Jamie Oliver Bio

Growing up in Essex, where his parents run their own highly respected pub/restaurant in Clavering, Jamie Oliver was frequently found helping in the kitchen. At 16, Jamie left school to complete his training at Westminster Catering College. After spending time working in France and at Antonio Carluccio’s Neal Street Restaurant in London, Jamie joined the acclaimed River Café, where he worked for three and a half years alongside Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers.

In 1997, Jamie was featured in a television documentary about the River Café. Jamie was then offered his own television show, and The Naked Chef was born. The concept was to strip food down to its bare essentials, and Jamie’s hands-on style and general laid-back outlook was like a breath of fresh air, inspiring everyone to cook. The first U.S. show aired in 1999. The Naked Chef book accompanied the television series and became an instant best-seller. A second and third television series was filmed, along with the second and third tie-in books, all published by Hyperion in the United States: The Return of the Naked Chef and Happy Days with the Naked Chef.

Jamie spent the autumn of 2001 taking his show on the road; the Happy Days Tour was a huge success with more than 17,000 people packing theatres in the U.K. The tour then travelled to Australia and New Zealand with sold-out crowds in seven cities. In 2001, by personal invitation from Tony Blair, Jamie also cooked for the prime minister of Italy at Downing Street.

Jamie wanted to ‘give something back’ to the catering industry, so he opened a training restaurant in 2001 for young people who were not in full-time education or employment. Cameras documented him as he spent the year setting up a training scheme, the restaurant and the charity into which all the profits would be channeled. The series, Jamie’s Kitchen, became one of the biggest hit shows of the year in the U.K. It has now been shown in more than 35 countries and the tie-in book, also called Jamie’s Kitchen, became a runaway success. The triumph of the restaurant was shown when it won Tatler Best Restaurant Award 2003 and the Academy Award of Excellence at the Tio Pepe Carlton London Restaurant Awards the same year. Jamie was awarded an MBE in 2003 for his contribution to the hospitality industry. The Fifteen Foundation charity now owns Fifteen London and continues its work, recently recruiting the sixth year of students for training in London. The first Fifteen franchise opened in Amsterdam in 2004 and subsequent Fifteens have opened in Cornwall, the U.K. and Melbourne, Australia, in 2006.

Motivated by the lack of nutrition in U.K. school lunches, Jamie wanted to educate and motivate kids and school administrators to enjoy cooking and eating nutritious lunches. He launched a national campaign called Feed Me Better with an online petition for better school meals that garnered 271,677 signatures. In March 2005, Jamie took the petition to 10 Downing Street where the government pledged an extra $550 million to improve the standard of school meals and to provide training for lunch workers and equipment for schools. More than seven months of hard work and filming culminated in the award-winning series Jamie’s School Dinners, which prompted a public outcry to change the school meals system. A follow-up documentary, Jamie’s Return To School Dinners, aired in the U.K. in September 2006, and the British government further invested in school meals and food education for school children as a result of Jamie’s new findings.

Jamie’s Great Italian Escape, a series based on his travels around Italy and his love of Italian food, followed his school movement and was accompanied by his sixth book, Jamie’s Italy.

In addition to Jamie’s television programs and books, Jamie works with top U.K. supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, advising them on how to further improve the quality and variety of supermarket food. He has also designed several lines of quality tableware and serveware with Royal Worcester, including the most recent range, Simply Blue. Working with T-Fal, Jamie has launched three lines of cookware called the Jamie Oliver Professional Series, most recently The Italian Series. Jamie has also launched an Italian food range and has a wide range of gift foods, which are distributed internationally. He has also developed a great kitchen gadget called the Flavour ShakerTM, which launched in the U.K. in 2005 and is also being launched internationally.

Jamie’s seventh book, Cook With Jamie, was published in October 2007 by Hyperion Books. All of Jamie’s profits from this book are going to the Fifteen Foundation to help more young people start a career in the catering industry.

