This year I made a dream come true and I began work for Jamie Oliver in his Adelaide restaurant Jamie’s Italian.
I remember watching Jamie on TV for the first time when I was at school and from that time on he has been one of the most formative presences in my cooking career.
So what an amazing experience to cook in his restaurant, to be cooking with his reputation on the line. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to be apart of his vision. I still remember the first day, being so nervous, yet so excited about the coming months. Training was intense before we finally opened the doors and found out that training was a walk in the park. I swear we served the whole of Adelaide in the first few weeks. Everyday from 11:00 till 11:00 the restaurant was full and we learnt just how fast we could cook, we learnt to “PUSH!” This would become a word we used on a daily basis as we dug deep to ensure we could feed the hungry hoards.
I’ve cooked for superstars the likes of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, one my cricketing idols Ian Healy, the hilarious Dave Hughes, and Australia’s sweat heart Delta Goodrem. Highlights I will never forget.
As a team we went through some amazing highs, Met Jamies Oliver himself and had some seriously challenging shifts but at the end of the day we always “made it happen” (another daily saying used by all JIA staff) and we always did our best. I’m so proud of everyone, the effort, the time and the energy everyone has put in has been incredible. You are truly amazing chefs, waiters and managers.
It has been a tough year, rewarding, but tough. I’ve worked so hard, put in so many hours and given everything I have. I am so proud of what I have achieved.
I feel my experience has opened my eyes to what is possible, what can be achieved and what I truly want. I’ve toyed with opening my own place but have always brushed it off thinking I couldn’t do it, that I didn’t have the skills. After my experience at Jamies I now know that I can… but more importantly that I want to. I’m not sure what that looks like yet, but I know its something I want to do in the future.
As amazing as it has been all thing must come to an end. I am now moving on from Jamie’s and starting a new chapter in my story. I’m so grateful for the opportunities I received, I’ve learnt so much, been tested in ways I didn’t think possible. Through it all I have come out a stronger chef, manager and person. Although I am sad to be leaving behind such amazing chefs and friends, I’m also so excited for what will come next.
I have loved working with you all and you will be what I miss most.