Jean-Christophe Novelli on brutal dumping by girlfriend 'She wanted a real man!'

Luckily, the Michelin star chef, 61, can at least impress his own children, after he signed up to become an avatar on an online platform called MetaTown and become the world’s first celeb chef to cook in the metaverse.

He confessed: “I can’t stand ­listening to my own voice, it ­irritates the hell out of me.

“In fact, I’m the only TV chef who has a screen wiper in front of the TV, because every time I hear my own voice, every time I hear myself talking on TV, I keep spitting.”

On the consequences of his career choice, the dad of four, originally from Arras, northern France, said: “I got dumped by my first girlfriend when she found out I was going to become a chef.

“She dumped me the next day because she wanted a real man with a real job. It was outside the main stairs at the school and I saw her green eyes creeping about with sadness that she had to tell me that and it was so sad. I never forgot the moment.”

Jean-Christophe, who was awarded an MBE last year, has been teaching cookery at his world-renowned Novelli Academy, based at his Hert­­fordshire home, for 17 years.

He is now donning digital chef’s whites as he moves into the world of virtual reality by hosting live culinary demonstrations as an avatar.

The displays will take place on the online platform BrandLab360, where people can create a virtual reality– or VR – world and avatar for themselves.

He explained: “This is something very unique to me and I am really privileged to be part of this fantastic unique project because I am really old school.

“When I speak to my children, who are very switched on about the virtual world, they are actually more impressed by that than by the fact I have an MBE.”

“My kids think I am the coolest dad ever, the coolest dad on the planet because of the avatar.”

He added: “I have always loved attention and this is the perfect tool, at my age, to go further than I have done in my life.”

  • To join Jean-Christophe in his virtual kitchen, go to  to register. His first demonstration is on August 25 at 6pm.

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