James Martin’s favourite things, from his vintage Mini Cooper to his bespoke oven

Chef, TV presenter and restauranteur James Martin loves life's little luxuries – and sometime the big luxuries too. He spoke to Hetty Lintell.

The chef, author and restaurateur grew up on a farm in North Yorkshire and became a head chef at just 22. His TV career started on Ready, Steady Cook and The Big Breakfast, then he presented the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen for 10 years. Saturday Morning with James Martin is currently running on ITV.

James will will be heading up The James Martin Game Fayre restaurant at The Game Fair at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire, this weekend.

The original Mini Cooper S

James Martin in his 1963 Morris Mini Cooper S in action at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

James Martin in his 1963 Morris Mini Cooper S in action at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (Pic: Alamy)

I’m not ashamed to say I’m a petrolhead and I have a collection of classic cars, but my 1963 Mini Cooper S stands out. I love driving it around the racetrack – it’s just amazing fun.

I bought it at auction and have learnt everything there is to know about its history. That’s half the pleasure in owning a car like this – the other half is tracking down original parts.

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The Athanor cooker

At Twin Farms, lovely U shape design #twinfarms #athanor

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It will come as no surprise to learn that my Athanor cooker is among my most prized possessions. It really is the chef’s cooker, both professionally and at home.

I use mine for testing out all the recipes for my restaurants and cookbooks – it is, without doubt, the most used bit of kit I own. Made in France, it’s so well built that I’m sure it will still be around long after I’m gone. It’s a bespoke suite, so there’s no set size, shape, specification or design. The company makes you whatever you want.


The barbecue heater

I just love the experience of outdoor living and my Chesneys barbecue heater is brilliant.

It’s the most versatile cooking appliance I have – it doubles as an outdoor wood-burning stove, creating an atmosphere and extending the time we can spend outside. Sitting around a fire late into the evening with friends is one of life’s pleasures.

From £2,484 – www.chesneys.co.uk