Gregg Wallace may be a top taster of fine foods on MasterChef: The Professionals — but that wasn’t always the case as he reveals in this week’s Big Issue magazine.
Writing his Letter To My Younger Self, the television presenter says that the world of better food arrived a lot later in life than people would assume.
After working as a warehouseman in Covent Garden market, Wallace opened his own fruit and veg company at the age of 24.
And while that opened his eyes to the benefits of healthy food, it wasn’t until he started cooking for his children that he honed his culinary skills.
So what was his diet back when he was living alone as a young adult?
“I didn’t look after myself particularly well in those first years of living alone. My diet was fish finger sandwiches, fry ups, McDonald’s and kebabs,” he tells The Big Issue.
But, as you might expect, Wallace has plenty of advice for his younger self on how he could improve his diet.
He says: “If I could go back to talk to my younger self I’d tell him to start eating healthier. I’d say, mate, learn to cook. A whole new world of opportunity will open up for you. Just buy two steaks in the supermarket, go home and put them in a pan. Get two slices of bread. You’ll be fine, honestly. It’s really, really easy to do. I promise you’ll like it, you’ll like it a great deal.”
For more from Wallace, including his romantic advice, buy this week’s Big Issue magazine now. The latest Big Issue magazine is available now, from vendors all over the UK. If you’re unable to reach your local vendor, you can still subscribe to receive the magazine directly to your door or purchase through the Big Issue app.
MasterChef: The Professionals kicks off on BBC One on November 10