As Londoners, we are accustomed to waiting patiently in queues on a daily basis. The City offers a wide range of restaurants, theatres and visitor attractions which are often crowded with people trying to get in. That’s just a way of life for us. However, it’s not often that you visit other parts of the country and find similar queues gracing the pavements outside restaurants. Such was our experience on a recent business trip to Brighton where we wanted a quick bite at Jamie’s Italianover lunch.
Since his first opening, Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant venture has had a stunning reaction from businesses across the country, making the rest of the industry sit up and take notice!
Inspired by his passion for Italy, Jamie Oliver opened a group of “neighbourhood” restaurants called Jamie’s Italian, offering authentic, affordable and great quality Italian food on the high street. The first restaurant launched in Oxford in 2008. There are 17 Restaurants in the UK and a further 2 restaurants internationally; one in Sydney and another in Dubai.
When Jamie’s Italian was first conceived, the starting point was to re-create what Italians are most proud of – fantastic, rustic dishes, using recipes that have been tried, tested and loved! Jamie talks about “feeling Italian” and in Gennaro Contaldo, we can tap into real thing. A great mentor for our young chefs and someone who, as a boy growing up in a tiny fishing village on the Amalfi coast, learned how simple, fresh ingredients, prepared and cooked with love and passion (a phrase he uses every day – and means!) become truly great dishes. They have created a contemporary, informal environment which is energetic, vibrant and live! Everything’s inspired by genuine enthusiasm and brought to life by a motivated and knowledgeable team.
Wesley Richter; General Manager, Jamie’s Italian, Canary Wharf:
“I love working at Jamie’s. The decor is rustic… affordable … comforting and enticing for customers to come in and have a meal, even if it’s just for a glass of water and pasta; we try to appeal to everyone. There are daily specials from the chef updated on the boards, in the bars and the restaurant areas…quality of food and freshness is very important to us! You can literally be eating your spaghetti watching the chefs making fresh pasta in front of you! Where else but Jamie’s can you see that?”
Whilst other celebrity chefs have been seen to be struggling, the Jamie Oliver “phenomenon” is a fast-growing empire, which includes books, television deals, sponsorship deals and eateries, all based on the warming persona of the cheeky Essex boy. With more openings already on the horizon, it’s a small wonder that he has his eyes now firmly set on conquering America.
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