Jamie Oliver launches search for next big name in cookbook writing

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Jamie Oliver will lead a search for the next big name in cookbook writing as part of a show for Channel 4.

The seven-part series will feature home cooks, social media influencers and street food vendors competing for a book deal with Michael Joseph at Penguin Random House.

The joint production between Jamie Oliver Productions and Plum Pictures will see would-be authors try to convince Oliver, publishers and expert judges their book concept is a best-seller.

Oliver, who has developed 25 cookbooks, will mentor the contestants and help develop their skills and passion for food.

The 46-year-old said: “I have been crafting cookbooks for over 20 years and I know the dedication, skill and intuition it takes to create recipes people want to buy and try at home.

“Breaking into publishing is incredibly difficult – an impossible dream for so many amazing cooks out there – so I am just so excited to get out there and discover incredible new talent, new perspectives and new approaches to cooking and food.

“We know the talent is out there and I’m thrilled to be able to help them fulfil their potential.”

The contest will begin with the aspiring authors pitching their cookbook ideas and signature dishes.

They will then be whittled down by the panel of judges and the remaining contestants will hone their concepts and cook further dishes before three finalists deliver their final pitches and attempt to “bring their books to life” for the judges.

Jamie Oliver (Jamie Oliver Productions/Plum Pictures/PA)
Jamie Oliver (Jamie Oliver Productions/Plum Pictures/PA)

Clemency Green, commissioning editor for Channel 4, said: “We are a nation of cookbook enthusiasts and now we’re going to find a new star to enter the market.

“With such a massive prize on offer and so many different styles of cooking in the competition, this is going to be very exciting.”

Tim Hancock, also commissioning editor for Channel 4, added: “Who better than to lead the search for the next cookbook star than Jamie Oliver, Britain’s bestselling nonfiction author?

“This series is going to introduce us to a range of amazing new food talent and is guaranteed to make you extremely hungry.”

Samantha Beddoes, executive producer for Jamie Oliver Productions, said: “This series will champion the talents of cooks from all over the country with a vast array of different experiences and dishes.

“Jamie’s passion and knowledge in coming up with new recipes, and for championing and nurturing people’s skills in the kitchen, means he’s the perfect person to help them through the process.

“It will be a delicious series to watch.”

Apply to take part via the Plum Pictures website.

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