Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef, cookbook author, restauranteur, food campaigner “and most importantly today … dad”, is now taking a more active stance on waging the war against obesity caused by sugar, and he’s called to British Prime Minister David Cameron to step up his game and get serious with the recently lobbied sugar tax debate.

The celebrated TV chef turned health campaigner has exclaimed that “ball is firmly in the Government’s court”, the Prime Minster has not shown any movement towards legislating the recommend sugar tax, despite studies and national polls pointing toward a dire need of it for the population’s health. The government isn’t very convinced a sugar tax is the way to get, true, lasting results in public health, In fact, officials note that it’s a regressive move, one that will disproportionately alienate poorer consumers and may even lead to loss of livelihood.

Oliver, on the other hand, has praised these studies and the solidarity of people in favour of the sugar tax, encouraging legislators to think “like parents, not politicians.”

“I’m excited and relieved that we finally got to see Public Health England’s courageous, forward-thinking report and its excellent recommendations such as a proposed sugar levy, cutting down on the advertising of high sugar food, all of which are powerful weapons in improving our children’s health,” Oliver enthuses.”There has never been a better time than now.”


According to the a study published by Public Health England, nearly 25% of adults and 19% of pre-teeners in England are obese, costing the National Health Service a whopping $7.8 billion every year. About 68% of people confined in British hospitals are there because of diet-related diseases. Further more, a startling fact is majority of that number come from poorer families, with parents and guardians juggling as much as three to five jobs a day just to feed a family on what they can afford. These individuals often turn to sugary foods and drinks, as these are products that fit in their budget and their need to feed a large family.

In the face of this, Oliver is showing no signs of backing down on the health issue, and has even entoned an eerie possibility of his actions: “If I disappear in the next three to four years, you will know why. This is a very powerful force and industry.”

Despite his public stance on sugar, Jamie Oliver allows his own children a modicum of sweets. “”The kids get a little bag – you don’t get many sweets for 50p,” he says. “They’re full of sugar, no nutritional value at all. Technically, I’m not allowed to give them sweets until after lunch, but sometimes one slips in.”

“I don’t want to be a Nazi about it. It’s about getting it right most of the time – and most is an important word. Sugar should be celebrated – it is a joy and a treat. It’s when sugar starts infiltrating everything else, when it becomes normalised, that it’s a problem.”

Jamie Oliver certainly walks his talk — readers may be encouraged to take up the low-sugar lifestyle browsing through the recipes on his website.

Just because some chefs are celebrities does not mean that they do not encounter serious problems in their daily lives. If anything, history tells us that they have it worse as news of their personal misfortunes are plastered all over the newspapers, and now in the Internet as well.

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nigella lawson brownies

Nigella Lawson, world famous TV chef and cookbook author, knows this firsthand with controversial photos of her being choked by millionaire husband, Charles Saatchi, making the Internet rounds. The incident, which was seen and photographed by paparazzi named Jean-Paul, has drawn everyone’s eyes to Nigella Lawson and the issue of domestic abuse.

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Olive oil is fat in the real sense of the word. But the fat that it contains is the monounsaturated fatty acid or MUFA considered to be the healthy type.

There are several health benefits to be gained from olive oil consumption. Firstly, it lowers the risk of heart disease together with the polyunsaturated fat. It is able to do this by cutting total cholesterol levels. Some studies have found that MUFAs also control insulin and blood sugar levels.

Olive oil can be a good alternative to your butter or stick margarine. Do remember it’s never appropriate to use them together.

When shopping for this item, pick the one that is less processed as it still contains the nutrients. The extra virgin oil, which is more expensive, goes through the first pressing only and therefore, retains the most flavor. The cold pressed ones and virgin oil are okay as well as they are not heated up beyond room temperature. What you should avoid are the regular or pure olive oil which normally undergoes refining and filtering. Generally, they have lower nutrients.
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Martha Stewart has always proclaimed her love for cookies. If you’ve followed her shows on TV, you would know the different types of cookies she’s made that are truly delicious and attractive to look at. Most are easy to prepare.

The good news is that Martha now has a cookies app for both the iPhone and iPad. Through this new app, those who love baking can find a wide assortment of cookie recipes. This new and advanced tool features a beautiful design and more than 90 recipes. It also contains how-to videos, baking tips, ideas for packaging, kitchen times, shopping lists, sharing options and search features. It’s a great resource to use particularly for those new in baking and the new moms or wives who like to try their skills in this field.

For additional recipes other than those already available in the app, you can download from iTunes App store at itunes.apple.com.
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t” />The list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants for 2012 is finally out and there are no surprises for the the top 3, with Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, and Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain, taking the cake once again.

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Noma's success is of note especially with the restaurant winning the award for the third time. So in case you haven't heard, Danish cuisine is something special and it is Noma's 43 year old chef, Rene Redzepi that has made the world realize just how good it is. Of course, our palates may still be more used to traditional and well loved Spanish and Italian cuisines, which you'll still see a lot of restaurants on the top 50 list, but the cured bear meat and Danish ants will surprise you if you only give it a chance at Noma.

