Our Story

Our Story

Jamie’s Italian was founded by Jamie Oliver and his Italian mentor, chef Gennaro Contaldo, in Oxford, 2008. Since then it has grown to more than 60 restaurants worldwide, with plans for even more in towns, cities and countries around the world – but that’s not even half the story…

Jamie’s Italian is inspired by Italy and many of its traditions and values. In Jamie’s own words:

"Since I was a teenager I’ve been totally besotted by the love, passion and verve for food, family and life itself that just about all Italian people have, no matter where they’re from or how rich or poor they might be. And that’s what I’m passionate about – good food for everyone, no matter what... But the thing I love most about the Italians is that somehow, although they have some of the best fashion designers and cars in the world, they’ve managed to retain a unique sense of tradition and village spirit."

Jamie’s Italian started with what Italian’s are most proud of – fantastic, rustic dishes, using recipes that have been tried tested and loved. Our menu is rooted in authenticity, driven by what you’d find people eating all over Italy.

Taking inspiration from the “Italian table” – where people relax, share and enjoy each other’s company – our menu is packed full of antipasti and nibbles, perfect for sharing, as well as comforting bowls of pasta, beautiful fresh salads and grills.

Many of the dishes on our menu are inspired by Jamie’s visits to Italy and the stories of Gennaro's upbringing on the Amalfi coast. Gennaro’s stories have added substance to what is now the essence of Jamie’s Italian – tradition combined with current, innovative ideas and a Jamie twist!

We work hard to find the very best ingredients for all of our dishes. Everything is meticulously sourced from producers – both in Italy and around the world – who share our ethos and take enormous pride in what they do. We train our staff to have a thorough knowledge of all the dishes we serve, too. We teach them the origin of each dish, how the dishes have been created and cooked, and the personalities and stories behind them all.

Jamie’s Italian was designed to be accessible and affordable, a neighbourhood restaurant where everyone is welcome and feels comfortable, no matter the time of day. We aim to create an informal and contemporary environment, which also reflects Jamie’s energy and personality, wherever we are in the world. Every restaurant is uniquely designed to incorporate the history of the building and personality of the town or city in which it stands.

Ultimately, everything is inspired by real enthusiasm. Jamie and our team are constantly working on developing the menu and concept with creativity, simplicity and quality at the heart of everything we do – and of course, the desire to give all our customers an experience that reflects our love and passion for the Italian way of life.