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James Brennan

Writer: food, travel, creative

Location icon United Kingdom

I am a writer with over 17 years' experience - from food and travel writing, to creative writing and advertising copywriting.

My achievements include force-feeding dodgy mince pies to Gordon Ramsay; suggesting retirement to Lemmy from Motörhead (and surviving); gorging on the world's most expensive meat at a halal wagyu-beef farm in Japan; appearing on prime-time television news in Georgia; nibbling pastries with a motorcycle gang in the south of Lebanon; sourcing a vintage Buick in Syria and crossing into Beirut; riding the overnight "Crazy Train" with supporters of FC St Pauli in Germany; drinking with the Russian army on the Trans-Siberian railway; meeting Santa Claus in the Arctic Circle and becoming the first Englishman to eat a shawarma while floating in the Dead Sea.

I was food editor for Time Out magazine and The National newspaper in the UAE, and a local editor for the Zagat guide to Dubai; I am a regular contributor to (S.Pellegrino), and have contributed to a range of publications including The Sunday Times, Esquire, Bloomberg Businessweek, CNN Travel, plus a range of in-flight magazines from Emirates to Singapore Airlines.

For four years, I held the position of chairman of the Middle East voting panel for The World's 50 Best Restaurants awards.

I recently studied for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham.

Bloomberg Businessweek ME
The Great Gulf Eat Out - Food Trucks

The global food truck craze is rolling into town for the UAE’s annual food festivals. But can the mobile eateries find a permanent home on the streets of the Gulf?

Fine Dining Lovers
A Tabasco Sauce Tour, in Search of a Spicy Recipe

A tour in Avery Island, Louisiana's Gulf Coast: a place where every single bottle of Tabasco in the world - 70,000 a day - is made. By James Brennan on "I want you to pay attention to what's happening in your mouth," says Harold 'Took' Osborn, senior vice president of the McIlhenny Company, with a silver scoop of chilli pepper mash in his hand and a look of devilment in his eyes.

Alpha magazine (Gulf News)
Bluffer's guide to being a food tourist

Thinking of going on a culinary adventure? do your holiday plans involve scouring street markets for strange titbits? are you The kind of determined traveller who insists on eating like the locals do? Then be warned: the road to a full belly is paved with pitfalls, hazards, challenges and the occasional steamed duck’s foot.

Fine Dining Lovers
Western Chefs Heading East

From Shanghai to Singapore, no fewer than 17 of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants have western chefs at the helm, including the number one restaurant, Nahm. By James Brennan on Western chefs are heading east. Asia has become fertile ground for chefs from Europe, Australia and North America, all looking to hone their craft in some of the world's most exciting food cities.

Priority (Singapore Airlines)
Time for tea

James Brennan distills the charm and enduring traditions of the world’s best tea destinations.

Priority (Singapore Airlines)
Danish Delight

Local, natural and sustainable food is at the core of Denmark’s latest culinary movement. James Brennan reveals what’s cooking in Copenhagen

Fine Dining Lovers
Chef Sergio Herman: "The Jane? A Woman, More Than a Restaurant"

A chat with Sergio Herman: after closing his world-famous 'Oud Sluis', the 44-year old chef is now radically changing with 'The Jane' restaurant in Antwerp. By James Brennan on In the former chapel on the site of an old military hospital, the vast vaulted ceiling seems to peel and flake.

Hell's Kitchen - Gordon Ramsay

If you were to belIeve everythIng you read In the news, then gordon ramsay’s career Is goIng up In smoke. and he’s takIng hIs famIly, hIs busIness empIre and hIs reputatIon wIth hIm. or Is that just wishful thInkIng on the part of hIs many detractors?

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