His parents own a pub, the Cricketer’s in Clavering, Essex, which has long prided itself on the quality of its food.
He left school with no qualifications, and studied at Westminster Catering College before working as a pastry chef at Antonio Carluccio’s restaurant in London.
His partner is ‘Jools’, who featured too on his first series. They are now married and have two children.
He is now making a name for himslef as a hard-hitting campaigner – he has tackled school canteens and battery hens.
His cookbooks sell millions a year. He runs a restuarant ‘Fifteen’, a staffed by disadvantaged teenagers trained by Oliver himself and featured on his TV show Jamie’s Kitchen.