Everyone's favourite British chef (don't deny it, you know you have at least one recipe book in your house) has decided to take the reins of the restaurants that bear his name around Australia, buying back Jamie's Italian venues in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Sydney, as well as Parramatta's Jamie's Italian Trattoria.
The venues were formerly owned by the Keystone Group, who you probably know better as the people behind Cargo Bar and the Wineries. When they went into receivership, Oliver decided it was time to bring his Antipodean outposts back under his control. "I wish I could have done it sooner but we got there... The staff have stuck with me and I’ve got a business that I fully own and couldn’t be prouder of." says Oliver.
The celebrity chef himself will be heading to Australia to make sure everything is ship shape and to launch the new menus that will be designed with sustainable and locally sourced produce as a focal point. They'll still be making fresh pasta on site, and the best news of all is that for the month of May there will be a $10 pasta special. Hello cut-price date night. They'll change it up every Monday starting on Mon May 8, but you can expect the likes of tagliatelle Bolognese and fusilli arrabbiata to be on the specials list.
If you want to explore the rest of the menu you might line up a serve of porcini and fontal cheese pasta parcels with wild mushroom sauce, thyme, gremolata, or an lasagne made with 12-hour slow-cooked oxtail in a Chianti ragù, with béchamel, mozzarella and parmesan.
If you prefer a meaty main you're in luck, because they'll be stuffing a pork belly with garlic, chilli and herbs before slow roasting it, and on the dessert front it's all about the classics like a vanilla yoghurt panna cotta with black cherry compote.
Rolling with humans that are knee high to a grasshopper? During the Easter school holidays, for every main course ordered, one child gets a meal from the kids menu on the house.
Want more pasta? Check out one of Sydney's best Italian restaurants.