Retraining as a teacher? They'll eat you alive, Jamie!

1st April 2011 at 01:00
Chef thinks he has all the right ingredients after the success of his Dream School

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is ditching the kitchen for the classroom and enrolling on a teacher training course at Cambridge University.

The "naked chef" is permanently hanging up his apron to pursue a teaching career after the huge success of his Dream School and School Dinners programmes on Channel 4.

Mr Oliver said he was "fed up" with teaching kids from the inner-city how to cook and wants to teach them how to read and write instead.

"I've spent a lot of time in pukka schools both here and in the States in the past few years and I've been really inspired by some of the teachers I've met," he said.

"In my Dream School, we had all sorts of inspiring people in the mix: a nice bit of David Starkey, a bit of the old Lord Winston, some Alastair Campbell thrown in for good measure, and I thought, 'If them geezers can do it, why can't I?' Nice one."

Mr Oliver, who left school at 16 without qualifications to attend Westminster Catering College, is set to enrol on a PGCE course at Cambridge in September. A Cambridge University spokeswoman said: "We are committed to widening access to a diverse range of students and are delighted to recruit a millionaire celebrity chef to prove it."

Mr Oliver's progress will be documented by a Channel 4 film crew for a new series called Jamie's Journey: From Kitchen to Classroom.

He insists he wants to be treated as "just another student" by his peers and will refuse to do any cooking demonstrations during his studies.

However, he admitted: "I might not be able to resist showing a few of them some 30-Minute Meals and my favourite dish, Poisson d'Avril, particularly if they're living off Pot Noodles and Turkey Twizzlers and stuff."

Sources close to education secretary Michael Gove said he was considering launching a Chefs to Teachers scheme to encourage more TV cooks to make the switch.

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