first_imgJamie Oliver is to open an Italian restaurant in Oxford in what used to be the Cock and Camel pub on George Street.Jamie bought the former Young’s pub and hotel after it closed earlier this month. The new restaurant is to be one of the first in his new chain, ‘Jamie’s Italian’. He plans for around 40 such restaurants to open on high streets around the country within the next few years. The idea is to create a chain of affordable, high-quality, rustic Italian restaurants in town centres. All pasta will be freshly made on site and the bread will be created daily by artisan bakers. There will be lots of vegetarian options, and the chicken will be free-range.Jamie Oliver’s publicist, Peter Berry, said that Jamie wanted to change the face of high street dining. “Jamie believes that outside London, there are a handful of good local restaurants but they are few and far between. Jamie’s Italian aims to change all that,” he said.Prices will start at around £5 for a pasta dish, and it will be possible to have an entire meal with drinks for around £10-12 per head. Given its low prices, students will be a key target clientele for the new restaurant.“We absolutely hope to appeal to students who might be on a tight budget but also care about what they eat,” said Peter Berry. “The restaurant will be open 7 days serving breakfast, lunch and dinner so it works for students wanting to grab a quick bite between seminars, lectures – whatever,” he added. There is some scepticism as to whether Jamie has the right credentials to be opening an Italian restaurant. One person commented on the Oxford Mail website: “This is a joke. How can a wannabe cockney open an Italian restaurant? Leave to the Italians!” However, Umberto Garabello, President of the Oxford University Italian Society, does not think this matters. In fact, he is very much looking forward to the opening of Jamie’s new restaurant. He said, “I believe Jamie Oliver is a fantastic and incredibly passionate cook: I often use recipes from his websites and cookbooks as I’m a big fan of his ‘hearty-and-apparently-effortless’ food.” He added: “I’ve had a few reasonable Italian meals in Oxford before but I normally find quality and authenticity to be fairly poor. If Jamie sticks to what seems to be the concept behind the chain, we are definitely going to have a new winner.”last_img read more