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Cheeky chef set to spice up awards

THEY say you can't teach your grandmother to suck eggs.

But television chef Jamie Oliver reckons he could tell City and Guilds a thing or two about how its catering national vocational qualifications could be perked up, and thinks some of the units are past their shelf life.

City and Guilds has held talks with Mr Oliver about the possibility of him advising on its new catering awards.

Mr Oliver said: "I've spoken to City and Guilds about how we can work together and they're quite excited about it."

Mr Oliver recently set up a charity, Cheeky Chops, to teach cookery skills to 16 to 24-year-olds in London. It has taken on 15 trainees with the help of the Learning and Skills Council in London.

They will complete their training at a non-profit restaurant, Fifteen, to be opened by Mr Oliver next week in Old Street. "A lot of the units are quite old-fashioned," he said, "so we picked all those that we felt really applied, not only to my restaurant but also to the industry as a whole."

A new Channel 4 series, Jamie's Kitchen, is set to follow the TV chef and his trainees.

Jamie Oliver's laddish approach to cooking gained him cult status with the BBC series The Naked Chef, but he fell out of favour with the corporation after appearing in Sainsburys' TV advertising campaign.

Jamie's Kitchen, Friday "Jamie's Kitchen" begins on November 5, 9pm on Channel 4

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