Jamie Oliver Italian selfie

Jamie Oliver is shaking up the Australian food scene and it’s great

Jamie Oliver is back! Part out of his touted love for Australia, but primarily because the Keystone Group went into receivership, which put his six ‘Jamie’s Italian’ restaurant in Australia right in the firing line.

It would be a strange sensation, bidding in a business war to take back the company with your own name on it, but he did, and won and now the Italian restaurant chain is 100% wholly his again. This means food is about to get a new benchmark in Sydney, Parramatta, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide and it’s wickedly exciting.

Jamie returned to Australia recently, touring the restaurants, meeting and posing for selfies with the over 400 staff the company employs for his brand around the country and teeing-up everything good he’s about with his national food partner, Woolworths. It was a busy trip that was no doubt exhausting, but one that Jamie is passionate about.

Big love to my fantastic team at @jamiesitalianparramatta big love jamie oxxx

A post shared by Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) on

You’d hope so given he’s been at it for the past two decades sine the blonde, shaggy-headed kid was plucked from relatively unknown sources to become one of the world’s biggest names in cooking royalty.

“If you’re going to create change, you have to do it with the big guys,” said Matt Preston to Jamie at a media launch in Sydney.

“Well that’s why I work with Woolies, to be honest. If you want good standards and good practises to get in the matrix and the big system, you’ve got to be prepared,” said Jamie.

He’s now 42, though and after five children and a wife, things have changed for the chef which we’re all about to witness firsthand by his new approach and take on life. It’s exciting.

“The last ten years have been emotional,” he chuckled. “It’s been really, really hard work; I want the next 10 years to be different and I’m happy to work hard, but I feel like I’ve learnt a lot of lessons in the last 10 years and I’ve screw-up enough to hopefully be a bit more battle-hardy and if I’m not a complete idiot, hopefully I won’t make the same mistakes twice.

“If I could do anything in the next 10 years, it [would be] really working with talent; new young chefs and supporting them in creative businesses that are amazing,” he said.

Couple that with a subtle shake-up of the tried and true Jamie’s Italian style – a new uniform and crockery – the menu is taking a different turn with more super food salads, steaks and a handful of other changes.

Serving over half a million people in Australia (nothing compared to the 7 million a year in Britain), Jamie is all about showing that while using only ethically-sourced, sustainable ingredients and a business can serve quality produce with a clear conscience and still be successful.

Jamie’s Italian around the country is open for business with the same quality food, only with the OG man at the helm. Visit any of the restaurants around the country and see which one is closest here.

Feature image: Jamie Oliver Instagram

James Banham
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James Banham

Editor at THE F
James Banham is an Australian lifestyle, fashion and entertainment journalist. His writing can be found on these many topics and more in print and online publications around the country.
James Banham
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