Introducing… our chefs

We’re excited to be working with three talented chefs who love olives just as much as we do.

Omar Allibhoy

Young, talented Spanish chef Omar Allibhoy has teamed up with Olive it! to help us people discover the great taste and versatility of olives.

Born in Madrid, Omar’s passion for food developed at a very early age. “Growing olive trees and harvesting their fruit is a Spanish tradition, with generation after generation passing on their knowledge and recipes. I was only three but I remember having my first olive and how delicious it was,” says Omar.

Growing up, Omar preferred to spend more time cooking than playing with his friends. “I was always whisking something up and being adventurous in the kitchen. Working with Olive it! is something I’m really passionate about and believe in and I look forward to sharing my top olive tips and demonstrating how versatile olives can be! They’re not only a wholesome and flavoursome ingredient but can be used in a whole range of food dishes.”

Omar’s simple food and flair for Spanish cuisine has awarded him recognition within the industry. Described by Gordon Ramsay as the ‘Antonio Banderas of cooking’, Omar has also made numerous TV appearances including Market Kitchen, Masterchef and This Morning and is currently the executive chef at El Pirata Detapas in Notting Hill, London and also has his own restaurant, Tapas Revolution in London’s Westfield Shopping Centre. He has also just launched his first book, Tapas Revolution.

José Pizarro

A highly experienced chef, José has come on board to bring his Spanish flair to the Olive it! campaign.

Born in Spain, José Pizarro joined the UK culinary scene more than 14 years ago and has worked in some of London’s most prestigious restaurants. But his love affair with the fresh, brightly flavoured dishes of the nuevacocina style of cooking first began when we worked at the award-winning Meson de Doña Filo in Madrid.

“From picking olives with my dad as a child to serving and cooking with olives at my restaurants today, olives have played a key role in my life.  Central to my cooking style and my philosophy for simple but great tasting food, olives can be enjoyed by all in many ways and I’m delighted to be supporting the Olive it! campaign to help raise awarenss of this special food.”

In 2011 José opened his first solo venture – a tapas and sherry bar that reflects the culture and tradition of Spain. He has also published two books – Seasonal Spanish Food and Spanish Flavours – to help inspire budding chefs to experiment with the tastes of Spain.

Sophie Michell

Hugely talented and known for her passion for nutrition and healthy eating, Sophie has joined the Olive it! campaign to show how easy it is to make the most out of olives.

Sophie’s love for cooking started at an early age with her grandmother Ruth teaching her how to make cakes and pastries at the tender age of four. When she was just 12 Sophie and her family travelled for six months to Bali, Indonesia and Australia where she found her passion for experimenting with exotic foods tastes and colours. Sophie’s passion for healthy eating stems from her love of Mediterranean cooking and enjoying a diet that is tasty as well as good for you.

“My passion is for creating healthy and nutritional dishes that are packed with flavour. Olives are so full of goodness and are an essential ingredient in the Mediterranean diet which is one of the healthiest in the world. I’m excited to be working with the Olive it! campaign to give people inspiration and ideas for cooking with olives.”

Sophie started her professional kitchen career at 14 and by the age of 19 she was nominated for The Craft Guild of Chefs “Young Chef of the Year Award”. Her nutritious and healthy cooking has led her to be a favourite with celebrities including Claudia Schiffer and Leonardo Di Caprio and she has published several books full of delicious but healthy recipes. She is currently executive chef at the Belgraves Hotel in London.