Through 2006 and early 2007, Jamie filmed a series and wrote a book, both called Jamie At Home. He has been successfully growing fruits, vegetables and herbs at his Essex farmhouse since 2004. The book and series, both released in 2008, reflect his new love of gardening organically as well as featuring delicious recipes inspired by the produce of his garden.

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Marc Murphy Bio

Ask Chef Marc Murphy where he grew up and he'll fire off a list of cosmopolitan destinations — Milan, Paris, Villefranche, Washington, D.C., Rome and Genoa — "and that's before I turned 12," he’ll explain. This dizzying list of hometowns served as an excellent education in French and Italian cuisine, though as a teenager this was not his first passion. When the reality hit that he didn't have the funds to become a professional racecar driver, Marc followed his brother to the Institute of Culinary Education. After graduation he apprenticed at restaurants in France and Italy before returning to New York, where he landed a job as a line cook at Terrance Brennan's Prix Fixe. He stayed there for almost two years, working his way through every station in the kitchen and forging a professional bond with Brennan’s Sous Chefs Joseph Fortunato and David Pasternak. Eager to return to Europe, Marc flew to Paris and landed a position at the one-star Le Miraville, where he stayed for one-and-a-half years. Afterward, he staged at the famed Louis XV in Monte Carlo, where Executive Chef Alain Ducasse was so impressed with Marc's skills that he personally made arrangements for him to work with Sylvain Portay at Le Cirque once he returned to the States. Marc still considers Portay to be his greatest teacher. "Sylvain was above all concerned with coaxing out the most-vibrant, interesting flavors any ingredient had to offer, yet he insisted on minimal manipulation," he recalls. Following Le Cirque, Fortunato tapped him to work as a sous chef at Layla, Drew Nieporent's Middle Eastern fantasy in Tribeca, where he met consultant Georges Masraff. When Masraff joined forces to open Cellar in the Sky at Windows on the World, he recruited Marc to serve as executive chef. After receiving critical acclaim, including a two-star review from The New York Times, Marc headed uptown to serve as executive chef of La Fourchette, where NYT critic Ruth Reichl awarded him another glowing two-star review, citing his "open desire to transform food [so that] in his hands, even a simple green salad ... looks like a ruffled hat in a painting by Renoir." In March 2004 Marc opened his first solo enterprise with Landmarc [Tribeca], which won rave reviews both for its eclectic French and Italian menu as well as its highly untraditional wine list. Following its success, Marc opened Ditch Plains in the West Village in 2006 serving casual, beach-style cuisine such as lobster rolls, fish tacos and the infamous ditch dog, as well as other comfort food favorites. In 2007 Marc was given the opportunity to open another Landmarc restaurant in the pres­tigious Time Warner Center, where he brought his bistro-style cuisine midtown. In October 2013 Marc opened Kingside at the Viceroy New York hotel on New York's iconic West 57th Street, serving his interpretation of New American cuisine. Marc's restaurants now fall under the Benchmarc Restaurants by Marc Murphy name, where he acts as executive chef and owner. In addition to the restaurants, Marc also heads up the company's catering division, Benchmarc Events by Marc Murphy, where his signature style of accessible contemporary cuisine transcends the boundaries of what is offered in his restaurant locations. Today Marc's involvement in the industry moves beyond the restaurants as well, with a regular role as a judge on Food Network's top-rated hit Chopped as well as appearances on other hit series such as Guy's Grocery Games, Beat Bobby Flay and Worst Cooks in America. Marc also appears on The Rachael Ray Show and The Today Show, among others. He is the president of the Manhattan chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, a board member of City Harvest, Culintro and Passport NYC at the 92nd Street Y Culinary Camp, as well as a member of the Food + Finance High School's Industry Advisory Board, a member of the Leadership Council for Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign and the national spokesperson for Share Our Strength's Dine Out For No Kid Hungry. In 2012 Marc joined the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, where he takes part in public diplomacy programs that engage foreign audiences abroad as well as those visiting the United States. Marc's debut cookbook, Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking, was released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April 2015.

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