Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has a lot on the go: He’s a mult-million dollar brand unto himself, with a magazine, TV shows, cookware, cookbooks; he’s leading – or trying to – the “Food Revolution” at home in England and in the US; he’s an “unofficial pain in the backside” to the government, lobbying for better and healthier food for kids. Oh, and he’s a dad-of-three – soon to be four as his wife Jools is due in September.
Of the baby on the way Jamie, who is dad to girls Poppy, 8, Daisy, 7, and Petal, 1, tells The Daily Mail, “It’s bound to be four girls. Everybody seems more excited about us having a boy than I am. I’ll be happy to have either.”
While he loves life at home with his family, the culinary crusader is the first to admit, “I am a weekend dad.”
“I have my six weeks’ holiday a year. Many dads reading this might say they’re better or worse than me. I’m not saying I’m the perfect dad. Do I squeeze in a lot? Yeah. Do they see me to tuck them up at night, Monday to Friday? No. But I do think I’ve got a good relationship with my kids. I don’t think I’ve got delinquent kids who don’t know who their dad is. They know I’m all over the place like a rash. When they get a bit older, I’ll take them with me.”
Now as at home in boardrooms and at government hearings as he is in the kitchen, Jamie is conflicted about the time he spends away from his family, but says he feels a responsibility, not to mention the weight of others’ expectations, to see his cause through.
So now that he’s brought his “Revolution” to the US, might he consider a permanent move overseas?
“If I did, it would be because it had gone off in an epic way over there – and you’d never want to refuse that – and that more could be achieved here because I was working there. One can only wish for that scenario to come across. But ultimately, I am very British, my heart’s here, all my personal and business life is here. All my creative juices rest here. I’ve got three baby girls and a wife here. I wouldn’t move. I wouldn’t rule out going over there for a block of a couple of months…. I do what I do because I feel a sense of urgency. In some respects it’s got nothing at all to do with me. Certainly I’ve got no place going over to America to do it, but I’m doing it. Why, when my wife and kids would rather I was at home? I just genuinely believe that it’s an incredibly interesting moment in time. In a hundred years people like you will look back and say, “It was all going pear-shaped then. Who was doing anything about it? No one.”‘