The weirdest thing happened a few weeks ago.

My husband Peter remarked over dinner that I should try and collaborate with Jamie Oliver.  I agreed that would be a dream come true but scoffed it would never happen!

However, the universe must have been listening (or something) because a week later, an email arrived asking if I would join an intimate group of press for a cookery workshop with the ‘Legde’ that is Jamie Oliver, at his restaurant Fifteen.

Not sure I slept that night!

My son Oliver and I were going to get to hang out with Jamie O!

The cookery session’s purpose was to inspire little ones to grow their own herbs and become more proactive in the kitchen, something Jamie is incredibly passionate about. So much so, his very own annual festival, The Big Feastival hosts a ‘Field to Fork’ project every year and this next one in August is focused on the Herb Garden -which will literally be growing in the heart of the festival.

The garden there, will educate and inspire families onsite about common herbs and how to cook with them.

Jamie decided he’d like to bring a bit of the Herb Garden to London with this special session, showing kids how best to cook easy recipes with herbs. How fab is that?!

log for The Big Feastival


For those who don’t know (Where’s you been?) The Big Feastival is a weekend of incredible live music, family fun and of course outstanding food and drink taking place at Alex James’ farm in The Cotswolds.

Missed out on Glasto tickets? Well fear not, because the line up for The Big Feastival is equally as impressive with the likes of Mark Ronson, Foxes, DJ Yoda and Tinie Tempah providing a booty-shaking soundtrack to the weekender.

There will also be street food galore, cookery classes, creative workshops and plenty of kids’ entertainment on offer too.

Pretty amazing huh?

Another ingenious idea from the main man Jamie Oliver.

And let’s take a minute to ‘talk’ about Jamie in more detail. Not just a world-renowned TV Chef, he’s also a national treasure (he laughed when I told him that) but he REALLY is, he’s the best mate next door, the one you want to turn to for advice, fun and the best food in town.

My admiration for him is off the chart and to get some time with him, and with my eldest son Oliver too, was one more tick off the ever-growing reach-for-the-stars wishlist.

I’ve been lucky enough as a filmmaker and TV Director to have met some pretty awesome people in my time: Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, fellow alumni from Goldsmiths’ University of London, Sam Taylor Wood and Damien Hirst -and I’ve got a fair few famous mates myself, but meeting Jamie made me feel 15 again and at first, pretty damn star-struck!

I was transported back to the time I attended a Michael Jackson concert in Roundhay Park with my brother Solos and couldn’t sleep a month before.

It all felt a little bit epic and momentous.

#newbesties 😉

Honest Mum and son meet TV Chef Jamie Oliver
Because we’ve all grown up with Jamie haven’t we, we actually feel he’s our bestie, he’s made us collectively become part of his world thanks to his passion, talent and warm personality.

He has, over the many years, brought us into his home and around his table: a friend who’s funny, charming and as genuine as he is brilliant; simpy a livewire you want to be around.

And then, he’s gone one step further, and aside from teaching us all to cook, he’s GONE and made a difference to our very own and our kids’, lives.

A real difference.

He’s put the pukka in to politics campaigning for policies and initiatives to help families eat better, he’s actually created change.

From his ‘Feed Me Better’ campaign to encourage school children to cut out junk to his most recent, successful lobbying to get the Government to impose a tax on sugary food and drink, Jamie makes a difference in whatever he does.

I thanked him for all this and he humbly replied, ‘You know, I can’t stay quiet on the things that matter’.

What a dude.

I also told him how much I admire his incredible wife Jools.

Her book, ‘Minus Nine to One: The Diary of An Honest Mum’ had such a profound effect on me when I was pregnant with my first child, I was even inspired to name this site Honest Mum after it.

Jools wrote unflinchingly from the heart, so candidly and with such warmth about what it meant to be pregnant and go through labour- she made us mums-to-be and first time parents feel less alone and quite frankly, understood.

It was a privilege to pass on my thoughts about her book to Jamie and witness the massive love and pride he has for his wife as we chatted.

It’s exactly how I imagine my husband Peter feels when he talks about me ( * insert cute smiling emoticon)!

Jamie mentioned he’s encouraging Jools to write another book, an update, nearly 5 babies later too.  How amazing would that be?! If you’re reading Jools, please do write it, we all want to read it!


