Jamie Oliver says he's 'better than he's been in a long time' following restaurant shutdowns

Amy West
Contributor
Jamie Oliver says 'the pain is gone' now regarding his restaurant empire collapsing in 2019 (Photo by Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images)

Jamie Oliver says he’s doing “really good” following the collapse of his restaurant empire.

In a new interview with PEOPLE, the celebrity chef admitted to feeling “better” than he’s “been in a long, long time” thanks to the endless support of his wife Jools and their children Poppy, 17, Daisy, 16, Petal, 10, Buddy, 9, and River, 3.

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“When you’re tested like I’ve been, all that matters is friends, family and health,” he explained. “The best antidote in the world. I feel grateful for a master class in the best and the worst. If you haven’t been tested, you’re not trying hard enough.”

In May 2019, Oliver was forced to shut down 22 of his 25 UK-based food establishments having suffered huge monetary losses three years prior.

According to the publication, he also believed “the anticipation of Brexit” led people to stop dining out as frequently, meaning that - even with a last-minute cash injection of $15 million from Oliver himself - the restaurants could no longer afford to stay open.

“We smashed it for eight years, and we struggled for four years,” he recalled. “The pain’s gone. The hemorrhaging of cash is gone. And there’s a result. It’s not the result I wanted, but now you move on.”

Read more: Jamie Oliver's son Buddy, 8, uses knife and gas hob in presenting debut

Now, he’s hoping to learn from his earlier slip-ups and prove himself “useful” with the culinary industry again.

“You do wise up,” Oliver - who recently launched Bite Back 2030, a new campaign that hopes to reduce the amount of childhood obesity cases by half over the next decade - said. “Hopefully I won’t make the same mistakes, and I’ll keep being creative and trying to make positive change.”