James Martin confronts teacher who told him ‘you’d never be a chef’ after fire incident

James Martin cooks arbroath smokie rarebit

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James Martin, 48, said a teacher once told him he’d never be a chef after a fire incident in the classroom almost led to him being kicked out of school. The chef revealed he had since seen his former teacher, who he claims, denies making the remark.

The Saturday Morning chef explained that he started his career aged 10 when he began catering for weddings.

James admitted he didn’t pass a single exam at school due to his dyslexia, but tried to impress teachers with his practical skills.

Despite failing his cookery exam, the television star explained how he tried to prove himself by creating a dish better than his classmates.

“I remember getting nearly expelled at the age of 11 at secondary school.

“They asked you what you wanted to do that week and people brought in Swiss rolls and fairy cakes and that kind of stuff.”

Different from his classmates, James opted to make a chicken liver dish which included alcohol.

Unfortunately for the chef, he said he accidentally set fire to it in the corner of the classroom, which resulted in him getting into trouble.

James added he would “never forget” the teacher who failed his cookery exam and has since confronted her about it.

He recalled: “Her last words when I walked out the door were, ‘You’ll never ever be a chef!’

“I’ve seen her a few times, she denies it but you remember that thing as a kid, you remember those words, the positives and negatives.

“To be honest, I hated school, every single bit of it,” he continued on the Andy Jaye podcast, adding he’d often cry during an English lesson.

“Dyslexia wasn’t even thought of then, if you couldn’t do English you were put in the D class and put in a thing called life skills.”

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James said being put into the lower set class actually taught him “crucial” skills such as setting up a bank account.

He went on to point out that the most successful people who came out of his year group were also in the class.

“Back then it was the ‘thickos’ class, they used to call you,” he added. “It drives you.”

James has since worked with young children to raise awareness about dyslexia and why there shouldn’t be a stigma about it.

The chef is now believed to be worth a staggering £3.6million, according to CelebrityNetWorth.com.

As well as owning two restaurants, he also fronts his weekly television show Saturday Morning with James Martin.

He had previously hosted BBC Show Saturday Kitchen.

Saturday Morning with James Martin continues today at 9.25am one ITV.

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