But back to beginning of the day-travelling to London with my son Oliver, 6, was an absolute treat. Getting Mama-son time, just the two of us was so special, particularly as it’s so rare these days. No little Xander, 3, clambering on top of me, no divided attention, just the two of us, my firstborn and I, ready for an adventure in the big city!

Oliver’s school had allowed him an educational day off site and boy was it an education.

Arriving at Fifteen and making our way to the top floor, we both felt excited and a little nervous. It was lovely to meet Clemmie from Mother of Daughters and connect with the other wonderful women invited as well: Helen Rumbelow, Features Writer from The Times, Dolly Jones, Digital Strategy Director at Conde Naste, Kirsty Spence, Food Editor at Fabulous Magazine and their children too.

As we took in the bright and pretty surroundings upstairs where Jamie shoots a lot of his YT videos, Oliver kept asking me over and over again if Jamie had arrived yet.

We’d watched his Food Tube videos together on the train down and Oliver was well aware of who we were about to meet (and quite how cool he is)!

cookery workshop for kids and press with jamie oliver l Honest Mum

As soon as I caught sight of Jamie I did that ‘eyes out of my head cartoon thing’ #socool but quickly got to vlogging in between snapping insta/fb pics and for the most part, all whilst Oliver was sat on my knee watching Jamie cook #supermum #onlysometimes #mostlytired.

Watching the captivating Jamie was well worth the wobbly knees though.

It was a bit like being at Robbie Williams concert.

Jamie has such a presence and charisma. Of course he has.

We all know that, but seeing him in front of our eyes was something else. We were watching in 3D, baby!

Jamie was up there doing what he loves-cooking and teaching kids to eat well: what a wonderful hip-shaking force of a man (he likes to shake while he cooks)!

What a whirlwind of an hour it was too.

Soon the kids were washing their hands and under our watchful eyes, chopping tomatoes (a first for Oliver), creating the most fragrant tomato and basil salad you’ve ever seen.

Helping child chop tomatoes at cookery workshop with TV Chef Jamie Oliver

Et voila!

kids makes a tomato and basil salad as part of a cookery workshop with Jamie Oliver

Now for instagram! #Blogger’schild

Mum takes photo of child for Instagram l Honest Mum

The kids made their own dressing too, mixing balsamic vinegar with olive oil in jam jars and energetically shaking them, before tearing fragrant basil leaves, green and purple, into a bowl, proud faces all round.
herbs at Jamie Oliver's cookery workshop

workshop with Jamie Oliver as he shows kid some seeds to grow l Honest Mum

learning to cook with Jamie Oliver

Blogger Vicki of Honest Mum takes a picture of Jamie Oliver at his workshop

Next, it was silky omelette time, an invention of Jamie’s although he said whenever he declares he’s invented something, someone, somewhere tries to say it’s not true (even citing the Romans as originators)!

…This thin, delicate omelette with grated Parmesan in the middle, rolled up like a croissant, is a firm family favourite in his household.

He spoke of making it with his middle daughter and how much his kids love cooking, even if, ‘7/10 dinners in the Oliver household are carnage’. Yep, we can relate Jamie!

Impressively, Jamie even got my little Oliver to try tomato for the first time and encouraged him to dig into the omelette.  My fussy eater was erm, eating.

That’s the Jamie Effect for you!

And just look at the two ‘Olivers’ cooking together! I’m framing these for my kitchen! #Proudface

Honest Mum's son, Oliver makes omelettes with TV Chef Jamie Oliver

child makes omelettes with TV Chef Jamie Oliver l Honest Mum

making an omelette with legendary Jamie Olier

Jamie Oliver grates cheese over an omelette

Jamie Oliver teaches kids to cook l Honest Mum

Blogger Honest Mum's son takes an omelette from the pan Jamie Oliver is holding

Watching Oliver relish in the prep and cooking made me realise the power of getting kids stuck into making food and not just baking, the usual go-to with kids.

I’m getting him in the kitchen more often now that’s for sure.

And not just cooking-he’ll be growing more too!

watering herbs with Jamie Oliver as blogger and vlogger Honest Mum takes a photo on a tripod

Jamie gave each child a goody bag with a pot, an array of herb seeds, soil and mini shovels that have been added to our herb garden out the back which Oliver has re-named ‘Jamie’s Garden’. Aw.

As Jamie discussed the power in growing herbs, even on a bedroom windowsill for little ones, he fired some questions to the kids.

