Jamie Oliver has been lighting up our screens, filling our bookshelves and warming our tummies and hearts for more than 20 years. From his early days as the young and cheeky Naked Chef, Oliver has grown into the leading force of a food revolution the world over. Now at 42, Oliver shows no signs of slowing down in his journey to make the world a better place through food – in fact, we think he’s just getting started.
Just last week Oliver touched down in Australia to promote his latest crusades; the war on childhood obesity, Jamie’s Ministry of Food, he even met with Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt to talk about the success of the UK sugar tax.
We were lucky enough to head to the Melbourne leg of Breakfast with Jamie; a special event held by Business Chicks where Oliver talked about his career and what drives him to make a difference. Decent and humble humans like Oliver are worth their weight in saffron, so we wanted to tell you all the reasons why We Love Jamie.
He cares about people
In his interview, Oliver told host and The Project panel presenter Gorgi Coghlan that he has a deep respect for what the public think and want. “From very early on I have always known my place…the Public is my boss, and what I do I do for them,” said Oliver.
While he admits, it can be overwhelming to look at all the world’s possibilities for change, Oliver said he and his team hone in on one key area or and work out how to make a difference from there.
This was the premise behind Jamie’s Ministry of Food coming to Australia; Oliver looked at the regional “black spots” that are noticeably lacking in proper nutrition and healthy food habits, they set up shop and start working with the community to teach basic cooking skills and educate the younger locals on smart food choices.
He LOVES food
Sure, this one’s obvious, but Jamie Oliver’s passion for food is evident in each meal, right down to the last cracked peppercorn on the plate. He loves GOOD food, and wants you to love it too.
This doesn’t necessarily mean extravagant food either – his first TV show, The Naked Chef was not named for Oliver’s lack of pants; it was about the food being stripped of all the fanciness and 500 step recipes, to allow everyday people to enjoy good quality, hearty food. He did the same with his series and books, Save With Jamie; making meals that were affordable, and economical for anyone to enjoy.
He wants YOU to eat well
For Jamie Oliver, being a celebrity chef doesn’t stop when the cameras aren’t rolling, instead he uses his celebrity for the greater good, for educating the everyday person to eat good, nutritious food that will fill, heal and make you happy. He wants people to opt for fresh produce, buying local, or even growing food in their backyard.
Oliver said preparing a meal for somebody is one of the most caring, nurturing things you can do, and he wants to spread this energy across the world. One of his recent specials and books Jamie’s Super Food was an experiment as well as a cooking show. Oliver visited areas of the world with the longest life spans, learning firsthand what they eat each day. Taking this information, and recipes and ingredients embedded in culture from across the globe, Oliver went back to his kitchen and cooked delicious, nurturing and hearty food that anybody could do themselves, because he wants you to eat well.
He knows the future of a healthy planet lies in educating young people first
One of the longest running crusades for The Jamie Oliver Group has been tackling childhood obesity, which has seen him affect change as far as the UK Parliament. A father of four himself, Oliver said to Coghlan that good eating habits can be learned as easily as bad habits are taken on.
“Kids don’t grow up needing burgers, or soft drink or pizza, they are taught that by their environment,” he said to Coghlan. While his stance might not be the most popular at first with the younger generation, what Oliver is doing is setting the future of our world up for a healthier, happier and longer life span.
His work in the UK with the implementation of the sugar tax is as impressive as it is inspiring. A small levy of 15 cents was added to the cost of a can of soft drink, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but the money from this surcharge has been filtered back into funding for better health education, sports and food in schools. It has been proven that increasing the price on something, even as small as 15 cents will deter people from buying it, and therefore help them make healthier choices. Oliver also said that when create such a shift in the public eye, it forces other companies to straighten up and do the right thing too, therefore making small adjustments towards a healthier world.
There are many more reasons why we love Jamie Oliver, but quite frankly we have a word limit, and there is just too much to say. Thank you very much to the Business Chicks for hosting such a great event, and thank you Jamie for being an inspiring chef, caring celebrity and brilliant human!