Famous celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was “deeply saddened” to announce that his Great Britain restaurants have gone bankrupt. This means 22 out of 25 locations will end up being closed and about 1,300 people might be out of a job.
Jamie Oliver’s chain struggled with debt and a saturated market for a long time, writes The New York Times. According to KPMG, the firm hired to administer the business for creditors, not all employees will be out of a job, more like 1,000 out of 1,300. The only three restaurants that will stay in business are two Jamie’s Italian restaurants and a Jamie’s Diner at Gatwick Airport. They will remain open indefinitely.
“I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration. I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years,” wrote Oliver on Twitter when he broke the news.
Jamie Oliver shut down restaurants in 2017 as well
This isn’t the first time the celebrity chef had to close restaurants. In 2017, he had to shut down 6 Jamie’s Italian restaurants in the United Kingdom. He said at the time that Brexit is the main culprit, especially because the ingredients he used in his Italian-inspired restaurants got more expensive.
The restaurant group got started a decade ago and had Jamie’s Italian, Jamie Oliver’s Diner and Barbecoa steakhouses. The chef became famous thanks to his cooking shows and he also launched cookbooks and a cooking website.
Some of his restaurants had at-risk youth as employees, in a social component that allowed the teenagers to learn the trade and also have means of sustaining themselves. Oliver also had problems in the United States, when he angered some parents because he wanted school cafeterias to have healthier, more nutritious food.
We’ve cooked for friends and loved ones before, and have always come up nervous and anxious as they sit down to try our foods. Have you ever wondered what could go through your head if you were to cook for a celebrity?
If you’re like professional chef Kathleen Schaffer, it’s a walk in the park.
Schaffer, who owns Schaffer with her husband Charlie, is no stranger to celebrities. The professional chef caters for red carpet events and even the occasional private celebrity dinner.
Though that wasn’t always the case.
Originally an fine arts major, Schaffer quickly discovered that her passion was in a completely different medium. As most of us know, what you aspire to be when you were younger isn’t necessarily how you’ll end up. Schaffer’s path turned out to be much more glamourous.
I didn’t have what it took to be a starving artist, I enjoyed eating too much.
Working through college at a handful of different restaurants, she learned that her true passion was in food and decided to continue on this trajectory. She devoted time and energy into fine-tuning her culinary skills.
So what were some of her most memorable experiences cooking for celebrities? We spoke to Schaffer who gave a us some highlights in her illustrious career. Schaffer shared a few snippets of her celebrity experience with us:
One of her favorite celebrity experiences involved none other than Mary Poppins herself: Julie Andrews. Schaffer remember one moment that stuck with her even years later while cooking for Ms. Andrews and her late husband Blake Edwards.
“They lived in a lovely home and I was standing in the kitchen looking out the window and there was this beautiful sculpture in the backyard,” she said.
Andrews then walked up next to her and said with the most genuine smile:
“Blake made that, he’s a sculpture. I’m so lucky.”
Schaffer recalls fondly how sincere and earnest Ms. Andrews was when talking about her husband. Blake passed away in 2010 due to complications with pneumonia.
If there’s one takeaway from Schaffer’s tale, it’s that there’s always time to find the best path for yourself. Just because you decided on one dream all those years ago doesn’t mean it’s the best life for you.
Today, Schaffer LA has catered to events for major companies such as Google, Amazon, YouTube, and Facebook. Other celebrities Kathleen Schaffer and company have cooked for include Norman Leer, Reese Witherspoon, and David Beckham.
Gordon Ramsay may play the bad cop at times. In fact, he can be downright terrifying when working in a heated kitchen. When you’re face-to-face with the angry chef, getting a mouthful of donkey-themed insults, sometimes it’s easy to forget he actually has a heart of gold.
In a classic episode of Hotel Hell, Ramsay travels to Mississippi to visit Hotel Chester. Years ago, the hotel’s owner was in a car accident which led to the hotel’s struggle since. Because they were so far in debt, the owner’s wife had to take over in the kitchen and the couple had to move into the hotel to save some money.
In the episode Ramsay not only remodels Hotel Chester to appeal to a younger crowd, but he also hires a head chef for the couple out of his own pocket. Finally, as a final gesture, Chef Ramsay rents out an apartment for the owners away from the hotel.
While not permanent, Ramsay mentions multiple times that he’ll only be paying for the head chef and apartment until the owners get back on their feet and can afford the expenses themselves. Years later, Hotel Chester boasts a 4.5 star rating on Trip Advisor. We can assume they’re going to be OK.
