Many people are very surprised to hear that Gizzi Erskine was a professional body piercer in Camden before realising her life-long dream of being a chef. After 7 years of working in Cold Steel in Camden, Gizzi hung up her piercing tools and trained at the prestigious Leith's School of Food and Wine in 2003 graduating the top of her year and winning a placement at BBC Good Food magazine, where she started to establish herself as an award winning food writer and stylist.
A career in TV started with C4 's ratings winner, Cook Yourself Thin, which went onto a second series in 2009, this time with Gizzi as the only host. With C4 firmly backing this exciting new talent, she has since appeared in Iron Chef, Cookery School and Drop Down Menu for the channel. Moving to Sky Living as a new face of the channel in 2012, she hosted series called Cooks To Market alongside Gü founder, James Averdick. The show saw amateur cooks be given the chance to turn their homemade food products into a life-changing business. A move to Sky One followed joining acting heavywieght, Idris Elba, multi-platinum selling recording artist, Paloma Faith, and internationally acclaimed photographer, Rankin, for a big budget primetime show called Ones to Watch: from Samsung's Launching People. Each mentor searched for the next big thing in their industry, looking for raw and exciting talent to be launched in a big way. She can regularly be seen on Jamie Oliver's Food Tube, proving to be one of the most popular faces on the food network.
Quenching a thirst for finding new exciting talent, Gizzi also teamed up with Italian restaurant Zizzi to mentor the next big thing in food – chef Joe Gray – as part of the Prince’s Trust Tomorrow Campaign. Gizzi and Zizzi created a special three-course menu, which featured in all restaurants nationwide to raise money for The Prince’s Trust charity. Other mentors involved with the campaign include Zandra Rhodes, Kelly Hoppen, Rankin, Liz Earle and Wayne Hemingway. The promotional campaign was shot by Rankin himself.
As a food writer, Gizzi is a Contributing Editor to The Sunday Times. She has also a contributed to a wide variety of magazines and newspapers such as InStyle Marie Claire, Elle, Elle USA, Esquire, Olive, Vogue USA, Waitrose Kitchen, Delicious, GQ, The Telegraph, The Times and The Evening Standard. She has also had the honour of hosting the Observer Food Monthly awards alongside Jay Rayner, one of the food industries biggest events in the calendar.
As a celebrated author, she has enjoyed great success writing cook books. Gizzi's Kitchen Magic, Cook Yourself Thin, My Kitchen Table: 100 Foolproof Recipes have been great successes and she contributed to Cookery School by Richard Corrigan. Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts is an award-winning healthy eating book and recently in August, Gizzi released her latest book, Healthy Appetite by Octopus, which features over 100 of her favourite recipes - all with a Gizzi twist. It gives readers a better understanding of the true meaning of healthy eating, through cooking good food with fresh ingredients and bringing joy back into the kitchen.
Always at the forefront of any trend, Gizzi was one of the first to back the trend of the pop-up restaurant scene having opened many pop-ups including Gizzi’s ‘K Town’, Innocent Smoothies at the Tramshed in Shoreditch, Clarence House in association with START the sustainability charity, a Tiki lounge at Bestival and an East London gourmet pie shop. Her food events are now becoming legendary for those people in the know with her one day food events with various top chefs running stalls, live music and DJs, burlesque and Go Go dancers, including Gizzi doing a spot of DJing herself. She is big on the music festival circuit, too, having curated, cooked and ran kitchens at Lattitude, Bestival, Wilderness, Feastival and OnBlackheath.