A fresh new face in the culinary world, Jamie is a talented 24-year-old who is currently cooking at the critically acclaimed River Café in London.

Restaurants and cooking are in his blood as his parents own and operate a very successful pub/restaurant, The Cricketers in Clavering, Cambridge, where he grew up. At eight years of age Jamie was peeling potatoes and podding peas with the rest of the staff and by eleven he could julienne vegetables as fast as any of them. When he turned 16 he attended the Westminster Catering College where he completed his formal training.

After appearing on TV as part of a documentary on the River Café, he was called the next morning by five top production companies in England. One of them, Optomen Television, who created the Two Fat Ladies, appealed to Jamie and the enormously successful Naked Chef series went into production. He also wrote the book (The Naked Chef) to accompany the series, published by Penguin, which was number one on the best seller list for over ten weeks and has also been sold to the USA and Australia. The television series has also been sold to ABC in Australia. A second series of The Naked Chef is being produced and Jamie is currently writing another book to accompany it.

This past summer, Jamie was invited to prepare lunch for Tony Blair, who was entertaining the Italian Prime Minister and twenty ministers at Number 10. He is currently food editor for GQ Magazine and has a regular column with The Saturday Times Magazine.

Jamie's passions are pasta and bread-making and he is also the drummer in his band, The Scarlet Division. He lives in West Hampstead with his fiancée and travels around London by motorbike. 

THE SCARLET DIVISION

A new band on the London scene is The Scarlet Division. Although its founder members Leigh Haggerwood and Jamie Oliver have been gigging together since the age of fourteen, they have recently reformed with guitar, bass and the sensational female vocalist, Louise Brannan.

The Scarlet Division play their own brand of indie pop with soulful vocals and contemporary lyrics.

Louise Brannan

Vocals

Leigh Haggerwood

Keyboards

Andy Baker

Guitar

Martin Janes

Bass

Jamie Oliver

Drums

 

HISTORY

The band formed in 1989 when Leigh Haggerwood (keyboard) and Jamie Oliver (Drums) were fifteen and fourteen years old respectively. As childhood friends they spent a great deal of time together, so what started out as a series of jams soon developed into a serious aspiration.

Jamie persuaded his father to build a hut at the end of their garden (which later became Scarlet House) for live rehearsals. Over the next two years local musicians came and went.

The name Scarlet Division was decided by Leigh after he experienced a strange scarlet sunset while sitting in a room at his home. The light filled the whole room, which Leigh found so overwhelmingly intense that he felt he had gained inspiration and went on to write a song called "The Scarlet Division".

In fact, the name has had such a lengthy history that the band feel they want the band and its name to go on to greater things.

By this time (1991), Louise Brannan (lead vocalist) had been living locally for just over a year and a friend of hers worked as a chef at Jamie's father's pub restaurant. Louise was introduced into the band and they began a new series of studio recording sessions.

In 1992 Martin Janes (Bass Guitarist) recording at a mutual recording studio and the engineer played him some of the band's material. Martin liked the style so much he took a contact number and telephoned. The band members recognised his potential and invited Martin to join.

In 1993 the band was chosen from thousands of entries, along with nine other finalists in a 'battle of the bands' competition for Essex FM in conjunction with Sony Records. Leigh's song "Sweet Friend of Mine" was performed for hundreds of people including friends, fans and relatives.

By this time Jamie had started attending catering college and commuting to and from London. Eventually he moved to London with his fiancée. The band finally split up, remaining friends and carving alternative careers. Jamie's story is now well known; Martin was heavily involved with guitar companies such as Trace Elliot and Status. Leigh and Louise, who had already worked part-time in cover gigs, decided to enter into music full time. They felt the combination of live performances and more time to write and produce new material would benefit the band's future.

In 1996 Leigh placed an advertisement in 'Loot' asking for an experienced guitarist who was also interested in working on original material, as well as earning money to support this. Andy Baker (Lead Rhythm Guitarist) was one of many to reply, but Leigh felt Andy was extremely talented and would add a new dimension to Scarlet Division. Keeping the name but performing 'cover' songs, the band toured all over England, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Ibiza, mainland Spain and the Middle East, gaining much experience and performing in working men's clubs (the red light power off syndrome), army barracks, hotels, ferries, night clubs, etc.

In 1997 the band decided to reform just before the initial idea of 'The Naked Chef' was put forward. As Leigh and Louise gigged mainly in London and the guitarist Andy was based in London, they decided to move there. It was suggested that the band write the theme tune for 'The Naked Chef', which they did. However, subsequently this was not used as the producer decided that they wanted Jamie to talk over the start to explain the philosophy behind 'The Naked Chef'. Instead, they decided to feature the band in a gig, which was filmed at the Falcon in Camden, which tied in well as the band were working on a new set of material.