Jobs are at risk as his restaurant chain collapses, but apprentices from the Fifteen project say they will always back their mentor
When, in 2002, Jamie Oliver launched Fifteen, a not-for-profit restaurant designed to train up 15 disadvantaged, young, unemployed candidates into chefs, few expected it would be a success. The initiative was broadcast as a Channel 4 series – Jamie’s Kitchen – and ended with 12 apprentices completing the programme (three dropped out) and a restaurant that remained solidly booked out for months.
The show pulled in 5.4 million viewers, 24% of the audience share, at a time when Oliver’s reputation was taking a battering from the press. He was described as a “Hollyoaks reject” by the Guardian, “Benny from Crossroads does cooking” said the Mirror. “It may be hard for long-term fans of Master Oliver to fathom the profundity of the nation’s loathing for their mockney pin-up,” wrote one critic in the Independent, before reluctantly admitting that the show had transformed Oliver “from a national semi-pariah to a plausible hero”.Continue reading... Read The Rest at :