Jamie grew up in a small Essex village called Clavering. His parents own a pub called 'The Cricketers'. He formed the band 'Scarlet Division' with Leigh Haggerwood in 1989. He attended Westminster Catering College when he was 16. He spent several years working alongside London chef, Gennaro Contaldo, who he regards as one of his culinary mentors. His first TV break came in 1996 when he was "discovered" by television producer Pat Llewellyn while working in the River Cafe in London. She saw him on a documentory called 'Christmas at the River Cafe' and recognised his star potential immediately.
He then signed a deal with Food Network to air the show 'Oliver's Twist' which then led to his next success. Two highly successful series of 'The Naked Chef' where filmed in 1998 and 1999. On June 24, 2000 he married Juliette Norton, also known as Jools. The couple met in 1993 and currently have two daughters, Poppy Honey (born in March 2002) and Daisy Boo (born in April 2003).
In June 2003 he was appointed an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. He set up the Fifteen charity restaurant where he trains 15 disadvantaged young people to work in the hospitality industry. Plans for similar restaurants are underway around the globe: Fifteen Amsterdam was opened in December 2004, and Fifteen Cornwall and Fifteen Melbourne are scheduled for opening in Summer 2006. He has also written columns for The Times. He is reputedly a multimillionaire.
In 2005 Channel 4 screened Jamie's School Dinners, in which Oliver took over responsibility for running the kitchen meals in Kidbrooke School, Greenwich (The UK's first comprehensive) for a year. Disgusted by the unhealthy fare being served up to schoolchildren and the lack of healthy alternatives on offer, Oliver began a campaign to improve the standard of Britain's school meals. Public awareness was raised and following on from the campaign, the UK Government pledged to spend £280m on school dinners (spread over 3 years). Tony Blair himself accepted that it's a result of Jamie's campaign.