Why Robert Irvine's Dad Didn't Approve Of His Career Choice

It's more than fair to say Robert Irvine has really made it. He's a chef, a restaurateur and business owner, a television host and personality, an author, and a philanthropist, not to mention an advocate for the military and first responders, as well as a fitness fanatic. 

On the Food Network's "Restaurant: Impossible," Irvine's tough love is on full display as he helps people save their businesses. His blend of know-how, determination, discipline, generosity, and care are right up there with his kitchen talent, practically making Irvine a household name. It would seem that Irvine's reputation and lengthy list of achievements would make any parent proud and overjoyed, but surprisingly, Irvine's own father did not approve of his son's career choice.

In an interview with HollywoodChicago.com, Irvine revealed, "For years — especially in England where I come from — cooking was a subservient job. When I told my Dad I was going to be a cook, he wouldn't talk to me for two years."

Robert Irvine's cooking career started in the military

At only 15, Irvine joined the military in his native England. This was actually the spark of what would become his illustrious career, as he learned to cook in the Royal Navy. The fact that this cooking role was part of Irvine's military service wasn't enough to make the position seem honorable enough in the eyes of his father, though. "Even though it was associated with my military service, he thought cooking was beneath me," Irvine told HollywoodChicago.com

On his blog, Irvine has written that his dad, Walter, was a painter and his mom, Pat, was a bartender. While the celebrity chef clarified that the family was certainly not destitute, they lived in a simple apartment and were not able to afford any luxury purchases. Irvine's mom actually scrimped and saved to buy her son his first weightlifting set, so the future fitness role model did experience support for his interests from his family. While we can't know for sure, it's easy to imagine Irvine's dad thought, at the time, that other career paths might have provided more financial success. Of course, it ended up being cooking that took Irvine to amazing heights.

From "Restaurant: Impossible" to his own talk show, Irvine has demonstrated a knack for conflict resolution along with his own identity as a dedicated family man, so hopefully the TV host was able to mend fences with his dad. He has definitely worked hard to build a career and connection with the community that could make anyone proud.