Jamie Oliver, born 27th May 1975 is an English chef, restaurateur and TV personality. The boy from Essex has done well, from leaving school when he was just 16 with two GCSEs to been named the richest chef in the world with a net worth of £150 million ($225m) is some going for the 36-year-old father of four who is Britain’s 501st richest person.
He’s made his money with restaurants, recipe books TV programmes and supermarket endorsements and in the last year alone his fortune rocketed by £44 million ($66m).
Whilst too many cooks spoil the broth, in this case it looks like Jamie’s going be the only cook left in the UK Rich list. As he has gone up many of his cooking pals like Delia Smith and Gordon Ramsay have dropped out of the U.K.’s top 1000 Rich list altogether.
As his empire has grown in England he is now looking to build an even larger one in the United States where through his controversial TV programmes which try to get people to eat healthily, a theme which he started in the UK, he has become a household name.
Jamie’s Italian restaurant chain has also grown quickly where profits were up to £4.6 million and sales doubled to £47.6 million for 2010/11. The chain has 30 sites in the UK and he has plans to expand into North America. The business is valued at £110 million and Jamie and his wife Jools enjoy a £77 million stake according to the Sunday Times Rich list.
Meanwhile, Jamie Oliver Holdings, which is his main concern recorded £8 million profit on earnings of £25.8 million.
He has a massive following of fans which means almost every book he releases becomes a bestseller. He has been top of the weekly bestseller charts 30 times with 15 cookbooks which included the 30 minute meals that sold more than 1 million copies. When his book Jamie’s Great Britain was released and linked with his Channel 4 TV show it also went straight in at number one and knocking the Harry Potter writer JK Rowling off the top spot as Britain’s bestselling author.
His legions of fans are not just based in the UK but also in the US and around the world where his TV shows which are made by his own production company, Fresh One Productions are shown. So far the shows have been translated into 29 languages and shown in over 60 countries around the world
Jamie grew up in Clavering, Essex, England where his parents ran “The Cricketers” pub, as a child he used to help out in the kitchen and got a taste for the life of a chef. He got his first job as a pastry chef at Antonio Carluccio’s restaurant in Neals Yard, one of the most highly regarded restaurants in the UK, here he learned how to prepare Italian food from his mentor Gennaro Contaldo for three and half years. Jamie then moved on to work at The River cafe in Fulham, London and it was here that he was seen by the BBC during the filming of “Christmas at the River cafe” documentary when he made an unscripted appearance.
The BBC were so impressed with him they offered him a show “The Naked Chef” which ran for three seasons plus three Christmas specials. The programs were well received and credited with getting men into the kitchen with his “blokey” approach. The cookbook that accompanied the show also became a bestseller in the UK.
From here he went on to produce a bass string of cooking shows including Pukka Tuckka, Jamie’s Kitchen, Jamie’s Kitchen Australia, Jamie’s School dinners, Jamie’s Great Italian escape, Jamie’s chef, Jamie at home, Jamie’s Fowl Dinners, Jamie’s Ministry of Food, Jamie saves our Bacon, Jamie’s American Road Trip, Jamie’s food Revolution, Jamie’s 30 minute Meals, Jamie’s 15 minute meals.
He has also been well received in America where he was the British celebrity chef appearing on Iron Chef America and as a judge on Oprah’s Big Give.
In 2000 Jamie entered into an endorsement deal with the Sainsbury’s supermarket chain which was worth £1.5 million a year , this lasted for 11 years and the final advert was made for Christmas 2011.
In 2003 he was awarded the MBE in the Queens birthday Honours list and in 2005 he started a campaign called “Feed Me Better” to try and get British schoolchildren to eat healthier meals and cut down on junk food.
This became so influential that the British government said that it would look to address the issue and change the way school meals were made in the UK and to give healthier alternatives. The controversial campaign which he started in England was then shipped over to the United States when he travelled over first to Huntington, West Virginia and then Los Angeles to try and change the way Americans eat and to try and get them to reduce their dependence on fast food. This won him many fans and a few enemies in the fast food industry.
A great supporter of fresh organic foods Jamie was named as the most influential person in the UK hospitality industry in 2005 and again 2010.
Jamie has four children with these ex-model wife Jools (Juliet), they met in 1993 and married in July 2000 and the family still live in Clavering in Essex near where he grew up.