James Martin stepped out of the kitchen last night and onto the stage for the opening of his first live tour. The 35 date countrywide tour, Plates, Mates and Automobiles kicked off at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the ever popular celebrity chef was on top form. The fans were out in force and an enthusiastic crowd of around 2000 gave him a huge welcome.
TV show’s and books
It’s been 20 years since the young, fresh faced, bandanna wearing chef first graced our TV screens on Ready Steady Cook. Since then he has become a firm favourite with viewers and has gone on to present a number of highly successful shows including Saturday Kitchen, James Martin Home Comforts and Operation Hospital Food. He’s also the author of 15 best-selling and award winning cookbook.
If there were first night nerves they didn’t show and despite a few technical hitches the popular and down to earth Martin charmed the audience for over 2 hours in the cooking, talking and speed extravaganza.
A comical introduction on the big screen by comedian Johnny Vegas gave the crowd a flavour of what to expect; the expectation of more than just cooking was in the title, Plates, Mates and Automobiles brought three of the chef’s loves to life.
Sharing top billing in the mate stakes was his right hand man and sous chef, Chris Start. Between them it was a great double act with Start’s almost silent approach being highly entertaining. Martin spoke warmly of their long term friendship and as mates go it was clear that this was a good mate. As cooking demonstrations go it was well orchestrated between the two chefs, and, as the show got underway the pair comfortably maintained the upbeat routine with plenty of rousing cheers from the crowd. Nine recipes cooked up in two hours with plenty of added humour but interspersed with tales from his childhood and life as a young chef.
He was on form when it came to the food and hygiene police. The bane of his life apparently, a reference to the complaints he regularly receives on Saturday kitchen for not washing his hands. A witty and unhygienic on stage rebellion got the thumbs up from the audience.
Cooking and mates aside, cars, mainly fast cars are his other love and a quick spin on the video screen gave an insight into his world of Ferrari’s, Formula One racing cars and Mercedes. It was a peek into his expensive indulgences; the trappings of a successful career, but he also acknowledged the public and the viewers who have supported his career, particularly those who buy his books and cookware. The author of 15 best-selling and award winning cookbook, James also endorses several kitchen products including the James Martin saucepans and knives with Stellar Cookware.
Every show needs a good finale and Martin stepped out of his comfort zone to confirm that he was indeed a man of many talents. The audience had been promised a night of surprises and with pots and pans aside he ended the show on a musical note. James Martin as you’ve never seen him before. Guitar in hand, supported by another mate, his guitar teacher of several weeks. There was a song and although singing is obviously not his strong point, the audience loved his musical performance and even gave him a standing ovation. Very entertaining although after the musical finale giving up the day job will surely not be an option.
It was definitely a night of fun, the banter with the crowd was excellent and for a first live tour opening night, James Martin definitely served up success on a plate.
Disclaimer. I reviewed James Martin, Plates, Mates and Automobiles on behalf of Stellar Cookware. Tickets for the show were provided. All opinions expressed are my own.