He said that when he first launched the restaurant chain in 2008, he and his team were ‘so hot’, which brought a ‘feeling of cockiness’.
Oliver’s UK restaurant group fell into administration in May 2019, leading to the closure of the chef’s nationwide Jamie’s Italian chain, as well as his Barbecoa and Fifteen restaurants.
In the years since, Oliver has been focused on growing his international restaurant estate, which currently operates across 24 markets worldwide and has plans to reach 200-plus sites by 2027. However, this month will see him return to the London restaurant scene with the launch of Jamie Oliver Catherine St in Covent Garden.
Located within a Grade 1 listed site next to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, the new restaurant will have space for 130 covers inside alongside a 30-seat terrace.
Heading up the kitchen will be head chef Chris Shail and pastry chef Emma Jackson, who both previously worked Oliver at Barbecoa.
Announcing the new opening back in May, Oliver said: “Losing my UK restaurants was without doubt one of the hardest times of my life. But being a positive part of the restaurant industry is very close to my heart.
“We learnt lessons as we grew the international restaurants – there are now more than 70 across the world – so I’m very excited to open this restaurant in London and with an exceptional team, once again, serve the public.
“It’s about going back to my culinary roots inspired by the dishes I grew up cooking in my mum and dad’s pub restaurant. It’s about celebrating Britain’s rich and diverse food scene in what I hope will be an iconic, trusted restaurant in a very special place.
“This opportunity truly means the world to me.”
Restaurant will publish a wider feature on the opening of Jamie Oliver Catherine St next week.