Wednesday, September 17, 2014

News: Jamie's mentor to reopen Rotherham Ministry of Food

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Gennaro Contaldo, respected chef and the man Jamie Oliver describes as his "Italian father", will be in town next week to reopen Jamie's Ministry of Food.

The All Saints Square premises in Rotherham town centre have undergone a refresh after being taken over by Leeds-based charity, Zest - Health for Life.

New centre staff are in place with manager Dawn Rowley and cookery trainers, Melvin Jarman and Carolyn Nicholls, set to run cookery courses and training activities. The centre will officially reopen on September 26.

As a young Essex chef, Jamie Oliver met the eccentric Italian, Gennaro Contaldo (pictured together), in the kitchen of London's Neal Street restaurant back in the early 90's. The pair bonded while cooking the beautiful Italian food that had inspired them both since childhood, and the seed of an idea was planted. Years later Oliver opened his first branch of Jamie's Italian with the help of his friend and mentor.

As well as writing cookbooks and appearances on TV with shows such as Two Greedy Italians, Gennaro is also in charge of creating the menu and training new chefs at Jamie's Italian.

The Rotherham centre was the first in the country and opened in 2008 as part of Jamie Oliver's TV series and remained open with the help of £130,000 a year from Rotherham Council. It became a social enterprise in 2010, enabling it to achieve financial stability and to bid for funding.

It was closed "temporarily" last summer amid health and safety concerns but is ready to reopen, again adding something different to Rotherham's town centre offer.

Jamie's Ministry of Food website
Zest website

Images: jamieoliver.com

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