April 16, 2020
April 16, 2020



This effusive British TV cook with an assortment of books and restaurants to his name has a real passion for food – and more importantly, how it’s consumed.

Who else has heralded a campaign to revolutionise children’s school meals? Or has gone up against the carbonated drinks market with such vigour? And who else has reinvented the concept and education behind home cooking?

He says the world now has more overweight than underweight people and it begins with the children. Both kids and their parents therefore, need to be educated.
Jamie explains: “I’ve always said food treads a very fine line between pleasure and pain. It’s almost like a cruel trick that will draw you in before having its wicked way. We’ve got to handle how we treat it.”

“Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time slathering over the gorgeousness of food and I used to approach it with reckless abandon. As time went on, I realised that I can’t really do that in the way I may have done before and there is a responsibility behind putting food on people’s plates,” Oliver says.

Even if such a statement doesn’t paint him as a picture of perfection and measured magnificence, what makes the 44-year-old Brit even more endearing is his approach to failure. It’s a principle he has had to tackle head-on over the past year as huge swatches of his restaurant empire went up in the fires of competition.

His 25 restaurants in the UK appeared to be simmering nicely in cooking up a pension pot that would secure the futures of his children. And yet, the turnaround from successful restaurateur to someone who had tens of millions wiped off his personal fortune when his chains went into administration has been torturous.

What is remarkable about Jamie is that his mission statement for business remains unaffected. He still wants to bring good cuisine to the masses, entertain and lay a health marker on almost everything he does.


Then there is the Sugar Smart initiative through which Jamie wants to reduce sugar consumption across all age groups. He says sugar is “such an innocent molecule; and yet, its power and how it affects public health is extraordinary.”

The chef has campaigned for a sugar tax and goes deeper into the wider healthcare issues such as rising dental decay. He notes that tooth extractions in children are at their highest levels ever in some parts of the world.

Clearly, children mean a lot to him. His wife Jools and he have five kids of their own – viz. Buddy, Poppy, Petal, Daisy and River. “I spend a lot of time in very frilly, very pink outfits; and I’m told where to move and what to say,” he says, laughingly adding: “I’m hoping now that Bud’s getting older, the testosterone will kick in and I’ll get to be a soldier or a knight – man stuff.”

Wherever he next takes his whirlwind, it’s clear there’s plenty more to come. What Jamie Oliver provides is a vital accessible voice that calls for ‘food for thought’ – and the world is slowly but surely sitting up and listening.

– Compiled by hub.branded
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