On a visit to Sydney last March, our favourite chef launched a globalchange.org petition on food education, aiming at providing G20 countries with food education in schools and thus combating child obesity on a global scale. In 2013, 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight.
Jamie Oliver is not only a talented chef and entrepreneur, he is a media celebrity and an inspiring figure in contemporary society.
He first worked as a pastry chef in Antinio Carluccio's Neal's Yard Italian restaurant, before opening Jamie Italian, a collection of high street restaurants. His first show, The Naked Chef, aired in 1999 on the BBC, and his cookbook became a bestseller in the UK. To top off his year of success, he was invited at 10, Downing Street to prepare lunch for the Prime Minister.
The beginning of the 21st century marked the beginning of an 11-year partnership between the chef and Sainsbury's, for which he became the ambassador.
"Jamie's Italian", his high street business restaurant, was launched in June 2008 in Oxford. Its frank success led to the creation of 35 restaurants in the collection, and a worldwide franchise. Today, one can find Jamie's Italian in various countries of the world, such as Russia, Turkey or Singapore.
The Chef's fame is highly influenced by his presence on TV shows. The Naked Chef, created in 1999, was followed by another 2 seasons (Return of the Naked Chef and Happy Days with the Naked Chef) before Jamie Oliver decided to leave the BBC. In 2002, he starred in a 5-part documentary on Channel Four named Jamie's Kitchen, on which he trains disadvantaged youths to cook. The prize at the end? A job in Jamie's new restaurants, Fifteen. Fifteen is not only the name of the 15 restaurants opened in London, but also the name of the charity that supports disadvantaged youths to jumpstart their careers. The second season, The Return to Jamie's Kitchen, followed in 2003. Jamie's Chef, aired in 2007, aimed at supporting the winner of opening their own restaurant at a pub in Essex named the Cock. The winner, Aaron Craze, was provided a 125 000 pounds loan by Fifteento refurbish the establishment.
Jamie stars in dozens of other TV shows, of which Oliver's Twist (2002), Jamie's 30-minute meals (2010), and Jamie's Comfort Food (2014).
After being the face of Sainsbury's for 11 years, Oliver turned to Canadian supermarkets Sobeys in August 2013 and Australian supermarkets Woolworths in October 2013. He is working on a series of better nutrition advertisements and campaigns with them.
In 2005, the Chef launched his "Feed me better" campaign, aimed at improving British schoolchildren's eating habits and teaching them how to cut out on junk food. In March 2015, he launched a petition on global food education, thus extending his combat on a world scale.