Jamie Oliver eyes Canberra

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TV Chef Jamie Oliver’s chain of Italian restaurants is expanding into Canberra, and may need to hire 100 local staff.

TV chef Jamie Oliver.
TV chef Jamie Oliver.
The self-styled champion of healthy school lunches says his “Jamie’s Italian” restaurants are “going down a storm” so far in Sydney and Perth, and that Canberra is next.

The restaurant will take over the Bunda Street location of Kingsley’s Steak and Crabhouse, although there is no mention of exactly when it plans to open.

“I’ve been blown away by the support we’ve received, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be opening in Australia’s capital – make sure you come and check us out for tasty, affordable, top class Italian food,” Oliver announced today.

The restaurants are a partnership between Oliver and chef Gennaro Contaldo, his “Italian mentor”, with a menu “based on dishes people enjoy eating all over Italy, made with care but delivered without fuss”.

In Australia, the chain is being run by the Pacific Restaurant Group, which also runs the Kingley’s Steak and Crabhouse chain.

The Canberra restaurant will make its own fresh pasta each day and use ingredients from the local region, according to today’s announcement.

It will also share features with other “Jamie’s Italian” restaurants around the world, including an antipasti counter and “something unique and authentically Italian … as well as plenty of quirky Jamie twists”.

The chief of the Australian chain, Karen Westfield, says the new Canberra store will have a recruitment drive in May for about 100 staff to work at front of house, in management and in the kitchen.

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