Gino D'Acampo Italian chef and author

Born into a poor Neapolitan family, Gino inherited his grandfather’s (a head chef) love of cooking and entered the Luigi de Medici Catering College at the age of 15. He continued to develop his skills through the kitchens of restaurants in Europe -- Perignon in Nice and a spell as Head Chef at Sylvester Stallone’s Mambo King in Marbella at 19 -- before coming to England the following year. Here, he took on Head Chef assignments in London restaurants including Pane Vino and The Orchard in Belsize Park before joining a major Italian food company as Development Chef. He was also Head Chef at the Italian Ambassador’s birthday reception and took care of the food at the aforementioned Pavarotti concert reception. Gino now owns his own import food company, Bonta Italia.

His particular skill in the blending of olive oil led to his first TV engagement with UK Food as a guest on "Good Food Live". Such was his immediate success that, besides making frequent appearances as studio guest chef, he became a featured co-presenter. BBC TV soon took notice of his natural ability and regular appearances on BBC2's leading food programme "Saturday Kitchen" quickly followed. 2004 also saw Gino's first appearances on BBC2's prestigious "Ready Steady Cook", where he has become a favourite mainstay. He also became a hugely popular regular guest on "The Terry and Gaby Show" for Channel 5.

In 2005, Gino was featured in two new series, both as co-host and chef: "Too Many Cooks" found him testing culinary contestants in a battle for survival and in "Chef vs Britain" he took on talented amateur cooks in the nationwide equivalent of an old-fashioned prize fight. He also found time to travel to Central America for the UK Food series, "An Italian In Mexico" and to Australia to headline in live shows at the Good Food & Wine Show. Such was the popularity of "An Italian In Mexico" that Gino returned to film a second series in May 2006, "An Italian Returns to Mexico". He has since become a featured regular on ITV’s "Daily Cooks Challenge". Also for ITV, he has appeared as guest chef/judge on "Soapstar Superchef" and, for the BBC, "Take On the Takeaway", "Step Up to the Plate" and "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is".

In 2009, Gino scored a spectacular success, winning the title King of the Jungle on ITV's hit series, "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here!". Viewers took him to their hearts, voting him the series winner by a huge margin. He has gone on to make many guest appearances and is currently resident on ITV’s flagship programme, "This Morning".

Gino’s first book, "Fantastico!", was published October 2007 by Kyle Cathie (Winner: Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2007 - Best Italian Cookery Book in the World). His next, "Buonissimo!", followed in Autumn 2008. His third, "The Italian Diet", published in January 2010, became an instant best-seller and his newest book, "Pasta", was published in October, 2010.