A good steak can be tricky to master. If your temperature is too low, or your cook time is too long, you can ruin a premium cut of beef in a matter of seconds.
Luckily, we have a cavalcade of celebrity chefs to look up to with their own specific methods of cooking the perfect steak. Sure there’s no exact way to handle a steak, but you’ll definitely need to know what to avoid and what brings forth the best flavor.
If you stick to these guidelines, you’re gonna have a pretty juicy cut on your plate.
Arguably one of the most popular methods to cook steak on YouTube, with more than 10 million views, is Gordon Ramsay’s process. The fiery chef’s method involves a nice hot sear and is followed by consistent basting with thyme, garlic, and butter. This method not only adds a layer of flavor to your meat, but also prevents it from drying out.
Bobby Flay prefers to season his ribeye with salt, pepper, and thyme before hitting the grill to create a savory crust around his steak. Cooking it on the hottest part of the grill, Flay only flips the meat once on each side.
If you’re looking to elevate your steak a little further, Flay creates a bleu cheese and cream sauce as a topping.
Giada De Laurentiis
Home cooks typically just cook steak straight from a skillet or grill and serve it immediately. When you need to nail that perfect temperature, however, it doesn’t hurt to use a broiler. That’s what chef Giada De Laurentiis does in her filet mignon tutorial.
After giving her steak a nice sear, she throws the meat in the oven for it to finish. The steak will cook evenly and give you some extra free time to move onto other dishes.
Chef De Laurentiis also creates a sweet balsamic syrup and goat cheese topping for her filet mignon that really punches up the flavors and compliments the protein.
Chef Curtis Stone’s methodology to grilling the perfect steak is pretty similar to Gordon Ramsay’s: a constant process of basting with butter, garlic, and thyme. Stone recommends using a cast iron skillet for steak as it is able to retain heat better than a regular stainless steel one. However, if you don’t plan on investing in a cast iron, just make sure the heat is set a little higher on the stainless steel skillet.
As for letting the meat rest, the chef says that it should be half the time it took for you to cook the steak.
While Anthony Bourdain doesn’t exactly cook a steak in this video, the revered chef and personality has one cardinal rule he abides by when cooking steak. In an interview with Tech Insider, Bourdain claims that the worst mistake when cooking steak is when amateur cooks can’t refrain from touching the meat.
Just let it sit.
Following removal from heat, steak must be left alone for 5-7 minutes as that period allows the beef to continue to cook and the juices to distribute themselves through the cut of meat.
Chef Lagasse shows us how to create a juicy marinade for his massive strips of steak with a variation of dry rub and a wet marinade. Essentially, mix it up a little from time to time.
In one of the coolest methods to cooking beef, Alton Brown likes to cook his skirt steak directly onto searing hot charcoal. The meat itself only takes about 30 seconds to cook on each side, but needs at least 15 minutes to rest after a sear is achieved.
Alton also mentions that you shouldn’t worry about ash residue on your skirt steak. You can easily brush it off afterwards.
There are celebrity chefs, and there are celebrity chefs who are chefs to celebrities. Alex Guarnaschelli is the latter, being a go-to chef to the stars. In an episode of The Wendy Williams Show from a few years back, Guarnaschelli shows the day-time host how to prepare a massive two-pound Tomahawk Ribeye steak.
One method she utilizes is adding compound butter to control the temperature of her steak.
In this video, Chef Jamie Oliver highlights this favorite cut of beef: the flat iron. Before cooking his flat iron, he rubs it generously with olive oil and seasons it with salt and pepper. To evenly cook the cut of beef, Chef Oliver recommends turning it over every minute.
Unlike Ramsay and Stone’s process of basting his steak in butter, garlic, and thyme, Oliver rubs each ingredient directly onto the crust as he cooks.
Remember when Graham Elliot was on MasterChef? We sure do. In this throwback to his days in the season 4 MasterChef kitchen, chef Elliot shows viewers how he cooks his steak.
Using a ribeye, Chef Elliot creates a spice rub for his meat. He incorporates olive oil, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and some red pepper flakes. As his steak cooks, the chef also prepares a few charred rings of onions and a cilantro sour cream sauce.
While we love the addition of chef Aron Sanchez this season, we sure miss Graham.
It’s safe to say how enthralled we are with the lives of our favorite celebrities. For one reason or another, we seem to be swept away by their charisma, ability to capture large audiences, and usually impressive bank accounts.
However, it’s when professional athletes and Hollywood celebrities transition from simply being a player on the field or the big screen, to becoming an investor or owner in something food-related that shows how business savvy they really are.
With that, here’s a roundup of what food-based franchises professional athletes and entertainers have decided to invest in to keep their money from drying up.
