Jamie Oliver is the archetypal TV chef; the personable foodie pinup — dubbed the Naked Chef — with a panache for mustering up recipes quick and easy enough for the modern family with no time to spare. With just the right amount of healthy ingredients and with no shortage of flavour, Oliver has built up a net worth of £164 million with his empire of restaurants, TV shows, government backed schemes, and popular publishing deals.
It’s fair to say that Oliver started his career in his parents Essex pub when he was just 8-years-old, where he earned just £1 per hour helping out and where he started pulling pints when he was just 10. Perhaps it was his early training in the catering industry that sparked his interest in creating top nosh that would become the catalyst for his multimillion pound empire and Britain’s second best-selling author behind Harry Potter writer J.K. Rowling.
Oliver was first spotted by BBC producers who were making The River Cafe documentary in 1997, where Oliver worked. The day after the broadcast, he was contacted by numerous production companies who were keen for Oliver to be the star of his own show — within a year his series The Naked Chef was on air and bringing in solid ratings.
After being dubbed The Naked Chef and worrying that his mother would take offence, Oliver quipped: “I was afraid my mum would think I was a porn star.” He earned this moniker, however, due to his simple approach to cooking, rather than anything, erm, saucy.
The Naked Chef is now a heralded MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire), whose appointment with former PM Tony Blair resulted in the PM committing £280 million for Oliver to help improve the quality of food in UK schools, which brought with it a fair amount of criticism and praise.
So as the Uk’s wealthiest chef, above the likes of Gordon Ramsey and Nigella Lawson, it’s bound to come with its fair amount of conflict. Oliver and Ramsey have been loggerheads for what seems like time eternal. He said this; he said that type of stuff. Oliver claims that Ramsey is jealous, but that’s doubtful — more a case of them being polar opposites.
The key to Oliver’s success? Many would say his love for simple meals such as pasta, and the huge amount of public trust he’s built up. But without his vision and hard work, it’s unlikely that the celebrity chef would’ve accumulated such a handsome amount of work and wealth.
Worldwide Oliver owns more than 30 restaurants, including six Jamie’s Italian restaurants in Australia, and a 200-seat venue in Sydney’s central business district. So certainly his global expansions would have gone some way in creating his multi millions that is his bank balance and net worth.