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Jamie Oliver's rise from Essex kid cooking at his parents' pub to multi-millionaire TV chef, author, campaigner and populist foodie hero has been phenomenal. After graduating from Westminster College, Oliver went on to work at west London hot spot The River Café, where he was noticed by a TV crew. Following a chart-topping cookery series (cheekily entitled The Naked Chef), he launched Fifteen – a not-for-profit eatery staffed by disadvantaged youngsters. Since then, he has overseen the opening of sister restaurants in Amsterdam, Melbourne and Cornwall, as well as UK-based chains Jamie’s Italian and Union Jacks. Meanwhile, Oliver has used his sky-high media profile to mount prominent lobbying campaigns in the UK, focusing on issues ranging from the quality of school dinners to the failings of food-science education. Oliver’s £150m empire includes best-selling cookery books, cooking merchandise, event catering, the ‘Recipease’ cookery school and cookware shop, supermarket ready-meals, and an annual music-and-food festival. His charity, The Jamie Oliver Foundation, raises awareness of food education.
Barbecoa: 20 New Change Passage, London EC4M 9AG; 020 3005 8555
Fifteen: 15 Westland Place, London N1 7LP; 020 3375 1515
Jamie’s Italian: various London and UK locations
Union Jacks: various London and UK locations
© photography by David Loftus.