The Naked Chef has beaten Delia Smith, Gordon Ramsay and Nigella Lawson to be voted the best celebrity chef of all time
Chef, cookbook author, school dinner crusader, king of budget meals, owner of several chains of restaurants and a TV production empire, Naked Chef … the talents of Jamie Oliver are (almost) endless and quite frankly exhausting.
He can now add "best celebrity chef of all time" to that list.
That’s right folks, 39-year-old Oliver has pipped Delia Smith, Gordon Ramsay, Nigella Lawson and Mary Berry to the top spot by winning the most public votes and taking the title.
In honour of this, it’s time to talk all things Jamie with five things you didn’t know about the pukka chef – and some rather good recipes of his. You're welcome.
1. He turned down a role in the Lord of the Rings
Oh yes. In 2001, Peter Jackson offered to fly Jamie out to New Zealand for a cameo role as a hobbit in The Return of the King – in exchange for cooking at the director’s 50th birthday meal. Due to work commitments it was a no-go. Oliver described it as “the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.” We feel your pain, Jamie.
2. He secretly collects driftwood
Yes, this is an important Jamie fact. He told The Telegraph: “It might sound a bit mad, but a solid bit of driftwood makes for a perfect chopping board, the kind you’d pay a small fortune for in a department store.” Note to self: go to the seaside this weekend.
He had a Bake Off with Taylor Swift. Obvs
A completely random pairing that somehow worked, Jamie and Tay went head to head in the kitchen in a sketch for Stand Up To Cancer. He busted some pretty amazing moves too.
3. He thinks women are better at barbecues than men (high five, Jamie)
He told the Daily Mail: “Some of the best barbecuers are women. When we opened Barbecoa, it was the first restaurant in London that didn’t have gas or electric and for the first month, we just lost 20 male chefs and all that were left largely were women because they were a lot more sensitive to managing fire.
“The men freaked out because there wasn’t a nozzle to turn down.”
4. He finished reading a book for the first time in 2013
While he has written almost 20 cookbooks, he chose to read Catching Fire, the 391 page sci-fi sequel to Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins as his first book to read in its entirety. Before completing it, he said: “I’ve never read a book in my life, which I know sounds incredibly ignorant but I’m dyslexic and I get bored easily.”
5. He's studying for a degree in food nutrition
He told the Daily Mail: “I wanted to do it (the degree) because even though I employ food nutritionists and I know a lot myself through experience, I wanted to actually have the proper knowledge.
"What I want is to have the knowledge. To properly understand it (nutrition) and to apply it to everything I do.’"
Bow down to these mighty Jamie Oliver recipes
The onions, herbs, watercress, dressing and ciabatta make this the mightiest of all steak sandwiches.
We defy anyone to turn their nose up at a freshly baked batch of cookies – especially these chewy, chocolatey ones.
The meat will just fall apart and melt in your mouth. It’s moreish, spicy and with a clever contrasting salsa is a total joy. It’s like a comforting hug in food form.