Childhood & Early Life
Jamie Trevor Oliver was born to Trevor and Sally, owners of a pub and restaurant called ‘The Cricketers’, where he began working at the age of 8. By the time he was 11, he could outdo the kitchen staff with his chopping skills.
In 1989, at the age of 14, Jamie formed the band, ‘Scarlet Division’ with composer and musician, Leigh Haggerwood.
Two years later, after an ordinary school life at Newport Free Grammar School, he joined Westminster Catering College and then, obtained a City and Guilds National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in home economics.
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Although, he started his career as a pastry chef at Antonio Carluccio's Neal's Yard under his mentor Gennaro Contaldo, it was as a sous chef at ‘The River Cafe’ that Jamie Oliver was recognized and was catapulted onto a world cooking platform.
His show, ‘The Naked Chef’ debuted on BBC Two on April 14, 1999 and ran for three seasons.
In 2000, he launched ‘Pukka Tukka’ on Channel 4 and signed a $2-million deal with the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's. Although it made him richer by $1.2 million every year, the relationship soured due to his disdain for supermarkets.
In 2002, his show, ‘Jamie’s Kitchen’, a documentary series, had a successful run. The show followed Jamie Oliver as he as he attempts to train a group of fifteen disadvantaged youth. The concept of the show included that those who complete the course will be offered jobs at Oliver's new restaurant ‘Fifteen’. Out of the fifteen contestant five managed to secure a job.
In 2003, the four-part sequel to ‘Jamie’s Kitchen’, ‘Return to Jamie’s Kitchen’ was launched. He was voted the ‘Most Inspiring Political Figure’ for the ‘Feed Me Better’ campaign that worked toward cutting out junk food in the diets of British schoolchildren. The British Government pledged to $280 million on school dinners.
‘Jamie's Great Italian Escape’ was a six-part travelogue series released in 2005, wherein the chef travelled around Italy in a blue VW van and his personal experiences and adventures with cooking. The following year, ‘Jamie’s Kitchen Australia’ was aired in Australia.
In June 2008, he launched ‘Jamie's Italian’, a business venture in England and followed it up with ‘Jamie's Fowl Dinners’ the same year.
‘Jamie Saves Our Bacon’, which aired in 2009, drew the world’s attention to pig farming in the UK and EU. He followed that up with ‘Jamie’s American Road Trip’ and ‘Jamie’s Family Christmas’. Later that year, he raised $22 million to fund his Italian restaurants in Asia.
‘Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution’ aired in 2010, attempted to improve eating habits of city residents. For the first season, Oliver visited Huntington, West Virginia, statistically one of the unhealthiest cities in the US. The show won an Emmy for Outstanding Reality Programme. For the second season to be aired in 2011, Oliver chose Los Angeles. However, his attempts to make changes in school meals in Los Angeles were rebuffed and he was barred from shooting there and the show was cancelled.
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‘Jamie's 30-Minute Meals’ aired in 2010, focused on simple, home-cooked meals that could be assembled in 30 minutes.
2011 was a particularly hectic year for Oliver. He worked on ‘Jamie’s Dream School’, ‘Jamie’s Fish Supper’, ‘Jamie Cooks Summer’, and ‘Jamie’s Britain’.
In 2012, he appeared on MasterChef Australia and scored higher than the three contestants he was up against. He also worked on ‘Jamie's 15-Minute Meals’, ‘Jamie & Jimmy’s Food Fight Club’, and invested in the Maison Publique, Montreal.
In 2013, he became the chef and proprietor of ‘Jamie Oliver’s Diner’.
Awards & Achievements
In 2003, this celebrity chef was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
In 2009, he was awarded the 2010 TED Prize for his campaign to ban unhealthy food in British schools.
In 2013, Jamie Oliver was inducted into the ‘Culinary Hall of Fame’.
This popular chef is dyslexic. He read his first novel ‘Catching Fire’, for the first time in 2013, at the age of 38.
In 2005, he received flak from animal rights groups for slaughtering a fully conscious lamb on his TV show.
In 2010, he joined several other celebrity chefs to raise awareness of the discarding of saltwater fish.