Tiny chef steps up

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver picks Aston Wright from the crowd for his cooking demonstration on Saturday.
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver picks Aston Wright from the crowd for his cooking demonstration on Saturday. Sarah Harvey

A TINY boy in a miniature chef's hat nearly outshone Jamie Oliver when the Naked Chef visited Ipswich on Saturday.

Five-year-old Aston Wright looked stunned when he was picked from the audience to join the 20-strong team of cooks who would take part in a class led by the celebrity chef.

Jamie himself handpicked the youngster from a crowd of more than 600, along with two young women, a middle-aged man, and Aston's mother, for support.

Aston's attention-grabbing outfit included a paper chef's hat and handmade sign that read, "Hi, Jamie, hi." Jamie joked with Aston's mother Elicia Wright about her reluctance to join the high-profile team of cooks.

"Mum, I know you really don't want to do this, but for all those parents, you know you have to do what your kid wants," he teased.

Elicia and Aston joined cooks including Premier Anna Bligh, rugby union identity Peter FitzSimons and Mayor Paul Pisasale to prepare a chicken fajita dish under the watchful eye of Oliver.

Jamie hugged the tiny chef at the beginning and end of the demonstration, and used Aston as an example of the Ministry of Food's target audience.

"This is what it's all about. It's about mums, pregnant mums, areas where mums need help, and primary schools," he said.

"This is where it all happens really, you know, making food fun at school, at home, and if you do that we're all laughing and it looks like you're all doing a great job."

Shortly before concluding his official visit, he joked about his hugging of Aston.

"... In England, I can see it now, the headline tomorrow will be 'Jamie has illicit child'," he laughed.

"Just don't say Daddy."




  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Small pinch ground cumin
  • 2 limes
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 small or 2 large flour tortillas
  • 150ml of low fat natural yoghurt
  • 50g cheddar cheese


  • Fresh red chilli, ½ to a whole chilli as to your taste
  • 15 ripe cherry tomatoes
  • Small bunch fresh coriander
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lime
  • Olive oil


  • Small handful mixed-colour cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh red chilli, ½ to a whole chilli as to your taste
  • Few sprigs fresh coriander
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 lime


  • Griddle pan (substituted in place of barbecue)
  • 2 chopping boards
  • 2 knives
  • Bowls
  • Spoons
  • Measuring spoons
  • Tongs
  • Microwave-safe dish or frying pan
  • Grater


1. Place griddle pan on a high heat.

2. Halve and deseed pepper and cut into thin strips. Peel, halve and finely slice onion. Slice chicken lengthways into long strips, roughly the same size as pepper strips.

3. Place peppers, onion and chicken into a bowl with the paprika and cumin.

Squeeze over the juice of half a lime, drizzle over a lug of olive oil, season with a good pinch of pepper and mix well.

Put to one side to marinate for five minutes while you make your salsa.

4. Finely chop chilli. Roughly chop tomatoes and coriander, including stalks.

5. Place chilli and tomatoes in a second bowl, add salt and pepper and the juice of one lime. Stir in chopped coriander.

6. Use tongs to put the marinated pepper, onion and chicken into the preheated griddle pan and cook for six to eight minutes, until the chicken is golden and cooked through. Keep turning the chicken and vegetables so they lightly char grill rather than burn.

7. To make the guacamole, squeeze a handful of cherry tomatoes on to a board.

Finely chop up the flesh with the red chilli and a handful of coriander leaves, including the top part of the stalks.

8. Halve and stone the avocado then squeeze it over a board so the flesh comes out of the skin. Discard the skin, squeeze lime juice over the flesh and chop everything together until fine. Taste and adjust flavours if need be.

9. At the table, take the chicken and vegetables from the grill pan. Serve with bowls of plain yoghurt and guacamole alongside cheddar, a grater, fresh salsa and tortilla shells.

Topics:  chef children cooking food jamie oliver ministry of food

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