There's a lot cooking in the kitchen of world-famous chef Jamie Oliver. As one of Britain's most famous exports, the wickedly funny television personality has been the host of seven extremely popular shows, written more than half a dozen international best-selling books…and still finds time to revolutionize the way students eat in England.
Known also as "The Naked Chef"—named after his first television show, which was based on the concept of stripping food down to its bare essentials—Jamie is more than just a famous face. In 2002, he opened Fifteen London, a training restaurant for disadvantaged young people, as a way to give back to the industry. The proceeds from the restaurant, which recently recruited its sixth training class, go to his charity, Fifteen Foundation. Fifteen London was so successful, he opened training restaurants in Amsterdam, Melbourne and Cornwall. In 2005, Jamie took on an entirely different challenge—the the junk food culture in British schools. He personally taught cafeteria workers how to prepare healthy food, and his campaign to promote nutritious meals prompted the British government to designate more than $1 billion to the cause, dramatically changing the way kids eat. Jamie and his wife, Jools, have two children of their own, daughters Poppy and Daisy. He and his family currently split their time between London and Essex.
"What was brilliant about Oprah's Big Give is that it took genuinely good people and gave them challenges—really pushed the boundaries to see how good they could be to other people," Jamie says. "It's got all the emotions. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry—it stuns you, surprises you, and there's always something around the corner. You'll see normal, everyday people be heroes."
Jamie's Favorite…Giving Back Moment: Doing charity work and rehabilitation in an unconventional way. I've got four top-class restaurants around the world that train hard-to-reach young people, mainly from prison, giving them a job. And in that same time I've been doing a lot of campaigns in England, trying to get better food in schools and basically causing a fair bit of creative trouble for the government, encouraging them to do a better job!
Food: I haven't really got a favorite food since my job is to keep changing it up. Italian definitely, and Asian stuff as well, but really it changes all the time.
Movie: The Outsiders
Type of Music and/or Artist: I like anything miserable. A lot of Brit stuff that Americans haven't really heard of—anyone who hollers and whines.
Time of Day: Bathtime, when I'm chilling. A little bit of peace and quiet.
Indulgence: Going out with the boys, somewhere away, kick around the night, have a few beverages and poker. Boys' night out.
Vacation: The Amalfi coast in Italy
Memory: My favorite memory can't be talked about on Oprah.com!
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