Professional Chef Spotlight - Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver: Twist And Shout

May 19th, 2011

At 11, Jamie Oliver was already on the road to a high-profile culinary arts career, expertly julienning veggies at his parents' pub-restaurant.

How Did Jamie Oliver Get Started?

Jamie found his true passion in the culinary arts and, at 16, enrolled at Westminster Catering College, leaving shortly thereafter to serve the requisite culinary arts apprenticeship in France. He started his culinary career in London as a pastry chef at The Neal Street Restaurant and then as a chef at the River Café.

Why is Jamie Oliver Famous?

Jamie's cheeky debut in a TV documentary generated an offer to host his first culinary show, "The Naked Chef," which the BBC picked up for two additional seasons. He then hosted Channel 4's "Jamie's Kitchen" and "Return to Jamie's Kitchen." His shows have been seen in 50 countries.

In 2001, Jamie took his culinary career expertise on the road with his "Happy Days Tour"--stopping in several locations around the UK as well as seven cities in Australia. Returning to London, he opened a not-for-profit London restaurant, Fifteen, providing culinary arts training for unemployed youth.

During 2003, Jamie prepared lunch for the British and Irish Prime Ministers, as well as His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire). Jamie (aka "Salad Boy") again teamed up with Channel 4 for a project called "Jamie's School Dinners," working in London's secondary school system to serve good food from fresh ingredients and teach children about food, all while staying within a strict budget. His efforts have helped prompt the government to ante up an additional £280 million to address the problem.

What's Next for this Culinary Career?

Jamie's most recent schtick is preparing meals for imaginary mates on his cooking show, "Oliver's Twist." In his spare time, Jamie writes columns for GQ and the Saturday Times magazine and has authored seven cookbooks, which have been translated into 16 languages. The face of Sainsbury's supermarkets in the UK, Jamie has also collaborated with Royal Worcester and Tefal/T-Fal to promote their cookware.

Name: Jamie Trevor Oliver
Born: May 27, 1975
Hometown: Clavering, Essex, England
Training: Briefly attended Westminster Catering College
First Job: Peeling potatoes in his parent's pub at 8 years old
Favorite Ingredients: Big, fat Sicilian lemons and Maldon sea salt


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