Oliver in 2014
James Trevor Oliver
27 May 1975
|Education||Westminster Kingsway College|
Juliette Norton (m. 2000)
|Cooking style||Italian cuisine, British cuisine; fresh, organic, and vegetarian cuisine|
Jamie Oliver MBE (James Trevor Oliver, born 27 May 1975) is a British celebrity chef, restaurateur, and media personality. He is known for his television shows, cookbooks and restaurants. He has highlighted the need for improved cooking in schools and hospitals.
Early life[change | change source]
He was educated in Newport Free Grammar School. He graduated at the age of sixteen with two GCSE qualifications in geology and art. He went on to attend the Westminster Catering College, which is now known as the Westminster Kingsway College. From there he earned what is known as a City & Guilds NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) in home economics.
Career[change | change source]
Oliver’s first job was a pastry chef at Antonio Carluccio’s Neal’s Yard Restaurant, where he prepared his first Italian cuisine therefore gaining good, helpful experience. He also developed a great relationship with his mentor Gennaro Contaldo. Later on in his career, he offered Contaldo an employment where he could help run Oliver’s thriving selection of High Street restaurants, Jamie’s Italian. Then Oliver became a sous chef of The River Café in Fulham.
School 'dinners'[change | change source]
In 2005, Oliver started his 'school dinners' campaign to improve the quality of food fed to pupils in schools. At the time it was a controversial shake-up for students and parents, Many of whom preferred food from fast food outlets ("junk food"). Some thought the students should have a healthy option available, but still be allowed to choose what they wanted to eat.
In a four-part documentary TV series Oliver ran the kitchen meals in Kidbrooke School, Greenwich, for a year. He was disgusted by the unhealthy food being served to schoolchildren, and the lack of healthy alternatives on offer. His campaign to improve the standard of Britain’s school meals eventually persuaded the British Government to spend £280m on school dinners.