Chef Jamie Oliver innovates in and out of the kitchen: he’s advocated for a variety of causes, from heightened food awareness to youth involvement in cooking. His Better Food Foundation hosts campaigns, and most recently presented the Big Chair Project. Artists from Paul Smith to Matthew Williamson were given a blank, white chair, and were asked to decorate a practice one and a final product. Fritz Hansen supplied its ANT™ chairs in support of the project; and Barnaby Purdy, Liberty, Nunzio Citro and Quentin Blake put both chairs up for auction.
The Big Chair Project marks the 10th anniversary of Oliver’s restaurant chain, Fifteen. Fifteen is special because of its apprentice program, which—according to its mission statement—“uses the magic of food to offer unemployed young people the chance for a better life.” In general, Oliver’s foundation “is about raising awareness and individual responsibility, resuscitating dying food culture around the world and, ultimately, keeping cooking skills alive.”
In spite of his massive gains, Olive maintains a sensibility of teamwork. Thanking the artists who contributed to the Big Chair Project, he said, “I’m truly humbled to have such a brilliantly talented group of people from the fashion and art worlds to help on this fantastic project.” The chairs are now on display at the Fritz Hansen Showroom in London.