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British chef and television personality Graham Kerr has hosted numerous cooking shows that enjoyed popularity in both the U.K. and America.
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Chef, television personality. Born January 22, 1934, in London, England. The son of prosperous hoteliers, Kerr developed a penchant for the culinary arts at an early age. At 15, he began formal training at the renowned Roebuck Hotel in East Sussex, England. He went on to attend Brighton College and North Devon Technical College, before enlisting in the British Army in 1952. After six years of service as a catering advisor, Kerr returned to London, where he briefly worked as the manager of the Royal Ascot Hotel.
In 1958, Kerr became the head caterer for the Royal New Zealand Air Force??a position he held for five years and one that gave him the opportunity to prepare an omelet on television. Following an enthusiastic public response to his lighthearted display and instruction, Kerr landed his first cooking series called Eggs with Flight Lieutenant Kerr. Moving to Canada in 1969, Kerr??s next television endeavor was the wildly popular series The Galloping Gourmet. With a decadent cooking style that included recipes saturated with butter, cream, and brandy, the program left an indelible impression on its audience.
In 1971, the The Galloping Gourmet series ceased production when Kerr and his wife, Treena, were the victims of a near-fatal automobile accident. In the ensuing months, the couple??s physical setbacks (Kerr endured temporary paralysis and Treena suffered long-term complications) were compounded by financial problems. Following their challenging rehabilitation, the Kerrs cofounded Creative Lifestyle International, a foundation devoted to improving the lifestyle of those with limited means. In 1975, Kerr temporarily returned to television with Take Kerr, a series of short cooking segments that were designed to save viewers time and money.
In the mid-1980s, Treena suffered from a heart attack and stroke. Her failing health served as an impetus for the Kerrs to adopt lighter culinary techniques, which stressed health consciousness and nutritional value. With an emphasis on low-fat cuisine, Kerr launched the cooking program Simply Marvelous in 1988, followed by a self-titled series, Graham Kerr, that aired on public television stations throughout America. He has written a number of bestselling cookbooks, including Graham Kerr Swiftly Seasoned and The Gathering Place (both 1997), and has served as an Editor at Large for Cooking Light magazine. In 2002, Kerr??s healthful eating television program, The Gathering Place, was released in the U.S.
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