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Jamie Oliver says ‘painful’ collapse of Jamie’s Italian, which saw 1,000 jobs cut, was a ‘minor blip’

Jamie Oliver says the collapse of his Italian chain Jamie’s, which resulted in 1,000 people losing their jobs and closing 22 restaurants, was ‘a minor blunder’ when he launched a new pasta delivery company

  • Celebrity chef launches two new ‘Pasta Dreams’ pop-up sites in London
  • It comes after the spectacular demise of Jamie’s Italian in May 2019
  • The chain went bankrupt after profits collapsed, and Jamie’s firm owed £83m
  • The 47-year-old TV chef described the closure as a ‘little blip… in the dream’

Famed chef Jamie Oliver has insisted the humiliating collapse of his Italian restaurant chain, which saw 1,000 people lose their jobs, was just a ‘minor mistake’.

The TV chef’s comment comes as he revealed he was returning to the restaurant game, opening a new food delivery chain and insisting, “We’ll go again.”

Jamie’s Italian went bankrupt in May 2019 after profits plummeted and customers were absent, 22 stores closed and about 1,000 jobs cut.

The spectacular demise of the 47-year-old father of five’s business empire left the Italian food company owed around £83 million.

Speaking on Friday about the crushing collapse of his beloved restaurant chain, the TV personality said: “It’s happening, and I’d actually call it a small mistake, in the vision and the dream. A very painful one. But I’m definitely better at it.

Jamie Oliver has insisted he’s ready to start over after the crushing collapse of his Jamie’s Italian restaurant chain in 2019

He will launch a new meal delivery service in London.  Pictured is Jamie's Italian staff at the Piccadilly facility in London, hugging after losing their jobs in May 2019

He will launch a new meal delivery service in London. Pictured is Jamie’s Italian staff at the Piccadilly facility in London, hugging after losing their jobs in May 2019

“We’ve had 13 great years and learned a lot. I was a young man when I started, I am much older and wiser now.’

When asked whether or not he had learned from the closure of his Italian restaurant chain, the TV personality said, “Yeah, sure, and every other failure I’ve had — that’s about 50 percent. But I’ve never been so round, I’ve never been so experienced.’

But Oliver hopes to start a storm with his latest venture, Pasta Dreams.

Starting with two pop-up spaces – in London’s Soho and Paris – he aims to roll out the service across London and other UK cities at a rate of two sites per month.

And the chef added that he also hopes to revive his collection of restaurants.

“We’re really well positioned to go again, and we’ll go again, and I’ll go back to restaurants again, as soon as I can,” he said.

“It’s in my blood, it’s really all I know. It was never a problem with size, it was rent and rates that really hit us, and the decline of the shopping streets.’

Jamie Oliver insisted he

Jamie Oliver insisted he “will go back to restaurants again.” In the photo are bailiffs clearing his flagship in London in 2019

The news comes after the father of five was criticized for claiming he cooks best when he “thinks like a woman.”

The chef made the comments during a recent interview with The Times, where he said women are more instinctive cooks in the kitchen than men.

Oliver claimed he took advantage of his ‘more feminine qualities’ when he cooks

“As a young boy a craft and getting this energy about Michelin stars and measuring and how you control nature as opposed to how you react to nature, which I think are more feminine qualities, like nourishment and more maternal feelings,” he said. “If I’m ever good, I must try to think like a woman.”

However, the famed chef was criticized for his comments by social media users, who insisted that cooking styles should not be based on sex.

“How does one think as a woman?” Do all women think the same? How does Jamie activate the female brain? And are there really two ways to cook – as a woman and as a man? How do I know how I think or cook? Help out!’ screenwriter Fran Harris on Twitter on Tuesday.

Timeline: How Jamie Oliver’s Chains Got Into Debt

2008: Jamie’s Italian opened its first restaurant in 2008.

2015: Jamie At Home, who hired agents to sell his range of cookware at parties, stopped trading after making losses. The company started in 2009 as part of the Jamie Oliver organization, before being licensed to another company in 2013, but stopped shopping in 2015.

2017: Jamie’s businesses lost £20m, forcing him to close 18 of his Italian restaurants – leading to the loss of 600 jobs.

Chain struggled with £71.5 million in debt and teetered on the brink of bankruptcy before the chief put his life savings into the company.

The company also took out £37 million in loans from HSBC and other companies.

In 2017, he closed the last of his four Union Jack Piazzas, in London’s Covent Garden.

2018: Jamie’s Italian closed 12 of its 37 branches, with the latest tranche being executed through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

He also came under fire for failing to pay his suppliers after his swanky steak restaurant Barbecoa crashed into administration, leading to the closure of his Piccadilly branch.

The restaurant in St Paul’s continued to trade and was bought by a new company founded by Oliver, who was no longer legally liable for the debts.

2019: All but three of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants have closed after the company hired administrators, and 1,000 employees are at risk of being laid off.


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