Now, Jamie has added to his legacy with his latest culinary gift, Together: Memorable Meals, Made Easy.
As many families remain separated, limited to Zoom calls again this Christmas, Jamie’s book is helping reconnect loved ones through good food. It couldn’t be more needed – especially at this time of year!
“The book is for everyone,” says Jamie. “It’s aimed at bringing people together after a challenging year apart. Being with our loved ones has never felt so important, and great food is the perfect excuse to get together.”
Created with sharing in mind, the book is packed with recipes for every occasion.
“I want to make that something to celebrate,” Jamie explains. “It’s simply about putting good food first, and making people feel happy.”
When COVID first reared its ugly head, Jamie, along with everyone else in the hospitality industry, was hit hard.
Yet, despite this heartbreaking period, Jamie is “moving on”. After all, his passion for the kitchen has always helped him through many of life’s bumps.
“I’ve always thought that cooking is a form of meditation,” he says. It’s a coping mechanism that helped him from an early age. Though Jamie appears to live an enviable life, he hasn’t always had it easy.
Diagnosed as dyslexic, he struggled at school and left at the age of 16, with minimal qualifications, to go to catering college.
“Cooking helped me a lot – it kept me safe mentally.”
Married to wife, Jools, for the past 21 years (they met when Jamie was 17), the loved-up couple has five children: Poppy, Daisy, Petal, Buddy and River.
But given the size of their brood and his culinary empire, how does Jamie strike a balance between work, family life and ‘me time’?
“Balance is hard,” he admits to New Idea. “I have a wife, I have kids, I am tackling childhood obesity, there are books and TV shows ... it’s tough!”
At this stage of his life though, Jamie acknowledges that the passing years have equipped him with enough knowledge to weather the many storms that come his way.
“One of the best things that comes with age is wisdom,” he says. “I have learnt a lot of lessons along the way, and I think I’m better for it. One of these is that there’s no such thing as perfection – anyone who tells you otherwise is lying!”
As a regular visitor to our shores, Jamie has nothing but positive things to say
about cuisine Down Under.
“I absolutely love it. I travelled to Australia annually for more than16 years, and I have watched the Aussie food scene mature and become a leader in everything from sustainable farming to craft beer and wine.
“Every time I visit, I leave impressed. I love a good avocado smash – the Australian coffee is amazing, too!”
For more, pick up a copy of New Idea. On sale now!