Gregg Wallace’s background is simply described as modest and humble. Born in Peckham in 1964, Wallace left school at 15 and began his career in Covent Garden Fruit and Veg Market as a lowly warehouseman, selling with his charismatic charm and wit. Due to his passion and graft, Wallace was inevitably drawn to the business world. Having been told that setting up a business would be a good idea, he formed George Allan’s Greengrocers, which Wallace proceeded to build up into a hugely successful business, garnering a lucrative turnover of £7.5 million, supplying over 500 different hotel and restaurant clients throughout the UK. This is also where Wallace would meet future MasterChef co-host John Torode, supplying groceries to Torode’s restaurants all throughout London under George Allan’s Greengrocers.
This success helped propel Wallace into the public eye, with his drive and enthusiasm for groceries catching the eye of the BBC, who proceeded to invite him to co-host the radio show, Veg Talk on Radio 4, which then proceeded to run for seven years. Throughout his early media career, Wallace appeared on a myriad of different cooking programmes, appearing as the original host of Saturday Kitchen in 2002, a role he often sometimes happily retakes the mantle for to this day.
His work throughout both radio and television surrounding food for the BBC led Wallace to take up his most iconic and signature role as the MasterChef presenter and judge with friend and co-presenter, chef John Torode. Under his 16 year tenure of the show, including multiple spin-off shows including Celebrity MasterChef and MasterChef: The Professionals, Wallace has shown his classic expressive humour that he retains since working in Covent Garden Fruit and Veg Market.
Whilst working as the host for MasterChef, Wallace has also sprang into the restaurant scene, setting up Wallace and Co in Putney as well as working with Bermondsey Square Hotel in a joint venture to produce Greg’s Bar and Grill. Furthermore, Wallace continued his passion for fruit and veg, by becoming a Managing Director of an online farm shop.
Wallace’s career is one of many twists, from quiet beginnings to the face of MasterChef, a show that has versions produced in 40 different countries and airs in 200 territories. With ventures covering a multitude of different areas in the cooking industry, Wallace continues to show a love and care for food wherever he goes, bringing together humour and energy in whatever endeavor he creates or finds.