Jamie Oliver on When He’ll Throw in the Towel
The British chef says there’s one major caveat before he retires.
British chef and television personality Jamie Oliver has a lot on his plate, from hosting television to writing cookbooks and trying to help everyone, especially children, eat healthier. Sure, like any celebrity chef he's had his fair share of controversy—calling out vegans as being annoying, in his words, and feuding (or not) with fellow Brit and TV chef Gordon Ramsay—but despite those headline-making moments, his main focus is helping people make better food choices. So it's no wonder, then, that Oliver's mission to improve what we all eat factors into his retirement plan.
In a recent interview with U.K. wellness magazine Balance, 42-year-old Oliver says that he'll retire in his 50's, in spite of the attractive option to stay home with his five children. But first, he hopes to halve the obesity crisis facing Britain's children. The chef tells Balance, "I have made a decision to go all out for the next 12 years to get things where they should be. [...] The statistics are really frightening. One in three step into secondary school as obese. And 85 percent of those will be like that for the rest of their lives."
Oliver then cements his stated goal by declaring, "and then I will happily f***ing retire. I could throw the towel in now and see my kids growing up and that would be lovely." But far be it from Oliver, who has gone so far as to advocate for healthier school lunches, try to tackle America's obesity crisis, and campaign for taxes on sugary foods, to give up just yet.
Oliver rose to fame with his titillatingly titled series The Naked Chef, which first aired on the BBC in 1999 and was later accompanied by a cookbook. Since then he's hosted numerous series and specials on healthy eating, as well as penning cookbooks on everything from easy, five-ingredient meals to superfoods. But aside from his well-meaning pursuits, he's not always so serious, like when he tricked out this Land Rover with a "dream kitchen."