Tuesday, June 25, 2013 |
TV host and chef Jamie Oliver has written numerous cookbooks despite having dyslexia (Mark Piasecki/FilmMagic)
British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver said he finished reading a book for the first time in his life at the age of 38, according to the Telegraph.
The TV personality has actually written several bestselling cookbooks, but said he had never managed to read an entire book because he has dyslexia, the neurological condition that makes it challenging for individuals to process and interpret printed language.
"I'm dyslexic and until recently I'd never got through a book," the father of four revealed to the Telegraph.
Oliver has said in past interviews that he struggled academically and left school at 16 without any significant qualifications. He later enrolled in catering college and worked in the restaurant industry before being discovered by a BBC documentary crew who saw star quality in him.
"I've never read a book in my life, which I know sounds incredibly ignorant but I'm dyslexic and I get bored easily."
More on CBC Books
Despite Oliver's early aversion to school work (or perhaps because of it), he's become quite passionate about the U.K. education system. In recent years, he's filmed a documentary series about his mission to get healthier lunch options at school cafeterias. He also created the series Jamie's Dream School, in which a group of high schoolers on the verge of dropping out are enrolled in classes taught by accomplished public figures, in hopes they'll inspire the at-risk youth.
But which book did one of the world's most famous chefs managed to get through? Catching Fire, the sequel to Suzanne Collins' mega-popular The Hunger Games. Following Katniss Everdeen's return to the arena for a special edition of the Hunger Games was a captivating experience for Oliver.
"I loved disappearing into a story," he said.
Oliver also admitted he once nearly finished Kitchen Confidential, the acclaimed memoir of life in the restaurant business by chef and writer Anthony Bourdain. But then the acerbic Bourdain, who has feuded with a number of celebrity chefs and food writers, "came to Britain and didn't stop slagging me off for five years," Oliver said." So on principle I threw it on the fire. He's since apologised and we've made up...I should probably read the rest now."
What books would you recommend to Jamie now that he's discovering the fun of reading? Let us know in the comments below.