Jamie Oliver’s visit to Rice & Things was recently featured in the Sun Newspaper. Here are some highlights from the article:
For the tour last year, Jamie and his team packed up a Land Rover, complete with kitchen and bar, and in Bristol he visited Chef’s humble 12-table Jamaican restaurant and takeaway, Rice & Things. Since then, the pair have struck up a friendship and Jamie has even asked Chef to help him mentor graduates from his Fifteen chef training scheme.Chef, 34, recalls their first encounter: “Someone phoned the restaurant saying they worked for Jamie Oliver and asked if they could come and see me cook. At first I thought it was a wind-up but I decided to see what happened and invited them along. They said they liked what I was doing and the next thing I knew Jamie was walking through the door. Immediately we struck a good chord as he was passionate about his job. Like me, he isn’t just in it to win it — he is in it because he has a heart and soul.”
Shy Branatic Neufville, 38, likes simply to be known as Chef – but he is about to be unwittingly catapulted into the culinary limelight after Jamie chose to devote two pages of his new cookbook to him and his small Bristol restaurant…
Jamie, 35, explains: “Chef has become an inspiration to me. He is wise, he is a one-man band give or take, and he makes my hair stand on end. Recently, I met Desmond Tutu and Bob Geldof and they were amazing, but I enjoyed the time I spent with Chef just as much. He has come to this country and contributed in a beautiful way. When it comes to this business we’re in, a lot of people talk the talk but he is doing it with a sense of grace, authority and wisdom – he does his job effortlessly…. …Just being in his presence is something special. I remember coming out of his restaurant Rice and Things thinking, that’s the most inspiring person I’ve met for a long time. He represents hope and success and in my opinion he is a big talent.”
In 2010 Jamie Oliver contacted Chef to ask if they could meet. Jamie had heard about Rice & Things restaurant and wanted to feature Chef in his forthcoming TV series. He also wanted to spend some time talking to Chef, watching him cook and learning to understand his culinary viewpoint.
Jamie came to visit Rice & Things with his team, filming Chef cooking a variety of traditional Jamaican dishes including saltfish, peppered steak, oxtail and hominy porridge.
Throughout the day Jamie and Chef exchanged experiences and chatted. Chef talked to Jamie about his own personal journey, his political views, and his wish to see a future legacy to improve the lives of young people.
They found that they shared the same perspective on many of the important issues of life, finding many similarities in their culinary passion and their wish to create a lasting legacy that would improve people’s lives.
The book accompanies a series by the same title which begins on 20 October. The episode featuring Rice and Things will be aired on Channel 4 on 15th November 2011. Visit the series website