Jamie Oliver is a phenomenon in the world of food. He is one of the world’s best-loved television personalities and one of Britain’s most famous exports. Jamie has had huge success with television series ‘The Naked Chef’ (BBC), ‘Jamie’s Kitchen,’ ‘Jamie’s School Dinners,’ ‘Jamie’s Great Italian Escape,’ ‘Return to School Dinners,’ ‘Jamie’s Chef,’ ‘Jamie at Home,’ ‘Jamie’s Ministry of Food,’ and more recently ‘Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals’ and the Emmy Award-winning ‘Jamie’s Food Revolution’ (ABC), as well as the one-off specials ‘Jamie’s Fowl Dinners,’ ‘Eat To Save Your Life,’ ‘Jamie Saves Our Bacon’ and ‘Jamie’s Fish Suppers’ (all for Channel 4).
Jamie has inspired people to spend more time enjoying being in the kitchen – and even start growing their own food! His programs have now been broadcast in over 100 countries including the USA, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Japan and Iceland. Having been translated into over 30 languages, the accompanying cookbooks are bestsellers not only in the UK but across the world. His 2010 book, ‘Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals,’ became Jamie’s first million-selling book in the UK as well as being the fastest-selling non-fiction book since records began.
The high street restaurant collection ‘Jamie’s Italian’ is hugely popular across the UK and the Fifteen restaurant group which he founded in 2002, provides training for young people in three locations around the world as well as producing food of the highest quality. Jamie’s newest restaurant, Barbecoa in London, is a partnership with American chef Adam Perry Lang. Jamie lives in London and Essex with his wife, Jools and his kids, Poppy, Daisy, Petal and Buddy.
Jamie began 2008 with a burst of activity fronting two major TV programs in the UK. ‘Eat To Save Your Life’ used expert analysis as well as an autopsy by Dr Gunther von Hagens on a 25-stone man who literally ‘ate himself to death’ to try to change the dietary habits of a group of malnourished Brits. Meanwhile, ‘Jamie’s Fowl Dinners’ was an in-depth and challenging look at the British poultry industry with a message that unless British consumers were prepared to trade up to a higher welfare chicken and egg, the British poultry industry would suffer irreparably. Groups ranging from the RSPCA to farmers’ organizations praised the program, and the immediate result was an increase in sales of free-range and organic chicken of up to 50%.
In 2008, Jamie, par usual, worked on a number of exciting projects, including appearing in ‘The Big Give,’ the prime-time Oprah Winfrey-fronted hit show on ABC, which aired in the spring.
In early 2009, he tackled the issue of pig welfare and the need to champion British pig farmers in the Channel 4 one-off program, ‘Jamie Saves Our Bacon.’ He also announced a new high street cooking shop project called ‘Recipease,’ the first of which opened in Battersea/Clapham Junction in February quickly followed by a second shop in Brighton in May.
On April 1st, Jamie had the great honor of cooking at 10 Downing Street for the third time in his career, this time for the assembled world leaders in advance of the G20 talks. He and a group of graduates and an apprentice from Fifteen London cooked a menu showing off the best of seasonal British food. Just over 24 hours later, Jamie was celebrating the birth of his third daughter, Petal Blossom Rainbow.
Jamie spent much of 2009 in the USA, first making a series for Channel 4 (and overseas markets), ‘Jamie’s American Road Trip,’ during which he visited Los Angeles (meeting Mexican ex-gang members who are being rehabilitated through food and cooking), Wyoming (where he spent time with cowboys living in a wilderness that has barely changed for centuries), New York (where he strayed from the typical tourist areas to discover delicious food from the Peruvian, Colombian, Egyptian and Chinese communities), Louisiana (hunting alligators and helping to get a restaurant damaged by a hurricane back on its feet), Georgia (investigating soul food and the southern of barbecuing) and Arizona (where Jamie spent time with the Navajo people and learnt about their food and culture). An accompanying book, ‘Jamie’s America,’ became Jamie’s 10th best-seller.
Later that year, he returned to America, this time to West Virginia, to start his first major network series for America television. ‘Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution’ premiered on ABC in America in March 2010, winning its slot each week with ratings peaking at 7.5 million. Jamie appeared on Oprah to launch the campaign and also carried out high profile interviews on Letterman, Leno and Nightline as well as press interviews in The New York Times and TIME magazine. Jamie became the recipient of the prestigious TED award for 2010 (previous winners have included Al Gore and Bono) at a ceremony in California, and in August 2010 the Food Revolution series received an Emmy Award for Best Reality Series.
In addition, Jamie’s fourth child, Buddy Bear Maurice Oliver, was born on 15th September.
On November 3rd, Jamie and renowned American chef Adam Perry Lang opened Barbecoa restaurant at the One New Change development next to St Paul’s Cathedral. The restaurant specialises in traditional cooking methods using wood, charcoal and smoke.
Early in 2011, Jamie and his family upped-sticks and moved to California for two months where Jamie filmed the second series of ‘Jamie’s Food Revolution’ for ABC.