Is Jamie Oliver Dyslexic?

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Jamie Oliver is one of the world’s most well-known chefs, but does he have dyslexia? Read on to find out

What are the strengths of dyslexics?

A woman is holding up a sign that says, "Save the Earth."
Image by Artem Podrez,

  • Strong memory of stories that are read out aloud to them
  • Astute ability to analyse stories that are read out aloud to them
  • Excellent puzzle-solving skills
  • Brilliant spatial reasoning
  • Being great at starting conversations
  • Tremendous empathy
  • Having a wonderful imagination
  • Abstract thinking
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Critical thinking
  • Excellent environmental awareness
  • Higher curiosity than average
  • Visual thinking
  • Being highly intuitive and insightful
  • Multi-dimensional thinking and perception
  • Many people with dyslexia are very creative and artistic
  • Taking smart risks
  • Strong self-assertiveness skills
  • Sharp peripheral vision
  • Being highly resilient and adaptable
  • Showing significant improvement when given extra time for certain tasks

More examples here

Does Jamie Oliver have dyslexia?

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Yes. Jamie Oliver does have dyslexia, but this does not stop him from being one of the world’s best-known chefs.

When Jamie was at school, he needed specialist support there for 5 years “because he struggled in classes.” He left school with an A in Art and a C in Geology, but no other qualifications.

Despite his poor performance at school, he started working in restaurants at an early age and excelled in this area. His early restaurant work led him to present his own TV series such as The Naked Chef (1999 – 2001), Jamie’s School Dinners (2005), Jamie at Home (2007 – 2008) and Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals (2010). Jamie has also released a series of cookbooks, many of which tie in with his TV series, and launched a range of restaurants.

Other famous chefs with dyslexia

James Martin

The celebrity chef James Martin is smiling as he holds a plate of food in a grassy field.
Image source: James Martin’s Food Map of Britain on BBC Two

Even though James is another well-known chef, he failed his cookery class at school because he was not “able to write down all the details of his recipes” due to his dyslexia. When James finished school, he stuck with cookery “and went to one of the top catering colleges in the United Kingdom.”

James has starred in several cookery programmes such as Saturday Kitchen (he was on there from 2006 until 2016), Operation Hospital Food with James Martin (2011 – 2014), James Martin’s United Cakes of America (2013), Christmas Kitchen (2013 – 2014), James Martin: Home Comforts (2015) and Saturday Morning with James Martin (2017 – 2020). Like Jamie Oliver, James Martin has also written some cookbooks that tie in with his cookery programmes. James also has his own range of home baking equipment in collaboration with Stellar.

Marco Pierre White

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Marco was once dubbed, “the Godfather of cooking,” and was also once the youngest chef to be awarded 3 Michelin Stars.

In 2007, Marco was the Head Chef on Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. Marco also trained Gordon.

In 2011, Marco told the Evening Standard that reading aloud in class broke his confidence. He still relied on giant picture books at that time and “used cooking to cope with his difficulties reading and writing.”

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