Antony Worrall-Thompson is a survivor. Born in Stratford upon Avon, he was abused several times as child by both distant family members and schoolmasters. He was separated from his father at the age of three, and his mother was a traveling actress who placed him in boarding school as a young boy. Always active in sports, he swam the English Channel when he was 16. The next year, Antony’s face was badly injured playing rugby and it wasn’t until he turned 21, that he underwent plastic surgery to correct the disfigurement. He then went on to study hotel management at Westminster College despite protestations from his grandmother who tried to prevent him from becoming a chef, feeling that it was “beneath him”. But Antony had found his true calling: In 1978 he moved to London and became sous-chef at Brinkley’s Restaurant–one month later he was head chef.
After a travelling food sabbatical in France, he returned to London to open his own restaurant in 1981 – Ménage à Trois in tony Knightsbridge. The several restaurants that followed were each heaped with accolades and awards such as the Mouton Rothschild Menu Competition and the Meillier Ouvrier de Grande Bretagne (MOGB), the chef’s Oscar. Most recently AWT has opened the popular neighbourhood restaurants Notting Grill and Kew Grill. Despite an extraordinary professional life, which includes several cookbooks, appearances and TV shows, he manages to find time for his wife and kids, art, antiques, tennis and swimming. Considered a colourful and controversial character with a healthy ego, he is also a patron of FOREST (Freedom Organization for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco) and the man behind the Snicker’s Pie – the highest caloric and most unhealthy dessert recipe ever, posted on the BBC website with a health warning.