Jamie grew up surrounded by good food: his parents ran the Cricketers pub in Essex and, from the age of eight, he started cooking and helping the chefs there, and learning to appreciate quality ingredients along the way. After an undistinguished school career, he decided he wanted to cook for a living and studied catering at Westminster Kingsway College in London.
During his apprenticeship, Jamie worked with some of the best chefs in London. He was a pastry chef for Antonio Carluccio at the Neal Street Restaurant, then moved on to Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers’ River Café. It was while working at the River Café that he was spotted by a TV producer and his life changed – The Naked Chef, the first of numerous cookery shows to be fronted by Jamie, was commissioned.
Jamie’s work outside of the kitchen includes campaigning for better school meals; he has also made documentaries highlighting the issues surrounding poultry production and the plight of British pig farmers. His Fifteen enterprise, which now spans several cities, has helped under-privileged young people gain valuable experience in the restaurant business.
Image copyright: Chris Terry