Jamie Oliver hits 40 today, so we look back at some memorable moments in his career.
From The Naked Chef to a bestselling author, Jamie Oliver’s career is certainly an enviable one. Having graced our screens for over 16 years and made words like ‘pukka’ a firm favourite in many kitchens, he’s one of our all-time favourite chefs.
But creating amazing food, writing best-selling cook books and being on the telly is only half the story; Jamie has created some extremely ambitious campaigns to get the nation, our schools AND Americans to eat healthier and eat together. He’s no one-trick pony, our Jamie!
So to celebrate his 40th Birthday, we take a look at some of the most notable points in his careers. (If the first ever episode of The Naked Chef doesn’t make you laugh, then there’s something wrong with you.)
UK’s 8th Bestselling Author and celebrates the big 4-0!
That’s right; Jamie Oliver is the 8th bestselling author in the UK. He has sold over £150m worth of cook books worldwide which means his name sits alongside authors like JK Rowling and James Paterson in the bestselling list. Pretty amazing, hey! Especially when you watch him as a young whippersnapper in the first episode of Naked Chef (below).
Launches ‘Big Feastival’ – 2011
The Big Feastival is a three-day music and food festival that celebrates local, organic produce and has some of the biggest names in the business host cooking demonstrations. With acts like Dizzee Rascal, Groove Armada and Roots Manuva taking to the stage this year, it’s a credible music festival as well.
Food Revolution – 2010-2011
Not content with only transforming the diets of British children, Jamie set out on his most ambitious task; to change the diets of Americans. He travelled to Huntington, West Virginia and then to Los Angeles, California to change the way Americans eat, and address their dependence on fast food. It wasn’t without its setbacks and dramas, but the campaign was a success and the show also demonstrated how influenced we are in the UK by the American way of life.
Check out this (rather cringe worthy) rap…
Jamie’s Italian – 2008
Jamie’s Italian was Jamie’s first step into high street dining and has proved extremely successful. There are now 35 restaurants in the collection and the brand has been franchised globally. You’ll now find branches in the UAE, Australia, Ireland, Russia, Turkey, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Tip: try the Osso Buco dish when you go: Free-range pork, slow-cooked with saffron, onion, tomatoes & Trebbiano white wine served with Sicilian-style orange gremolata. It’s SO good!
Feed Me Better Campaign and Most Inspiring Politic Figure – 2005
In 2005, Oliver started a campaign called “Feed Me Better“. The aim was to move British schoolchildren towards eating healthy foods and cutting out junk food. It was a nationwide success and the British government also pledged to address the issue. As results he was named “Most Inspiring Political Figure of 2005”
Awarded MBE – 2003
In 20013 Jamie was awarded an MBE for his services to the hospitality industry, after turning a group of disadvantaged youngsters into cooks for his restaurant.
Episode 1 – The Naked Chef, 1999
After being spotted by the BBC making an unscripted appearance in a food documentary 1997, Jamie Oliver was offered his first big break and started The Naked Chef. His first cookbook was released shortly after and was a number 1 bestseller. The Naked Chef ran for three series and was a refreshing change to cookery shows as we knew them.
Happy birthday, Jamie!