However, if you do decide to head for Noma for a taste of their superb and unique dishes, be prepared to book well in advance since tables at the popular restaurant are usually fully booked 3 ahead. So unless you happen to be Chef Redzepi's mom or the president of Denmark, don't count on popping in unannounced.

Londoners would be happy to know though that they don't have to go to Denmark just to book a table at Noma's because it was announced a week ago that Noma is coming to London for the Olympic 2012 games. Noma will be serving dinner for 10 days from July 28 to August 6 at Claridge's Hotel. The Noma restaurant at Denmark will be closed at that time due to renovations.

Image via The World's 50 Best List


Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain, the infamous traveling chef now on almost every lifestyle channel in existence- had quite a story to tell in one of his first bestselling books: “Kitchen Confidential“. Finally, after many trial and tribulations, he had found his sous-chef extraordinaire, Steven Tempel, for the Supper Club in New York, where Bourdain had just been made head chef. To say that Steven was eccentric was, according to Bourdain, putting it mildly…

Nevertheless, Bourdain reveals in the very frank and no nonsense book (as in how it really goes down in the restaurant business), Steven was somewhat of a genius. It turns out that Bourdain had recruited Steven from Casa Nostra Restaurant, in Northern California, where he had been working in the kitchen with “idiot savant” and “baking geniusAdam Real-Last-Name-Unknown!!

Kitchen Confidential is an excellent read and here at Celebrity Chefs we highly recommend it. As it turns out, the owner of Casa Nostra Restaurant (which was known for serving the best italian cuisine in town)- Joey Velardi, has recently opened up a branch in Manila, Philippines- where it is receiving rave reviews from the locals and in fact Bourdain recently visited for his show “No Reservations“.

Let’s hope Bourdain doesn’t steal the chef again ;)

A finalist from last fall’s Top Chef “Just Desserts” television series has been indicted on child pornography charges in Texas.

Morgan Wilson, 38, of Plano, is facing three second degree felony charges of possession with intent to promote child pornography. He was arrested Dec. 7, 2010 in the wake of an investigation that alleges Wilson transmitted files, to an undercover officer, that contained sexually explicit images and video of children as young as toddlers, the Plano Courier Star reported this week.

Wilson was a controversial figure on the Top Chef series who was frequently hot tempered and “prone to angry outbursts,” People.com reported. Continue reading »

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Have you ever wanted to become like one of the celebrity chefs you religiously follow on TV (and elsewhere you can find them)? I know I would give an arm and a leg to be like Nigella Lawson – for more reasons than her cooking, obviously. I’d also sell my most precious gadget to be like Jamie Oliver. Or, rather, be with Jamie Oliver – but that’s a totally different story.

All kidding aside, I think that every home cook has this inner desire to meet the standards of their celebrity chef of choice. That is perhaps one of the biggest reasons that this obsession about celebrity chefs (and everything associated with them) has taken a stronghold in society. While not all of us may be as talented as Gordon Ramsey, I do believe that a little ingenuity and sense of adventure can take our cooking to a whole new level. All that we need is a push and some help. Continue reading »

Emeril.jpgIn the busy world we live in, eating has been done on the run. A lot of people admit that they don’t have the time or have never learned to cook for themselves. This situation is why many fast food chains so successful.

Enter the celebrity chefs. These masters of the kitchen are inspiring a whole new generation of cooks and no, they are not all women. In fact Food Network says that their demographics are 50% percent male for all their shows.

Many guys say that Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali and Bobby Flay have helped them develop their taste for gourmet food. The best part is that they can cook it for themselves at home. In fact the Food Network has more male chefs than female ones, just as the male professional chefs outnumber the female chefs.

As Rachael Ray puts it, pop culture and TV has made cooking cool and manly. She says, “You see a lot more men on TV with food, good food.”

Irregardless whichever sex we are, those of us who aren’t that great in the kitchen are thankful to have some truly great chefs to learn from.

Jeff SmithWith a dozen best-selling cookbooks tucked under his belt, Jeff Smith, is best known for hosting the popular American cooking show that began in Washington. The show was aired in PBS from 1988 to 1997.

Smith was a United Methodist who graduated at the University of Puget Sound in 1962 and Drew University in 1965. His first run at food ventures was the Chaplain’s Pantry where he held cooking classes to the public and stored deli and kitchen supplies as well.

Being in the celebrity status that he is in the world of cooking, Smith has had his share of controversies as well. Legal issues concerning sexual harassment in the 70s were just some of the trials that Smith had to go through.

Known to be the food genius that he is, Smith has authored several books under his wing including The Frugal Gourmet (1984), The Frugal Gourmet Cooks with Wine (1986), The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American (1987) and The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines: China, Greece, and Rome (1989).