Early life and TV chef career
Born on 27 May, 1975, Jamie Trevor Oliver grew up above his parents' Essex pub The Cricketers, where he helped in the kitchens as a tot, and experimented with his mum's Aga cooker when she wasn't looking. It was an early training which was to prove useful for the future celebrity chef, who left school at 16 to attend Westminster Catering College.
Jobs at several prestigious restaurants in England and the rest of Europe followed. When the tousle-haired maestro stormed onto the TV cooking scene with his program The Naked Chef, critics were initially bemused by the 21-year-old's accent and presenting style. However, they were soon forced to accept that audiences loved his simple, fun food, and good natured friendly persona.
Not everything has been plain sailing for the popular cook, however. In 2019, Jamie lost many of his successful restaurants after his eponymous restaurant group went into administration.
Wanting to put his high-profile status to good use, the big-hearted chef opened a charity restaurant in London called Fifteen in the early 2000s. As part of a TV show called Jamie's Kitchen, he trained fifteen disadvantaged youngsters to work in the catering field at that store. The show was a hit, and other Fifteen restaurants were opened across the world, from Amsterdam to Melbourne, as a result.
In 2005 Jamie launched his hugely succesful Jamie's School Dinners series, in which he campaigned to get healthier food on the menu in school canteens. Thanks to his efforts the government pledged to spend £280m on school dinners over the course of the next three years and Jamie was voted the year's most inspiring political figure at the Channel 4 Political Awards 2006.
After his attempt to overturn the school dinners industry for the better, the health conscious chef turned his attentions to highlighting the plight of battery-farmed chickens in the poultry industry. He launched Jamie's Fowl Dinners in 2008, and, following his exposé documentary, supermarkets reported massive increases in the sales of organic and free-range chickens.
In April 2022, Jamie teamed up with Ukranian Chef Yurii Kovryzhenko in order to host a London-based charity dinner to raise money for Ukrainians suffering from the Russian invasion of their country. In October 2022 the campaign, #CookForUkraine announced it had so far raised over £1.8 million for UNICEF.
Jamie married ex-model Juliette "Jools" Norton in July 2000. The couple met while they were both still students at Newport Free Grammar school, and got married in a church just 200 metres from Jamie's parents' home. Jamie and Jules enjoy home life in Essex with their five children: Poppy, Daisy, Petal, Buddy, and River.
For more info on Jamie, see here.