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If you don’t know Jamie, where have you been? If you’re from the UK he’s quite difficult to avoid.

He has his critics out there (as anyone famous does) and he has his fans, I fall into the latter category.

He’s had a lot of stick over the years, partly I think it comes from this peculiar British behaviour that, because he’s doing well we cannot celebrate him, just berate him.  He does a lot to promote good food, good practice and his work with Fifteen I think is great. Aside from his campaign with Sainsbury’s which has set him up for life (and who can say they wouldn’t do the same?) he’s had a productive and creative career thus far. If you put aside his on-screen personality for a while (which some people can’t stand) and look at his other more charitable work there seems to be a man with a genuine love, and wish to improve the lives of  his fellow man.

He started a campaign in the UK not so long ago to raise the standard of food in schools in this country. I personally couldn’t applaud it enough. Raising standards of food quality goes hand in hand with increasing health at every level for children, as well as the crucial aspect of education which means they can carry it through to later life & pass it on. It also means job satisfaction for the people cooking, serving it, and for that matter the suppliers producing it (although some would argue many don’t care). It has a myriad of benefits.

Jamie recently won the TED prize. This was no small deal. In fact a  big deal. A very, very big deal.  This prize is awarded to people with a wish, and desire to change the world, for the better (“One wish big enough to change the world” is the strapline). This award has previously been given to physicists, medical professionals, scientists and other important academics.

This year it’s being awarded to a chef from Essex??? Just fantastic news, I can only wish him well and all the luck in world.

A link to his acceptance speech here from his site. Definitely worth watching. Yes it’s playing to the American audience a bit and it’s quite polished and set up, but I was surprised at how good and engaging a public speaker he is.

Sadly, like him I’m an idealist, maybe that’s why I like him and what he’s trying to do.

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