Levi has had an extraordinary career; he is both a reggae superstar and a celebrity chef, as well as, businessman and multi-millionaire.
He grew up in Jamaica where his grandmother taught him the magic of Caribbean cuisine. Later, he moved to England, but yearned for the music and sunshine of Jamaica.
To combat homesickness, Levi would spend hours in the kitchen preparing his grandmother’s dishes and refining her recipe for jerk chicken sauce – a mission that led to the entrepreneurs from BBC Two’s Dragons’ Den investing in his plans to market the sauce commercially.
Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Sauce is a jerk barbecue sauce. He later took the sauce to a food trade show, where he was spotted by a BBC producer who approached him to appear on Dragons’ Den. He appeared in the first episode of the fourth series, seeking £50,000 of investment from the Dragons in return for a 20% equity stake in Reggae Reggae Sauce.
He was offered the £50,000 for a 40% stake in his business by Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh. Shortly after his appearance on the programme, Sainsbury’s announced that they would be stocking the sauce in 600 of their stores.
Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Cookbook was published in 2008, with a foreword by Roots’ investor, Peter Jones.
Roots had a television cooking show, Caribbean Food Made Easy, on BBC2, with a book of the same name publishing in August 2009. The show followed Roots as he travelled the UK and Jamaica demonstrating easy ways to cook Caribbean food at home.
Levi returned to the Caribbean for his first television programme, Caribbean Food Made Easy, which was broadcast in 2009.
Roots has performed with James Brown and Maxi Priest and was nominated for a Best Reggae Act MOBO award in 1998. He was a friend of Bob Marley when he resided in the UK and performed “Happy Birthday Mr. President” for Nelson Mandela in 1992 on his trip to Brixton.
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He was nominated for ‘Best Reggae Singer’ at the 1998 MOBO Awards and has recorded several albums.