Jamie Oliver Inspires Us
By: Violetta Holl, Marilyn.ca
Celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, is known for his delicious recipes, cookbooks, television shows and for inspiring the world to eat healthy.
As he enters the studio he admits he is a bit jet lagged. He flew in from Pittsburgh where he was part of a conference of 180 young people from around the world dedicated to making changes in their countries.
He explains the event is, “The most humbling thing that I do of the year, because you’ve got countries that are at conflict, countries dying of starvation, countries that are eating themselves to death. It’s a massive sort of head screw really.”
Oliver has found cooking to be his way of contributing to many causes out there. “I think food brings anyone, or communities, cultures together. So obviously I’m biased, but I think food is very powerful.”
Besides his charitable work, Oliver has created 30 television shows in over 100 countries and written 19 cookbooks.
“I want to create a show or storytelling in such a way that makes people feel it’s inclusive, not exclusive, and I think that is the main thing.”
His latest cookbook, “Jamie’s Great Britain,” concentrates on British cooking. He makes everything from fish and chips, which was actually invented by a Portuguese-Jew in London to Bangers and Mash, which is just a fancy name for sausage and mashed potatoes. He also tells us that there are many other crazy names for British food, such as Toad in the Hole (basically a roasted sausage with pancake batter), Bubble & Squeak (a dish made with leftovers) and even a dessert that has gotten the British in trouble for it’s name, called Spotted Dick.
“So Spotted Dick is a classic British pudding, and it would have been steamed in a little bowl, and the spotted bit was raisins, and dick, well I don’t know where dick came from. Dick was the nickname. I could do some more research on that, “ he explains.
Putting the humorous names aside, one of the reasons he is highlighting British cooking is that within the last 15 years the country underwent a massive renaissance when it came to cooking and chefs. Yet, 40 years before and after the world wars the country’s middle class was poor and maintained a bad diet.
“I think it had a lot to do with 12% of women working going to 60%-70%, and the schools not filling in the gap of teaching kids, boys and girls, you know, life skills of cooking, budgeting, shopping. And of course, you know, we had that whole sexist thing of women cook, and boy would never be taught to cook at school.”
Jamie Oliver teaches his own children the importance of good food. He has been married for 12 years and is a father to one son named Buddy Bear Maurice (2), and three daughters named Poppy Honey Rosie (10), Daisy Boo Pamela (9) and Petal Blossom Rainbow (3). He usually calls them by their first name, but he jokes, “ I’m going to go back and change the names.”
Despite his busy schedule Oliver is laying down some roots in Montreal, Canada. “Basically I’ve always wanted to do something in Canada. I always felt very, very welcome here. I think the people that come to book signings; they totally get my stuff. So I’ve wanted to do something, and my old head chef from Fifteen (Oliver’s London Restaurant) is a Canadian boy, and he has been sort of just drafting and getting better and honing his skills.”
Staying true to his philanthropic and cooking roots, Oliver helped his old head chef named Derek open up an English Tavern style restaurant. “You don’t realize how hard it is for chefs. The money is tough. The business is tough. It’s so easy to lose money. So hard to make money even if you are successful, and even if you are really talented. That little break to start your own place, so it was easy to help out Derek.”
Poutine provided by Smoke's Poutinerie
About Violetta Holl (marilyn.ca)
Violetta Holl is The Marilyn Denis Show’s Web Journalist. Whether it’s through her articles, photography or web exclusive videos she gets you caught up on what’s happening behind-the-scenes. Violetta has written for online publications for over five years, specializing in lifestyle and entertainment. She holds a BA in Professional Writing and Communication Studies, as well as, a College Diploma in Journalism Broadcasting.