After three bestselling cookbooks, Jamie Oliver wanted to give something back. It’s every chef’s dream to open their own restaurant, but Jamie didn’t want to open just any one. He hoped to create one that would give young unemployed people a second chance and a new direction in life. What he eventually opened was unique at the time: a restaurant with 25 professional chefs at the helm, all training and mentoring a group of apprentices every year. He may have had to remortgage his house without his wife’s knowledge, but over the last 10 years it has grown into a beautiful Italian restaurant in its own right, and the apprentice programme has turned around the lives of more than 100 people. If that’s not something to celebrate, we don’t know what is.
To celebrate Fifteen’s 10th anniversary, the restaurant has hosted an array of exciting events throughout the year . In June, Fifteen threw a summer street party serving up some of London’s most delicious street food. Westland Place was packed with more than 3,000 foodies, all enjoying the top grub and the party atmosphere. At the end of August, the professional chefs at Fifteen handed over the reins of the kitchen to the apprentices for a star-stuffed Chefs’ Week. The apprentices had a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to work with chefs such as Fergus Henderson, Mark Sargeant, Nuno Mendes and Bruno Loubet. That’s not all – on the 15th of every month throughout the year Fifteen has hosted supper clubs above the restaurant inviting past graduates to come back and cook delicious meals together again.
Without a doubt it’s been the most special year in Fifteen’s history, but what we’re really looking forward to is the next 10!