Andi Oliver

Born (in 1964) and bred in London, Andi (Andrea) Oliver is a respected broadcaster and restaurateur and has been cooking all her life and running professional kitchens for years. In 2017 she replaced Prue Leith as judge on The Great British Menu.

While she has lived in Homerton, East London, for more than a decade, her family hails from Antigua.

Her influences however come from far and wide. In her childhood, she lived in Germany, all over England and in Cyprus due to the military position held by her father and these influences all play out in the kitchen.

“I learnt to cook at home, with my mum, auntie and uncles. I’ve been lucky enough to be around very beautiful people who love to create wonderful things. It’s not just cooking, it’s life. An extension of family and conviviality, warmth and welcome. I’m weirdly old-fashioned in that way”

But Andi has has not always been a chef. She’s also been a pop star.
When she was 17 she and 80s pop icon Neneh Cherry were in a band together, Rip Rig and Panic, which fused free jazz with a post-punk, funky sound.

“We had the best time, Neneh and I. We didn’t really care what the industry thought. It was a sort of free, really expressive and amazing thing to have been involved with at a young age, because it taught me freedom of spirit.”

Andi has managed to combine her TV talent with her love of food and cooking. In 2006 she presented the much talked about The Truth About Food for the BBC and then in April 2007 with Neneh Cherry, presented their popular cooking series on BBC2, Neneh and Andi Dish It Up.

Andi is now a regular guest on shows like Market Kitchen as well as hosting the massively successful pop-up restaurant The Moveable Feast.

Having contributed to the Leon Book 2 – Naturally Fast Food, she worked with a team of people, including Henry Dimbleby of Leon, to create a sustainable cafe in Clissold Park In London’s Stoke Newington.

When she isn’t broadcasting, Andi co-runs the SugarShack restaurant in London with Kelly Miles.

 

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