Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is an award-winning writer, broadcaster and celebrity chef, as well as an ambassador for food production and eating locally and seasonally.
Hugh’s popularity grew through his River Cottage TV series and books as well as campaigns such as Hugh’s Fish Fight.
Hugh presented River Cottage, a television series in which he became a self-reliant farmer in rural England – having moved from London to the rural location in Dorset – feeding himself, his family and friends with locally produced and sourced food.
The television series was followed by the release of The River Cottage Cookbook, which won the Glenfiddich Trophy and the André Simon Food Book of the Year award. Further books followed in the River Cottage series.
Hugh established River Cottage HQ in Dorset in 2004, and the operation is now based at Park Farm near Axminster in Devon. River Cottage HQ is a working organic smallholding and the base for a range of courses and events, and home to the newly launched River Cottage Chefs’ School.
Hugh is a published journalist, having written a weekly column for The Guardian between 2006 and 2014. He is Patron of the National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association (FARMA), and of Switchback, a charity that helps young offenders find opportunities in the catering industry.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a highly regarded broadcaster, writer and TV personality whose books and broadcasts have reached millions. He is a passionate campaigner for food, sustainability and animal welfare.
Since first broadcasting Escape to River Cottage in 1999, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has received a number of awards including a BAFTA, a Food Broadcast Award as well as awards from Radio 4, The Observer and the Guild of Food Writers. He won Cookbook of the Year Award for The River Cottage Meat Book and an award for River Cottage Veg.
River Cottage was initially founded on the principles of sustainable design; to create a site that is low on carbon, low energy, and one that would embrace the climate change challenge.
In addition to the cookery-based programmes, Hugh’s TV work also includes hard-hitting campaigns such as Chicken Out! in which he campaigned for better welfare for chickens in the UK.
In 2011, he broadcast the hugely influential Hugh’s Fish Fight, which brought about changes in law at the European level.
In November 2015, Hugh broadcast Hugh’s War on Waste with the BBC and began a campaign to reduce consumer waste in the UK. The two programmes focused on food and clothing waste, both by supermarkets and by shoppers in their own homes.
In 2018, he filmed Britain’s Fat Fight with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, a documentary for BBC One, where he explored the obesity crisis in Britain, asking food producers, restaurants, and the government to confront the crisis.
Hugh has published more than 25 books, many receiving multiple awards. Prior to River Cottage, Hugh presented a food programme called Walk on the Wild Side, where he travelled along the canals of the UK, indulging in local wild food using naturally sourced ingredients. The series, which ran for from 1995-1997, was accompanied by Hugh’s first book by the same.
Hugh’s most recent book is River Cottage Good Comfort, including favourite meals made healthy. In 2024, Hugh will publish How to Eat 30 Plants a Week, a book containing 100 recipes that incorporate the power of plants power, helping readers benefit from increased energy and improved gut microbiome.
Hugh is a patron of ChildHope UK, an international child-protection charity working in Africa, Asia, and South America, a position he has held since 2009. He is also