In search of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants

 

One of the most passionate chefs of our age, Jamie Oliver is the latest celebrity chef to open his own restaurants.

Jamie wasn’t exactly a stranger to cooking from the age of 7 when he used to cook in his parents pub, but it was the time he spent working with Antonio Carluccio at The Neal Street Restaurant and a brief period with Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers at The River Café, which really honed his skills.

He is often quoted as saying Antonio Carluccio is the reason he became so passionate about food, especially authentic Italian cuisine.

Of course Jamie really shot to fame with his simple British cooking style on the Naked Chef and follow-up series, Fifteen and more recently Jamie’s School Dinners.

Restaurant Fifteen: It was with the “Jamie’s Kitchen” TV series that Jamie embarked on the road to restaurant ownership, but in typical Jamie style he threw away all the old ideas and created a completely new concept.

The Fifteen restaurant was entirely funded by Jamie Oliver in London, but it setup as a charity with the aim of teaching young people from disadvantaged backgrounds the skills they would need to become very good chefs. As the name suggests, the restaurant initially took 15 people many of whom had never gotten beyond a microwave and taught them how to cook high class food for very discerning customers.

Today there are four restaurants with the name each using the same concept including the original in London, one in Padstow Cornwall (where Rick Stein also has a restaurant) and another two in Amsterdam and Melbourne.

Reservations for the restaurants are very hard to come by, unless you have a celebrity name, and many of the original students have gone on to work in some of the best restaurants in the country.

Jamie’s Italian: Following in the footsteps of Antonio Carluccio, Jamie has now opened a small chain of Italian restaurants. These serve authentic simple Italian cuisine like you would find in Italy rather than the complicated fancy named food that so many Italian restaurants seem to serve these days.

Jamies Italian, as they’re known, can currently be found in London, Oxford, Cardiff, Bath and Brighton, with more planned.

 
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