Jamie Oliver – From Apprentice to Chef Entrepreneur

Jamie Oliver Apprentice Stories


Jamie Oliver is one of Britain’s most famous Chefs, starring in a number of television shows, and writing many cook books. He owns a number of restaurants as well; Fifteen and Jamie’s Italian, which has chains all over the country. But how does Jamie Oliver link to The Apprentice Academy? Well Jamie wasn’t born with his cooking skills, it was something that he had to learn. That’s where his Apprenticeship came in, his NVQ in Home Economics.

Jamie grew up in Essex and was exposed to a restaurant environment from an early age. His parents, Trevor and Sally, ran a pub called The Cricketers. Jamie practised cooking in the kitchen with his parents, something that would give him his first taste of being a Chef.

Jamie would leave school at the age of 16 with two GCSEs in Art and Geology, but this wasn’t through lack of trying. He has gone on record as saying he was labelled as ‘Special Needs’ in school, as he was dyslexic. When you have teachers, who are supposed to be role models to students (As this can help students learn) label you in a negative way, it’s obviously going to be a lot more difficult to get qualifications out of your time in school.

Jamie Oliver

After leaving, he would begin to attend what was at the time called Westminster Technical College (Now called Westminster Kingsway College) to study for the NVQ mentioned earlier, Home Economics. Home Economics is essentially learning about how to manage cooking and other aspects of household management. He earned this qualification and then moved on to apprenticing at different restaurants around London. One of these being Antonio Carluccio’s Neal Street restaurant.

At this restaurant, under the mentorship of Gennaro Contaldo, Jamie began to learn about Italian Cuisine, which he would take further into his career when he started to open Italian restaurants around Britain. Any valuable experience that he got from being an apprentice at different reputable restaurants only added to the skills that he already learnt from his parents in their pub. Combining all his skills no doubt contributed to his overall success as a Chef!

His first cooking show would be ‘The Naked Chef,’ where Oliver would show off the simplicity of some of his recipes. Throughout the 2000s, Oliver would campaign for healthy eating in schools and cutting out junk food, something that was really successful.

Jamie Oliver

Richtopia, a digital platform that produces content about the business world, listed Jamie Oliver at number 3 of the most influential British entrepreneurs of 2017. Imagine this, a dyslexic Essex boy, who left school with 2 GCSEs, would hone his craft as an apprentice and become a massively influential entrepreneur, with a net-worth of over £150 million. When put into perspective, the journey that Jamie Oliver has made is really inspiring.

Jamie Oliver took the basic principles of an Apprenticeship and raised it to the next level. He not only got a qualification out of it, but he also improved his cooking skills to a point where it would be recognised enough to become a main stay on TV. Furthermore, he would start two restaurant chains, and publish numerous cook books. That really is something great.