Jamie Oliver has abruptly closed two of his three “failing” cooking schools, and chefs and teachers were told to leave in the middle of the day. Both employees and customers with booked classes at Recipease were not informed until the last minute, according to the Daily Mail. The abrupt decision left many scratching their heads, as the schools, which began to pop up in 2009, were meant to be community hubs, and “food and kitchen shop[s] where anyone can learn to cook and make great food,” according to Recipease website.
Chef Oliver gave no reasoning for the closing, instead posting on the website, "We are sorry to say that we have decided to close our sites in both Clapham Junction and Brighton. Our flagship store in Notting Hill is still open for café service, shopping, and cooking lessons, so do please come and visit us there if you get the chance.”
The chef has been criticized for not warning his employees of the closure ahead of time. “To be just sacked off just like that. Shameful, as if he couldn't afford to keep us open a few more weeks so we could have a proper send off,” one employee told The Daily Mail.
Customers who already booked classes at the two shuttered locations can get a refund, or transfer their reservations to the Notting Hill location.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi