Interview with Buddy Oliver, Jamie Oliver’s son who will teach kids how to cook in Cooking Buddies

Interview with Buddy Oliver, Jamie Oliver's son who will teach kids how to cook in Cooking Buddies

Jamie Oliver’s son Buddy teaches kids to make easy, delicious meals in Cooking Buddies – “Making the TV show was epic” – Cooking Buddies starts Wednesday 10 July on CBBC and BBC iPlayer

13-year-old Buddy is joined by new friends who showcase their hobbies and put him through his paces in everything from karate to street art

PHOTO: Buddy Oliver (Image: BBC/Jamie Oliver Group)

Interview with Buddy Oliver, Jamie Oliver’s son who will teach kids how to cook in Cooking Buddies

What is Cooking Buddies about?

Cooking Buddies is a really fun cooking show, where I teach some new friends my tasty recipes (usually so they can cook them for someone special or a special occasion) and they teach me something they’re super good at. I guess you could call it a skills swap. It’s been amazing to give all kinds of new things a try, I had a go at things like karate, BMX racing, street art and boxing – lots of stuff I’ve never tried before. It’s been so much fun, even when I’ve not been very good at something!

What skills did you learn? And are you sticking with any of them?

I learnt some cool fitness skills from trying boxing, including skipping, which is a lot harder than I thought it would be! Ice skating is also really good fun.

Did you make any good friendships on set?

Yes, I made friends with all the kids on set – they were really nice and it was a great opportunity to learn some of their skills. I also became great friends with Rob, the sound man, because he’s a legend.

How did making Cooking Buddies differ from filming you’ve done before?

There were lots more people around and there were much bigger cameras, we usually just use phones, so it’s all a bit simpler. Making the TV show was epic – it was really fun to learn some cool new skills from other kids, but also to teach them dishes that they can share with their friends.

What was your favourite recipe to show someone?

I’d have to say that any type of pasta, because it’s so simple, but so delicious! And you can’t beat a fully loaded fish finger sarnie either.

What was it like having the family on set?

It was a bit annoying when dad came over (he can be annoying sometimes, ha ha!) but overall it was nice and fun!

Which of your dad’s recipes are your favourite to eat?

My favourite dish by my dad is definitely his seafood spaghetti or carbonara, as I love pasta so much and he makes it so delicious and flavourful.

What’s your favourite dish to cook for your family?

I really enjoy making a simple spaghetti and meatballs for my brother, as he absolutely loves them and they are so easy to make.

If there was one hobby you could try (which doesn’t feature in the series), what would it be?

If I could try anything, I’d love to learn how to snowboard, as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, even though it’s very hard!

What can you tell us about the first couple of episodes?

Filming the first episode was so fun, as I love doing sports like boxing. We started with skipping, but to be honest, I wasn’t very good at all! We also started punching some bags, which tested my endurance and strength, but it was funny and enjoyable.

I also had a lot of fun getting destroyed in football, as we tested pace and skills, which showed me how hard it is to be a professional footballer. I honestly thought I was better than I was, but Sienna proved me wrong and showed me what a challenge it is. Learning both of these skills really showed me the difficulties people go through to become the best at what they love.


New ten-part TV series Cooking Buddies sees Buddy Oliver and young guests swap skills as he shows them how to make simple meals and in return, they show him something they’re good at – like basketball, ice skating or salsa dancing.

Airing from Wednesday 10 July, Buddy shares his passion for cooking and teaches his new friends how to make dishes such as spicy tomato pasta, pizza and crispy chicken. He also gives his guests and viewers helpful tips in everything from chopping techniques to ingredient swaps.

Jamie Oliver says: “Being able to cook is such an important skill for kids to learn, it’s up there with reading and writing – so I’m really proud of Buddy for making this brilliant show that encourages others to give it a go. Full of easy, big-flavour recipes that will keep children happy and healthy, I hope it inspires people to get in the kitchen and try cooking for themselves.”

With surprise appearances from the Oliver family, Cooking Buddies promises an engaging culinary adventure for young chefs and their families. The series reimagines homegrown storytelling in the classic cooking format for a whole new generation to enjoy.

Buddy and friends are also joined in his den by the Oliver family dog, border collie Conker, who is voiced by actor and comedian John Sparkes.

The 10 x 20’ series was commissioned by Sarah Muller, Senior Head of BBC Children’s Commissioning 7+. Executive producers are Fiona Piper for the BBC and Samantha Beddoes for the Jamie Oliver Group. The series has been created to bring people together over a shared discovery of learning to cook and exploring new foods.

Buddy’s recipes will be available after broadcast at

Cooking Buddies starts Wednesday 10 July on CBBC and BBC iPlayer. Nine episodes will air this summer, with the tenth episode scheduled for Christmas.

BBC iPlayer

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