British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s British restaurant chain has become insolvent, putting 1,300 jobs at risk.
The Jamie Oliver Group said Tuesday it had gone into administration, a form of bankruptcy protection, and appointed KPMG to oversee the process. The company operates 23 Jamie’s Italian restaurants in the United Kingdom.
Oliver, 43, a well-known figure in Britain and beyond for his popular TV shows, founded his Jamie’s Italian brand of restaurants in 2008.
His restaurant group also includes Barbecoa, a steakhouse, and Jamie Oliver’s Diner.
“I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the staff and our suppliers who have put their hearts and souls into this business for over a decade,” he said in a statement. “I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected.”
Oliver, who was discovered by the BBC while working as a chef in London’s River Cafe, gained widespread fame for his Naked Chef show, which was broadcast in dozens of countries.
He used his reputation to put pressure on politicians to combat growing child obesity problems by campaigning for healthier school meals.
According to BBC, Oliver’s international franchise business will continue operating as usual. There are two Jamie’s Italian restaurants in Canada, located in Toronto and Mississauga, Ont.