Shaquille O’Neal has carried a plethora of nicknames during his time as a hall of fame NBA player, including, “The Big Aristotle” and “The Big Shaqtus.” However, with his newest acquisition, he may have to settle for, “The Big Krispy Kreme Franchise Owner,” since he just joined the Krispy Kreme family in October 2016. Shaq has never been shy about his love for Krispy Kreme’s delicious and warm glazed donuts, once using Siri on national TV to order a box for Sir Charles Barkley. It’s also known that O’Neal once owned more than 150 Five Guys Burger locations and invested heavily in Auntie Anne’s Pretzels.
While the R&B singer is no stranger to controversy, he’s also pretty smart when it comes to investing. It has become public knowledge that Brown owns more than 10 different Burger King restaurants. To be exact, according to US Weekly, Brown owns 14 different Burger King locations. The singer has publicized his role in the company, but oddly has claimed that he does not eat pork or beef. In order to purchase a Burger King, it is estimated that the buyer must pay at least $50,000 up front, and have a minimum of $1.5 million in net worth.
One of the greatest players to step on a tennis court, Venus Williams was born with competition in her blood. In 2016, Venus Williams placed 8th, just missing the Finals during the Wimbledon Tournament, which was her highest finish in 8 years. In 2014, Venus bought her fourth Jamba Juice location in the D.C. area. The Washington Post reported that Jamba Juice locations are a great business plan for athletes, considering their ease of operation and the fact that the stores serves as more of a stop and go, rather than an all day hangout compared to Starbucks.
Known by his stage name, Rick Ross, William Leonard Roberts II, knows how to make a few bucks. While he may rap about some of his investments in his music, in real life, Ross owns more than a handful of WingStop locations. Forbes reported that Ross was the owner of at least 25 different WingStop locations in the southern United States. In addition, he’s also diversified and opened a few Rally’s/Checkers Hamburgers joints.
A post shared by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa (@therealnobu) on
Even though Nobu isn’t necessarily a fast food spot, there are several locations around the world. Modern day wiseguy and legendary actor Robert De Niro is a co-founder of the popular high-end eatery, and according to CNN Money, De Niro worked with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa to build the worldwide Nobu empire. In 2016, it was reported that both Nobu and De Niro oversee more than 30 different Nobu restaurants around the world.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has to be the definition of an everyday dude. He walks home with fans from practice and does a great job sporting Wrangler Jeans. In 2014, NOLA.com reported that the Super Bowl winning quarterback owned at least five different Jimmy John’s locations across the state and was planning on opening at least 15 more.
The Mark Wahlberg story lives up to the phrase, “started from the bottom.” From Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch to his many box office hits, there’s no ceiling to his success in music or film. That’s probably why he invented his own burger joint. In 2012, the Wahlbergs opened the first Wahlburgers in Massachusetts. Mark brought on his two brothers Donnie and Paul as partners, along with Rick Vanzura, former Executive Vice President and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Panera Bread. Now, according to EATER, the Wahlbergs are preparing to expand the burger franchise into California.
We may know Kanye West for his musical talent or his passion for ranting on any platform. Whatever the case, he’s pretty involved in the fast-food business. The self-proclaimed genius is more business savvy than most people give him credit for. While he’s making millions off his Adidas Yeezy line, the rapper/producer also has his own food company. In 2007, KW Foods LLC reached a partnership with Fatburger to open up nearly one-dozen Fatburger locations in Chicago and other large cities across the United States. While only a few actually opened, the rapper’s success in the burger industry was marred by his inability to keep doors to his franchises open.
Las Vegas gets anotherGordon Ramsay spot this week with the opening of his new Fish & Chip’s restaurant. More greatness from the chef, drink it in man.
The new restaurant will open its bright-red telephone box doors on Friday, Oct. 7, at the Linq promenade. Ramsay’s fast-casual fish and chips resartuarant will be the “prototype” of future expansions, reports Eater.
Menu items include battered fish and chips, a crispy fish sandwich, chicken and chips, shrimp and chips, sausage and chips, and just chips on their own. The restaurant will also serve British beers and milkshakes.
Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips will mark the Michelin-starred chef’s fourth restaurant in the City of Sin. Ramsay currently owns Gordon Ramsay Steak, BurGR, and Pub & Grill.
All those stylish, glamorous celebrities who look like they were born in a suit or a gown were young and broke once. They worked those same jobs all teenagers and college students do to stay afloat and inadvertently have their soul humbled to pieces. Here’s a few former food industry favorites.
