Jay Rayner

Writer, broadcaster & restaurant critic

A “deadline-orientated old hack” who happens to write about food – and plays jazz piano

27th February 2020

Jay Rayner is an award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster. Best known as restaurant critic for the Observer, during his 30-year career he has covered topics from crime and politics to cinema, theatre and the visual arts. His broadcast credits include the BBC’s ‘MasterChef’ and ‘The One Show’ and Radio 4’s ‘The Kitchen Cabinet’. He also presents his own podcast, ‘Out to Lunch’, in which he interviews stars in a restaurant of his choosing. As a performer, he can be seen on solo book tours or as jazz pianist with his band, The Jay Rayner Quartet. In this in-depth interview, he argues that he is a “deadline-orientated old hack” who just happens to write about food, explains why he always orders “the stupidest thing on the menu” – and reveals the creative process which helps him to find the story behind each review.

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