Most home cooks own atleast one if not multiple Jamie Oliver cookbooks and have watched between one and one hundred episodes of him joyfully cooking up a "wicked" feast or teaching underprivileged kids about healthy eating and cooking - it's fair to say he's pretty well known in foodie circles and has amassed a huge fan following. So when he brought Jamie's Italian - his casual continental eating empire Down Under it was a huge deal. Fast forward to 2016 when the Australian owner of the six Australian locations of Jamie's Italian, The Keystone Group, went into receivership forcing them to sell the eateries and the reviews went downhill from there.
But, if you've ever watched even one episode of Oliver manning the pans in his kitchen you'll be familiar with his boundless energy and absolute passion for food, which meant there was no way he would let his namesake cucinas slowly slip into one-star status or worse, quietly hang the 'closed' sign permanently on the door. Oliver has just finalised the buy back of the six Aussie restaurants and will be hitting Sydney in May to launch a new menu and officially reopen the chain. The new menu is tipped to focus on locally sourced ingredients with signature Oliver stylings including classics like the "wobbly" panna cotta for dessert. Oliver's wheels down in Sydney date is TBC.