29 FEB, 16
I was recently asked why I love Jamie Oliver so much……………….
For me it was an easy question to answer, it had started way back in 1999 when he was better known as the Naked Chef.  At this time i was doing my apprenticeship to become a chef myself and found great inspiration from a Chef who I could relate to and from watching his programs, copying his recipes, using his easier to follow methods and techniques. I was learning new skills and confidence throughout my course.
So it originated from the first show I saw of this chef who used ‘Pukka’ when describing dishes, got his fresh herbs from a small container on the window sill, which were ripped instead of chopped and his party trick was sliding down the bannister in his flat.
What did ‘Naked Chef’ mean - This had nothing to do with nudity and he even turned down many offers to pose naked.  The real reason behind it (excuse the phrase) was, his way of cooking was to strip everything down to the basics of cooking. He wouldn't make things fancy and elaborate as many chefs were doing at the time when Jamie first burst onto the scene, instead Jamie would simplify the method of cooking so that anyone could do it.
Which was the perfect relationship starter for someone that was in their first year of apprenticeship.
From then I have followed Jamie through his many TV shows and books and idolised everything he did and does to this day.  Over the years I have visited as many of his restaurants as I can with my most recent visit being to his Italian restaurant in Perth Australia.  On each occasion I have secretly hoped that maybe just maybe he will be at one whilst I’m there, but still to this day I haven’t been lucky enough to meet him.  I have a genuinely signed photo which I received for my 30th birthday and further signed memorabilia which friends have picked up for me. I also have to hold my hands up and admit that I do have a list which I tick off once I visit each one.  With nearly 50 restaurants over the world, it maybe sometime before I visit them all.
I always remember my very first experience eating in one of his restaurants and just in case my wife is reading this, the memory was more unforgettable because it was my first wedding anniversary.   The restaurant was Fifteen in London.  Since that date I have eaten in both of the UK Fifteen restaurants and enjoyed the food in both of them. However still to this day Fifteen Cornwall remains my favourite restaurant I have eaten in.  To be able to sit and eat in a restaurant where you have fantastic 360 degree views over the stunning coast lines and the kitchen itself, makes the atmosphere incomparable to any other that I have eaten in.  This incorporated with the concept and exceptional seasonal food with the Cornish twist means for me, it will take some beating.
There are other amazing and talented chefs, all that we follow for many different reasons, but for me Jamie Oliver not only continues to open restaurants, have fantastic banter with his old mentor Gennaro, bring us new ideas with his many TV shows and some 21 books.  He is also always looking for new ways to invest and promote ways of dealing with some of the many issues we have within our society where food is involved.  
Including the fantastic insight and challenges into how our children eat at school with Jamie’s School Dinners. Starting with children was the perfect step to then follow on with adults and families in ‘Jamie’s Ministry of Food’ and ‘Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution’. Not forgetting his current fight to reduce sugar by introducing a sugar tax.  With my recent favourite being ‘Jamie & Jimmy's Friday Night Feast’, taking their fight through passion and influences to help farmers, fisherman, etc. to boost their sales and save businesses.  These are only a few of the many challenges he has thought and continues to fight with the backing of the ‘Jamie Oliver Food Foundation’.  
With nearly 20 years of stalking, I mean memories, a son named after him and a career for myself that has been shaped by someone who influenced me from a young adult and who still does to this day.  That is why I love Jamie Oliver so much.
So that’s the long answer, for the short answer……….
Who wouldn’t love a cheeky Essex lad with a passion for food and eager to make a difference? 
As an added treat for reading and liking my blog, please find below a link to my favourite recipe which can also be found in ‘Jamie’s Comfort Food’ book.

Adrian Spooner – Operations Manager, Hospitality Temporary Division 
29 FEB, 16
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