I loved that Oliver shot his hand up several times, answering questions on what you need to grow herbs; despite being rather shy around Jamie during the session, he was beaming by the end of the day, proud of his new culinary skills and pumped to tell his school friends about his time with one of the most famous chefs in the world, something he recollected in front of the class a few days later.

My personal highlight was getting time to chat to Jamie one-to-one. He was so relaxed, lovely and genuinely interested in everyone’s story and work (like a ray of sunshine), it was great to get a proper chance to talk.

Blogger and vlogger Vicki Psarias aka Honest Mum chats to TV Chef Jamie Oliver

I asked him if it’s gets easier, the more kids you have. He laughed that it gets louder- and the more experience the better but like everything we’re all just trying our best.

We chatted about Greek food as my parents have award winning Greek restaurants, my brother two Italian ones, and had a laugh over me trying out for Junior Masterchef as a child.

My Dad literally shouted at the judges when I didn’t make the finals and telly (I came 4th in the North)-but hopefully he’s now proud of my cooking skills!  He’s definitely proud I met Jamie :).

Excitingly, I even got to do a Facebook Live with Jamie which is pretty much a life highlight right there!

You can watch it HERE.

Wow, what an inspirational day!

I left wanting to be BFFs with him and Jools #friendgoals hey and have been buzzing ever since!


…As we boarded the train back to York, little Oliver’s hand in mine, I told him we must always treasure this day.

Oliver nodded, looked me in the eye and whispered, ‘Jamie was really cool, Mummy’.

‘Yes he was son, yes he was’.


Don’t miss our vlog of the day!

The Big Feastival on between the 26-28 August- it’s going to be amazing.

Professional photos by James Lyndsay.

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84 Responses

  1. Wave to Mummy

    I watched the video and it was awesome! what an amazing day out and I bet you were star-struck! Ha ha so would I have been too, it is Jamie after all 🙂

  2. Catherine, Not Dressed As Lamb

    OMG so many fabulous things, so many thoughts…!!!!!!

    Jamie’s fantastic, I’m so envious you got to meet him – his whole work ethic and attitude to everything food-related is so admirable. Makes me proud to be a Brit, that man.
    The comment by Oliver right at the end about him being cool? Priceless.
    The way he gets kids into food and cooking is so great. Sooooooooooo great.

    So many more things to say, but what more to say other than CONGRATS on getting to do this, happy memories all round!!!!

    Catherine x

    P.S. I’m so sorry I’ve not commented for ages, I had a million tabs open for commenting and I guess yours got closed accidentally last week. Your email to link up reminded me that I’d left you out, my bad!! #Slapped Wrists #ThinkIveMadeUpForItToday

    P.P.S. I think it may be that you’ve lost your favicon since your new blog design? I couldn’t see it was you perhaps…? Didn’t know if you knew it had gone :/

  3. Mirka Moore

    This must have been absolutely amazing for you and Oliver! Love Jamie and often go to his restaurants. Love the pics of you together and the video xxx

  4. Charlotte Oates

    Wow, what an amazing day! I’d be scared of taking Daniel to something like that – at the moment he tells me I’m the best cook, I’m pretty certain I’d lose my crown within seconds if he met Jamie 🙂

  5. Debbie

    Hi Vicky, what a fab day you must have had. I love the way Jamie always comes across as ‘normal’ and one of us. The photos of Jamie and Oliver together are priceless and will look good on your kitchen wall. I hope Oliver’s herbs grow big and strong and that his day with Jamie does encourage him to want o learn to cook.


  6. One Messy Mama

    OK. I know it’s wrong to be jealous… But i’m just going to say it.. I’M JEALOUS!!!!!!!!!!! 😉
    Jamie seems like such a down to earth family man. It must of been an amazing experience!
    And little Oliver is just gorgeous! #brilblogposts

  7. Amy (beanmusing)

    This looks like it was great fun. It is so important to teach our children about eating well and where their food comes from. I am all for the work that Jamie Oliver does promoting healthy food choices, his book ‘Everyday Super Food’ is full of some great recipes that are favourites of mine and Bean x

  8. Sarah - Arthurwears

    What an amazing collaboration and such a great experience for Oliver too – wonderful that he tried tomatoes with Jamie giving him some encouragement!! I remember when Jamie Oliver first started out – he seemed like the coolest guy their was, cooking in his flat for his mates. Fab that he has been able to make such a positive impact on healthy eating and food for kids #brillblogposts

  9. Charlene

    So jealous! I love the way he cooks – it’s with so much love and passion, I want my son to find something he loves as much

  10. Elle

    Oh I absolutely love this hun, I’ve always adored Jamie Oliver so it’s so nice to hear that he was lovely to you all. What an amazing day!


