was a model and also worked at Maison Novelli. They divorced in 2005. Novelli got engaged in November 2007 to his girlfriend of 2 years, Michelle Kennedy.[3] On 29 August 2008, Kennedy gave birth to a boy (Jean Frankie) in Los Angeles.[4][5] In July 2012, Kennedy gave birth to another son (Jacques).[6]


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  3. ^ "Celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli and fiancée expecting first child : Celebrity Baby Blog". Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Diana Pilkington (7 October 2008). "Jean-Christophe Novelli says 'I'm alive again' as he proudly shows off his week-old son , Mail Online". The Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Wyatt, Petronella (26 October 2007). "In bed with 'ze world's sexiest chef' Jean Christophe Novelli". Daily Mail (London). 
  6. ^

External links[edit]