A file photo of Jamie Oliver. JAMIE OLIVER has been invited by Gordon Brown to cook a banquet at No 10 for President Barack Obama and other leaders of the G20, offering a cut-price menu to reflect recessionary times.
JAMIE OLIVER has been invited by Gordon Brown to cook a banquet at No 10 for President Barack Obama and other leaders of the G20, offering a cut-price menu to reflect recessionary times.
Downing Street sources say the celebrity chef will cook using “honest high-street products” and avoid expensive or “fancy” ingredients.
The prime minister is keen to avoid a repeat of the embarrassment last year when he sat down to an 18-course gastronomic extravaganza at a Japanese summit to discuss world food shortages.
Obama, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and other leaders will be served by apprentices from Fifteen, the London restaurant Oliver founded to help train underprivileged young people.
Brown wants the dinner next week to reflect the emphasis of the London summit, which he hopes will lead to an agreement to lift the world out of recession. “To be invited to cook for such an important group of people who are trying to solve some of the world’s major problems, well that really is a privilege,” said Oliver.
“I’m hoping the menu I’m working on will show British food and produce is some of the best in the world, but also show we have pioneered a high-quality apprentice scheme at Fifteen London that is giving young people a skill to be proud of.”
The chef has yet to finalise the menu, but is expected to draw inspiration from his latest book, Jamie’s Ministry of Food, which has budget recipes for beef and ale stew and “mega” chocolate fudge cake.
This week Brown leaves for a six-day world tour to build support for his proposed “global new deal”.
The journey culminates with a gathering of centre-left leaders at Vina del Mar, a Chilean beach resort.