Spiky-haired king of the kitchens Gary Rhodes has luck to thank for his break into show business.

After starting at catering college at Broadstairs, Rhodes, of Chelsfield Park, started his distinguished career as junior chef at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam. While in Amsterdam, he was knocked down by a van and had to undergo brain surgery.

Rhodes received his first Michelin star at the Castle Hotel in Somerset, followed by two others at The Greenhouse in Mayfair and his own restaurant, City Rhodes in London.

His big break came when a cookery presenter on BBC breakfast television asked him to give a demonstration at a cookery school in London.

The event was videoed and, three days later, Rhodes got a call from an independent television producer, asking whether he would consider presenting a ten-minute cookery slot. It led to further television appearances, including a slot on the BBC series Hot Chefs which, in turn, led to his own primetime show, Rhodes Around Britain.

Rhodes, who is seen as having reinvigorated British cooking with his modern twist on the traditional, has presented several other shows, including MasterChef. He's also written several successful cookery books.