  11. Lou

    What an amazing and well deserved opportunity- you must have been pinching yourself!! Jamie is such an inspiration and the critics need to take a long hard look at the fabulous work he does. I also devoured Jools pregnancy book and found that a really valuable read in my second pregnancy. The photos for the piece are classics- I am sure you will all as a family look fondly on those in years to come. Thank you for sharing and writing such a fab piece! XX Lou at #brilliantblogposts

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks so much, definitely an experience to always be treasured. Jool’s book is utterly brilliant, my all-time favourite pregnancy book. The photograher was brilliant, he truly captured the vibrancy and energy of the day xx

  12. Mouse, Moo and Me Too

    He gets a fair bit of stick (er, breastfeeding comment) but Jamie is such a superb influence on our children’s generation. It’s great that you managed to work with him – the photos are beautiful too and compliment the post perfectly. Thank you for hosting #brillblogposts

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks, I love that Jamie wants the best in everything he does, I have so much respect for him, he’s making a real difference to all of ours lives. Such an incredible experience x

  13. Severien

    Oh wow, love this!! I totally support Jamie Oliver’s food revolution, I think it is really fantastic! I even wrote a post with a recipe for that cheesy omelette with tomatoes for kids on my blog a while ago!

  14. Elizabeth (Wander Mum)

    What an amazing day! Jamie Oliver is such a staple in our lives: on our TV, his restaurants on our high streets, his books on our shelves, I bet it almost felt like meeting up with an old friend! A lovely event for you and Oliver to go to together and no doubt talk about again and again.

  15. Mel

    Looks like you and Oliver had an amazing day with the legend that is Jamie Oliver. He is such an inspirational man, always fighting for causes others would choose to ignore. It’s so sweet that Oliver chose to rename your herb garden ‘Jamie’s Garden!’ x

  16. The Tale of Mummyhood

    Ah it looks like you both had an amazing time! I love Jamie Oliver, but had no idea about Feastival – music and food is my ideal combination! Also, I had no idea that Jools had written a book, I must invest!


  17. New Mummy Blog

    That looks like THE BEST DAY EVER! I agree, Jamie Oliver does come across passionate on the TV about all causes, and I find it so reassuring and nice that he’s like that in person. A few friends have been to The Big Festival and we did mean to go this year, but can’t unfortunately. They’ve thoroughly recommended it though. Hope Oliver had a brilliant time telling all his friends! #brilliantblogposts

    • Honest Mum

      He did thanks and hope you can make it the following year, it’s one epic fest and Jamie is exactly like he is on telly too: such a top guy!

  18. ratingbet

    Jamie is such a talented cook I watch his shows for ages and still love his manner of cooking and representing!

  19. teacuptoria

    When I saw this go up on Facebook I was so excited for you. I loved the video too! It’s such a wonderful opportunity and you’ve worked very hard to get it so well done. It’s made me think about how Jamie Oliver doesn’t just cook, but reaches out to so many people; helping and promoting. Like you say…he makes a real difference to people’s lives. How fab that you got to meet such a cool guy! Tor xx #brillblogposts

  20. Sharon Parry

    Ahhh…this looks amazing. My current favs are his chicken nugget recipe (with cornflakes) and his guacamole which is divine! I’m so jealous that you get to meet him. Good for you! xx #BrillBlogPosts

  21. Muma on the Edge

    This is incredible!! you lucky things getting to hang with Jamie O-so-gorgeous!!
    this feastival sounds great, I might look into attending, I’ve never been to the Cotswolds!!
    Beautiful photos, lovely memories for you. xxx

  22. Lisa

    Great post!! Must have been awesome
    Meeting him. He has so many great ideas!!
    L X

  23. Alison (MadHouseMum)

    I love your photos, Vicki. You really capture the day beautifully. You just can’t contain your excitement and it’s infectious, as ever! He is an inspirational guy and it’s lovely to hear how personable he is in the flesh. Thank you for sharing it with us. Alison x #Brilliantblogposts

    • Honest Mum

      Aw it was fab, those photos are the pro photograher’s though so can’t take the credit there. We had the BEST day x