1. Nicki Minaj
It sounds like the colorful rapper had as much sass back in the day as she does now. Minaj worked as a waitress at Red Lobster as a teenager. She was subsequently fired because she followed a couple who jacked her pen to the parking lot and flipped them off.
The actress — and model and singer and designer — had another title that wasn’t as glamorous when she was a youngin’. Mendes was a server at Hot Dog on a Stick as well as an Italian joint called Ciao at a California mall. She was stoked, recalling, “I was one of those kids who couldn’t wait to get my work permit. Because at 15 you get your work permit in California, and I couldn’t wait to legally work.”
3. Brad Pitt
Before the Hollywood hunk turned into a celebrated actor who then turned into an international activist, he was just a dude in a chicken suit. Working at an El Pollo Loco, his first gig in Los Angeles actually, Pitt’s job was to entertain and bring in foot traffic with his costume.
Well before she was known as a ‘Mean Girl’ or remembered for a passionate rainy kiss, the actress did a three-year stint at McDonald’s. And even though she remembers the fast food chain as “a great place to work,” McAdams recalls, “I was not a great employee. I broke the orange juice machine one day.”
She was also a bit slow, explaining in one interview, “I had a little bit of an OCD thing with hand washing and just didn’t have time. They were like, ‘Hey, the drive-thru’s backing up. Stop washing your hands!’”
5. James Franco
The jack-of-all-trades actor has pretty much taken on any and all creative gigs, but he rehearsed his skills while working at McDonald’s when he was much younger. Though he only worked beneath the golden arches for three months, the place had a big impact, leading Franco to write an article for The Washington Post titled, “McDonald’s Was There For Me When No One Else Was.” Sounds poetic, but the goofball had his good time. When he’d work the drive-thru, Franco would flirt with customers and practice foreign accents, explaining, “I’d be French and then Italian. One girl who liked me came around the drive-thru again and said, ‘Could you give me some Italian lessons?’”
6. Eva Longoria
The actress in no way regrets her time as a young, bright-eyed employee of Wendy’s. Longoria looks back on her several-year employment fondly, once telling Katie Couric, “I make a good Frosty. I was manager by the time I was 18. I love Wendy’s. I love that whole experience in my life. There’s four girls in my family, no boys, and I’m the baby. Nobody got a quinceañara, which is the 15th birthday for us Mexicans, and my dad said, ‘Your sisters didn’t get a quinceañara, so you’re not getting a quinceañara.’ So I went and got a job, paid for it myself, and then raised money for my family.”
7. Pharrell Williams
The singer-rapper-producer is great at a lot of jobs. McDonald’s was not one of them. Williams was fired three times, once telling Seth Meyers, “I was lazy. I was very lazy.” He said the only thing he was ever good at there was eating Chicken McNuggets.
The skateboarder-actor apparently doesn’t hate to reflect on where he came from. Years ago, when the writer’s strike threatened his livelihood, Lee laid out his Plan B, “I’d go back to the Taco Bell that I worked at in Huntington Beach, California when I was 16 and ask for my job again. I’ll probably have to wear a mustache net though.”
The musician worked at the McDonald’s in her hometown of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, as a young teen, before moving onto stardom. While some may look back at their fast food employment experience as a fun stepping stone and learning tool, Pink isn’t one of them, saying, “Sometimes I dream I’m back there, broke and working at McDonald’s. It’s like the worst nightmare because I would never want to be back there. I’ve worked hard to get where I am.”
Burger King was the first job the singer-actress ever had, being employed at the fast food joint on East 87th and State Street in Chicago. Working alongside her sister at age 16, Hudson would supposedly sing while flipping burgers and working the drive-thru. After Simon Cowell criticized the star for not thanking American Idol in her Oscar acceptance speech, Hudson rhetorically asked if she should thank Burger King, too. Burger King responded with awarding her free burgers for life.
One of the reasons we have such an obesity problem in the Mexican population is because our food is starchy and really heavy. I don’t think McDonald’s or Burger King can help that issue. They’re a part of the problem, really.
He then spoke about how his truck differed greatly from such items like the Whopperrito.
Our truck has vegan food, gluten free [food], vegetarian, and good carne asada. Even carne asada, it’s a good meat. It’s not like your Burger King [meat], it’s a good meat so it’s not gonna be bad for you.
In specific, one of Trejo’s menu items is a colorful vegan cauliflower taco. This is a huge contrast to what Burger King offers in the burger/burrito hybrid with chopped up beef, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes; essentially the contents of a Whopper inside a large flour tortilla.
You can find the Trejo’s Taco truck cruising around the Los Angeles area, where you might even run into Trejo himself.