Jamie Oliver gives verdict on new cooking shows: ‘I tend not to watch them’

Jamie Oliver discusses his dream dinner party guests

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Jamie Oliver, 46, revealed he doesn’t think cookery shows nowadays take “enough risk” when it comes to new, up and coming chefs. The legendary cook rose to fame for his approachable cuisine, which has led him to front numerous television shows and open many restaurants but looking back on his successful career, he wondered whether he’d be able to start out how he did today.

I don’t think cookery takes risks with new talent

Jamie Oliver

In a new interview, the 46-year-old admitted he tends to not watch cooking shows on TV.

“I don’t think cookery takes risks with new talent,” he shrugged.

“The Naked Chef [his first show] happened at a certain moment, and it had that great name.

“But if I tried to do it now, I’m not sure I’d get the commission.”

He went on to say: “There is extraordinary talent out there.

“But they’re making their own content on YouTube.”

The Naked Chef was a BBC Two television cooking programme, which began in 1999.

It ran for three series plus three Christmas specials and in 2019, Jamie celebrated its 20th anniversary.

“I’m wondering what the next 20 years will look like,” he chuckled.

“I’ve had some great successes, some great fails, and you learn.

He added: “I’m a more measured Jamie now.

“I just want to do things that make me happy.”

But he confirmed that that doesn’t mean he won’t be taking risks and testing the water, just that he’s decided to go in a more “controlled direction”.

“I’ve had a lot of trial and error but you can’t stop trying,” he told Radio Times.

“Fifteen [his not-for-profit restaurant] was trail-blazing!

“Everyone said, ‘Don’t do it’ but it’s still the best thing I’ve ever done.”

The chef also revealed that he has big plans for the restaurant chain to “reimagine” itself.

He set it up in 2002, shortly after Jamie established himself with his hit show, The Naked Chef.

With a vision in mind, a then 26-year-old Jamie wanted Fifteen’s purpose to be to train and rehabilitate the vulnerable young people in our society.

Through our love and passion for great food, the scheme was able to give the apprentices a second chance at life, giving them the skills they need to build a successful career.

Jamie’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times.

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