Graham Kerr was born in London in 1934, to Scottish hotelier parents. At fifteen years old, he joined The Roebuck Hotel in Forest Row, East Sussex, as a trainee manager. He became general manager at the Royal Ascot Hotel, in Ascot, Berkshire, after five years in the British army.
In 1958, Kerr moved to New Zealand and became chief catering adviser to the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The following year, he appeared on his first cooking show, Entertaining With Kerr. The accompanying cookbook, published in 1963 sold out in eight days.
In 1964, Graham Kerr and his actress wife Treena Van Doorne, moved to Sydney, where he recreated Entertaining With Kerr, for the TEN Network’s Channel 10. The following year, his cookbook The Graham Kerr Cookbook earned him a gold medal, at the Culinary Olympics, in Frankfurt.
Another career move landed Graham Kerr in Canada, where he made The Galloping Gourmet for which he is most well known, from 1968 to 1971. The show was a big hit, earning him two Emmy nominations. The show has had reruns on both Food Network and Cooking Channel.
Kerr and his wife Treena, were involved in a bad car accident in California in 1971 and he did not return to television until 1975, with Take Kerr. His cooking during The Galloping Gourmet had been characterised by lots of clarified butter, double cream and red wine. Take Kerr introduced a new low fat style, (which he would later develop into “minimax” (minimal fat, maximum flavour in the mid-1980s). The show format was simple, just one five minute show, for one recipe and it was syndicated, running for four seasons.
From 1990-1991 Graham Kerr had The Graham Kerr Show, which was a syndicated show for KING-TV in Seattle and was picked up by The Discovery Channel. From 1992-1995. Kerr brought Minimax to PBS with Graham Kerr’s Kitchen. In 1995, Graham Kerr appeared in a PBS special, entitled Cooking in Concert: Julia Child & Graham Kerr. Minimax was a success, with three cookbooks and three TV shows on public television.
For Graham Kerr’s Swiftly Seasoned, Kerr formulated what he called MEV (Moulded Ethnic Vegetable) as he maintained that vegetarian food didn’t have a focus, as meat dishes do. It wasn’t a success.
From 1996 to 2000, Graham Kerr was Editor at Large, for a magazine called Cooking Light. In 1997, he made 130 one hour TV shows in Toronto, called The Gathering Place in which he interviewed people from various health fields.
2003 saw Graham Kerr given Honorary Life membership of the American Dietetic Association and an Honorary Doctorate in Culinary Arts, from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.
With his autobiography in 2015, Graham Kerr has written around thirty books. They can be divided into more low carb friendly, pre-1975 and low fat friendly, after that.