What happened to Michael Caines' arm? Chef's prosthetic hand explained

One of Britain’s top chefs Michael Caines overcame losing an arm on his way to super-chef stardom. 

Michael Caines MBE currently runs his own hotel Lympstone Manor in Devon. He serves as the head chef there.

As one of the best in the country, Michael often pops up as the expert chef on shows such as MasterChef and Saturday Kitchen. Despite the fact he is well-known for these television appearances, many of Michael’s viewers are still shocked to find out that he’s lost an arm.

So, what happened to Chef Michael Caines’ arm? Find out why the chef wears a prosthetic here, and how it has impacted his culinary career.

Screenshot: Saturday Kitchen Best Bites 05/07/2020 – iPlayer

What happened to Michael Caines’ arm?

Michael Caines lost his right arm in a car accident.

In 1994, Michael began work as head chef at Gidleigh Park in Devon. Three months into his tenure at Gidleigh Park (August 1994), Michael was driving himself, his brother and his brother’s girlfriend to a christening. On what was a particularly hot day, and Michael who was exhausted from working seven-day week shifts at Gidleigh Park, Michael fell asleep at the wheel. He nodded off and drove into a barrier. The car flipped on to its roof, all the while Michael was conscious.


Michael noticed he had lost his right arm from the elbow down. He disturbingly saw his hand from a far and noted he was losing blood.

Michael Caines credits a former military doctor and a lady called Geraldine for saving his life.

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Chef Michael talks the impact on his cooking career

Despite the obstacle of losing his dominant hand, which of course is incredibly important for a chef, Michael Caines was determined to overcome his accident.

Miraculously, he did! Michael returned to work just two weeks after having his prosthetic fitted. In 1999, Michael earned Gidleigh Park its second Michelin Star, and he was named Britain’s chef of the year in 2002.

Michael said: “It’s worth pointing out that everything I’ve achieved was since my accident. I feel blessed and it all adds to the sense of achievement. It changed my life and changed it for the better.”

He continued: “I’m a better person — less selfish I think — and it gave me an extra element of determination to want to go for it.”




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