Jamie Olivermay not be a fitness guru, but he has revolutionized the food and health industry. Born May 27, 1975 in Clavering, Essex, England, Jamie had a normal childhood until the age of 8 when he started working at his parents’ pub The Cricketers in Calvering. He would help around the kitchen and run errands for his parents. Jamie was around the kitchen so much that he found a passion for food. He completed training at Westminster Catering College at 16 years old and then France was calling Jaime’s name. He spent some time there working for a variety of restaurants. Upon his return to London he worked at Neal Street and then at the infamous River Cafe for three-and-a-half years with Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers. This is where his passion for Italian food was ignited.
His formal career started in 1997 after being featured in a documentary about the River Cafe. Jamie was offered his own show; thus The Naked Chef was born. Jamie kept himself busy with his projects, but gave back to the community. In 2001, he opened “Jamie’s Kitchen,” a training restaurant for English citizens who weren’t in school or employed. His open heart and love for cooking benefited people in need. The next project to catch Jamie’s attention was the poor state of school lunches in United Kingdom schools. In 2004, Jamie launched a national campaign called “Feed Me Better,” then went into schools and educated kids on the importance of eating healthy. “Feed Me Better” shed light on the obesity problem eradicating the UK.
The idea of revolutionizing school lunches made its way across the Atlantic. The unhealthiest city in the United States in 2009 was Huntington, West Virginia. Oliver traveled to Huntington to revolutionize the town. Citizens of Huntington didn’t see how one man was going to change the diet and nutrition of 50,000 people until Jamie went into Huntington’s elementary school and taught children about health and nutrition. He forced cafeteria staff to see what they were feeding to the future of America. The success of the show caught attention internationally, and since 62 countries have joined his Food Revolution.
Currently, Jamie is living in London with wife Jools, his high school sweetheart whom he married in 2000. They have four children together; Poppy, Daisy, Petal, and Buddy. Recently, Jamie was awarded Harvard School of Public Health’s Health Cup. The Harvard School of Public Health is not his only humanitarian award.
- TED prize winner 2010: Technology, Entertainment, Design is a nonprofit organized that awarded Jamie with $100,000 to donate to his charity of choice.
- New Media Award for “Feed Me Better”: awarded for his campaign that started changing school lunches in the UK
- Horace Hagedorn Award: for advocating going organic in your own garden
- RSPCA Award: for building awareness of the welfare of chickens in the UK
Jamie Oliver goes above and beyond most chefs. He is an influential member of society who stresses the importance of eating right for a long, healthy life.