Jamie Oliver, Britain’s most famous cook, criticized for his recipes for the poor

The following book by Jamie Oliver (Clavering, UK, 1975) is not about simple recipes with a good handful of spices, nor about all the things you can do by just dirtying a saucepan, nor about everything anything related to the kitchen. Its ingredients are a hint of adventure, a hint of friendship, a hint of mystery and a huge dollop of magic, as advocated by the Penguin publishing house, which traditionally publishes its cookbooks. ‘Billy and the Giant Adventure (Billy and the Giant Adventure) is a children’s book, illustrated by Mónica Armiño from Madrid, which hits bookstores in mid-April in English and features the hackneyed gang of kids on bicycles. It will also be available as an audiobook, with a song composed by Jamie Oliver himself, who enlisted several friends and his “wonderful” wife Jools to voice the characters.

With “Billy and the Giant Adventure”, the chef takes up a new challenge: he himself has recognized that writing is one of the most difficult things in life – he is dyslexic –, who failed at school and who dictated most of his previous books. None of this stopped him becoming one of the UK’s best-selling authors, with JK Rowling often the only one capable of eclipsing him.

Beginnings in children’s literature

With her debut in children’s literature, Jamie Oliver shouldn’t compete with her when it comes to critical acclaim. The English press has long since lost its mania for pointing out that the chef, who shot to fame at just 24 with the BBC show ‘The Naked Chef’, is going naked. Before publishing it, the headline of the Guardian had already fallen on him: “Stay away from mediocre celebrity writing for Christmas, authors advocate & rdquor;. In the article, various authors of children’s books took a stand against the flood of celebrities who dare the genre to see it as an easy way to expand their brandwith Jamie Oliver and Paul McCartney as main representatives.

Jamie Oliver’s new show on Channel 4, “Jamie’s £1 Wonders”in which he offers delicious and nutritious recipes for less than a pound per serving. They made the tone uglier than the content: the paradigm that one of the richest chefs in the world, with an estimated fortune of around 300 million euros, pose as a creative challenge or a pleasure the kitchen of poverty. They reminded him that millions of his compatriots have no choice but to know the exact cost of each ingredient and what they spend on electricity each time they switch on an appliance.

Jamie Oliver’s tone hasn’t changed since a TV producer guessed his potential when he ran into him at the Italian restaurant River Café in London, where he worked in the late 1990s. He remains loyal to his lumberjack and cultivate similar ways, that “hands-on” with which he instilled the average Briton with unprecedented confidence in his culinary skills simply by encouraging him to roll up his sleeves and put the glove on anything that wasn’t boiling. Jamie Oliver still feels like that boy who grew up in an Essex village pub among cockneys and gypsies, as he himself declared, and that he made his first dish there, an omelette, when he was only eight years old. But it’s been over two decades since he shot to fame, and the one thing that’s remained unchanged is his style.

millions of pounds

The cook has amassed a fortune, sold 48 million books and reached a television audience of some 67 million people in 182 countries around the world. In 2019, he suffered a business cataclysm: 22 of the 25 restaurants in his group (which included restaurants like Jamie’s Italian, Barbecoa and Fifteen) were declared bankrupt in the UK and caused the loss of 1,000 jobs. And while the advent of Brexit could later be blamed for the debacle of their businesses, the truth is that the voracity with which they grew had already set off alarm bells: Jamie’s Italian went from one location in Oxford in 2008 to 43 restaurants at the end of 2016.

“We just ran out of money. We did not expect it and it is not normal, in any business,’ the cook confessed to the Financial Times, stunned, unable to explain how he had arrived at such extremes. The name of his brother-in-law Paul Hunt, who has led his group of companies since 2014, began to appear in the media. Jamie Oliver then defended his direction but, once the media storm subsided, his sister Anna Marie’s husband was fired in March 2021.

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family man –He has five children and has been married since 2000 to his longtime girlfriend.–, Jamie Oliver moved to live in his Essex cottage to write, raise his children and live more peacefully. It is assumed. He is still the man who thinks big and challenges himself to improve the eating habits of the British first, then of the Americans.

His idea of ​​prudence translates into Hire cultural appropriation specialists to verify your recipes and save you the hassle like the one who gave him paella with chorizo Now she started writing children’s books. She recently confessed that she didn’t know how to make a poached egg until a year before succeeding with The Naked Chef: she learned it in a cookbook by Delia Smith in 1998. And then look.


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