  24. Eb Gargano /

    Oh wow – that just sounds like the most amazing day!! I loved reading all about it and watching your vlog. Seriously, seriously jealous!! I’m a huge fan of Jamie – not just his wonderful food but also his passion for making the world a better (and tastier!) place!! I loved seeing how involved the kids were with the cooking – though I was a little frightened at the sharp knives and proximity to hot things! This has really inspired me to do a lot more cooking with my kids this summer! Eb x

    • Honest Mum

      Aw the kids were all fine and safe lovely; it was the most incredible experience and has encouraged me to cook lots more rather than just bake with Oliver. What a day. Jamie has and continues to make the world a better and tastier place (love that)! x

  25. five little doves

    Oh now I really AM jealous!!! I LOVE Jamie Oliver, I always think that he seems so normal and down to earth, and we love all of his recipes!! Looks like you had such an amazing time! #brilliantblogpost

  26. John Adams

    My word, you do get around don’t you? What fun cooking with Jamie Oliver! Certainly looks like you all had a great time. The Big Feastival is in my endz as it happens (well, where I grew up anyway). Just up the road from Soho Farm House. May try and go along! Thanks for hosting #BrilliantBlogPosts.

  27. A Mum Track Mind

    You are sooo lucky – I have a total man crush on this guy! Your little boy looks like he had a fab time – a lovely and memorable day out for you both. #brillblogposts

  28. Rach

    What an amazing thing to be invited to! I bet you had an absolute blast and something ticked off the bucket list for sure. I do like watching Jamie Oliver do his thing, he makes it look like the easiest thing in the world. Fab photos and great post. #brillblogposts

  29. themotherhub

    that really does sound like a great day, and to see the kids getting so involved – just shows they can do it with a little guidance! By coincidence I was at a Jamies restaurant this week and was just saying to my husband what an amazing guy he was (Jamie,not my husband!) to have achieved so much – and still so young! #brillblogposts

  30. Cheryl @ ReimerandRuby

    What an amazing day you have with your little Oliver! I love Jamie too and when I open your blog and seen your post, I got excited instantly, so eager to read the wonderful time you had with Jamie. Love watching your video as well. Beautiful photos. #brillblogposts

  31. Kim

    What an amazing day! Great photos. I love Jamie’s response when you asked him if it gets easier with more kids. Fun post 🙂 #Brillblogposts

  32. Hayley McLean

    Just amazing Vicki!!! What an amazing experience, not just for you but for Oliver too – being exposed to such successful and down to earth people at such a young age is bound to inspire him all the more, imagine having these experience as such a young person!! The whole day sounds amazing and I’m so tempted by the Big Feastival myself, Tyne would love it! x

    • Honest Mum

      So true, blogging brings so many incredible experiences into our children’s lives doesn’t it. The Big Feastival is going to be amazing x

  33. Fran Back With a Bump

    He sounds like a genuinely nice bloke. Jools book was the first book I bought when I was first pregnant nearly 9 years ago and I loved it and her total honesty. Thanks for hosting as always #brillblogposts

  34. Kat | Beau Twins

    Such a great post! WOW what a day you both had and I ADORE the photo’s. I love Oliver saying about Hamleys at the end of you vlog. We used to go there as kids ALL the time too. Love it. Xxx PS: Totally loving the new look blog – just in case I missed saying this ages ago when you changed it! Looking spot on! Xxx

    • Honest Mum

      Thank you my darling girl, aw we love Hamley’s, same memories from being kids and we took both the kids in half term-their eyes popped out of their heads! It was such a magical day meeting Jamie. So glad you like my new-look site too, thank you xx

  35. Nige

    What an awesome day you it must of been a wonderful time thanks for hosting

  36. Mess and Merlot

    Oh my word, now THAT is exciting!!! A day you will always remember I’m sure. We did Big Feastival with the kids last year and had a lovely time. X #brillblogposts

  37. International Elf Service

    I love love love this post – how amazing to have this opportunity but more so – the photos of cooking with Oliver and the look of intense concentration on his face. Gorgeous photos as always. It’s so important to pass on a love of cooking and healthy food to our kids.

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks so much, it was the most amazing workshop. Seeing Oliver grow in confidence and beam with pride by the end was wonderful. He talks about it every day!

  38. Amanda Fulton

    What a fabulous day, wonderful memories made and #goals achieved! Love your photo rich post and felt I was there for the ride. x


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