The ‘Naked Chef’ Jamie Oliver has landed in India.
The restaurateur, food campaigner and media tycoon, known for his earthy personality, rustic cooking and wars on below-par school meals and obesity-inducing food habits is getting in on India’s booming eating-out scene with two openings in Delhi.
Jamie’s Italian, which serves simple and traditional Italian fare, will open at the sprawling Ambience Mall in Vasant Kunj in the Indian capital.
The second outlet, Jamie’s Pizzeria, which serves…erm…traditional Italian pizza, will open at another Ambience property in Gurgaon.
According the Pizzeria website, the restaurant offers “handmade, great value, artisanal pizzas topped with fresh ingredients” whilst the Jamie’s Italian menu will feature fresh pasta dishes using the main ingredient freshly-made onsite every day.
The two outlets will open to the public in the coming weeks.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be bringing Jamie’s Italian and Jamie’s Pizzeria to India. Delhi is a vibrant, colourful, buzzing city with an already incredible food scene, so to be opening two restaurants there is a huge honour,” Oliver said.
“Right now we’re recruiting for two brilliant new teams who will become part of our ever-growing family. When we open the doors of both restaurants, they’ll be serving up some really beautiful, simple, great-value Italian food, all made with the very best-quality ingredients we can get our hands on”, he adds.
The 40-year-old, well-known for his love of vegetarian dishes, says he is keen to tap into India’s love of vegetarian as well.
In an interview with the Economic Times, Oliver said: I’m a massive fan of veggie food. In the UK it still doesn’t have the prominence that it does in India.
There’s a real misconception that a dish isn’t complete without meat or fish. We’ll definitely be including lots of great vegetarian dishes on the menus in Delhi”.
India is home to arguably the world’s fastest-growing food service industry.
Rising incomes and the “let’s pop out for some momo’s” attitude of most city-dwellers has resulted in an industry estimated at more than $50 billion dollars.
That in turn has led to the world’s best-known restaurant brands and restaurateurs flocking to the country – from internationally renowned names such as Nobu to Nando’s.
But whilst there’s opportunity across the eating out spectrum, Oliver insists that he will keep to his “down-to-earth” ethos.
“I think it’s really important for people to realise that from the start, Jamie’s Italian is about simple, rustic Italian food, sometimes with a bit of a twist and always great value. We’re not fine dining, we’re not high end but we should be brilliant quality”, he said.