After some success in a fifteen year mission to climb the slippery pole that represents a career in advertising, Charles sold up in London and bought a ruined mansion in Buxton, Derbyshire. With his wife, Sylvia, he set about turning it into a luxury hotel and restaurant and took on the role of head chef. As interest rates doubled and the recession bit home, the only ray of sunshine was general acclaim for the food - unfortunately this was not enough to stop the enterprise failing. Charles then spent several years re-inventing himself as a food writer and has written about food and restaurants in the London Evening Standard for nearly twenty years. He has also written about food and restaurants for The Independent, The Times, The Weekend Telegraph, The Illustrated London News, BBC Good Food Magazine, Delicious, Bon Appetit in America, Country Life, the Lady and the Times of India.... among other newspapers and magazines.
When it comes to radio work he has appeared on Radio Four’s “The Food Programme”, judged at the Radio Four Food and Farming Awards, also “You and Yours” and the “Richard Bacon Show” on Five Live, also “Open Country”. As for television work he has appeared on Food and Drink - BBC2 – Hell’s Kitchen, each series of Masterchef, each series of Celebrity Masterchef, plus Professional Masterchef, also the BBC’s One Show. He was also co-host of a major series on Sky – “The Greatest Dishes of the World”.
He was also on Britain’s Best Dish, and Celebrity Britain’s Best Dish (both ITV). He was also on the critic's panel for the BBC series "Eating with the Enemy". He is a past winner of the Glenfiddich "Restaurant Writer of the Year" Award. He has written three cookery books with chef Theodore Kyriakou - The Livebait Cookbook (published by Hodder and Stoughton 1998 and by Soma Books in the USA); Real Greek Food (published by Pavilion, November 2000); and The Real Greek at Home (published by Mitchell Beazley in May 2004). He has also written a culinary memoir called “Fifty Recipes To Stake Your Life On”, which was published by the Timewell Press in October 2004. A book of barbecue recipes called “Food from Fire” was published by Mitchell Beazley in June 2006. In 2010 he wrote Eat Up! – a book about the excellent home cooks of Britain. In addition (between 1999 and 2005) he wrote seven editions of the Rough Guide to London Restaurants before moving to Profile books. In September 2008 the third edition of Charles Campion's London Restaurant Guide was published by Profile Books. He is a regular judge at the Frome and Nantwich Cheese shows also the International Cheese Awards. He has judged food and drink products for various other National and International awards. He is a patron of Oxford Gastronomica, (part of Oxford Brookes University). He supports Action Against Hunger – a charity that aims to put an end to malnutrition in children. He was on the Judging panel for the London Restaurant Awards. He has served on the committee of the Guild of Food Writers. He is an advisor to Slow Food U.K.
He lives just outside Worcester with his wife, two lively grown up children, six chickens, five ducks, two cats, and a dog.
Six of the best for dim sum
- Shanghai Blues
- Pearl Liang
- Royal China Baker Street
- Dragon Castle
- Phoenix Palace