Michael Bateman was without doubt the father of modern food journalism; he began writing about food during the 1960s, when the average British culinary experience was limited to fish and chips, it was a subject national newspapers scarcely bothered with.
He started writing about food on the features pages of The Sunday Times and was the first journalist to write detailed exposes on issues such as food additives. His wit, humour, erudition and passion for his subject poured off the pages week after week as he researched his articles, often disappearing for days if not weeks to cover every possible angle and talking to every expert.
He became editor of the Lifespan section of the magazine, commissioning articles about food, health and lifestyle, through which, in 1982, he launched a national campaign for Real Bread. Michael moved to the Sunday Express magazine as food editor in 1981, eventually becoming deputy editor where he nurtured young food writers such as Sophie Grigson and Oz Clarke, before finally moving on to become food editor of the Independent on Sunday magazine, from the paper's inception in 1989 until his untimely death in 2006.
Michael Bateman’s pioneering writings about food, made him one of the most eminent and admired of food writers and in 2000, his contribution to the field was recognized when he won the prestigious Glenfiddich Food Writer of the Year award.