The Bizarre Cooking Request Jamie Oliver Once Received

Jamie Oliver isn't a vegetarian, but on the scale of culinary preferences between, say, Mahatma Gandhi and Gordon Ramsay, he might lean more on Gandhi's side. Oliver, for example, has an entire TV program dedicated to meat-free meals. As The New York Times has documented, he's previously gone on crusades to advocate for the humane treatment of chickens, and to prove his point, he slaughtered one on live TV.

Starring on Oliver's list of holiday dinners sides are vegetables: roast potatoes, sprouts, parsnips, and carrots (via Twitter). And the celebrity chef is such a big believer that "the future is about a plant-based diet, even for the meat-eaters," that at least 30% of all content he produces is about vegetarian and vegan food (via The Food Designer).

All of this is to put the cooking request that Jamie Oliver once received in context. It was bizarre, unequivocally bizarre, even for a meat lover. It was stranger still when directed at Oliver.

A producer once asked to participate in a cannibalism show

The details are a bit hazy, but here's what we know: The event in question dates back to 2014 when Jamie Oliver told The Times that he'd turned down a request to participate in a TV program, on which he would have presumably prepared human meat. "It was an idea a TV producer had, but I thought it was one step too far," Oliver said at the time. It wasn't just the fact that cooking human flesh was too much for Oliver. Oliver professed to know what human meat tasted like already. "Pork. It tastes exactly like pork," the chef told the U.K. newspaper.

If you're left, mouth open, wondering how Oliver could possibly know what humans taste like, so was The Drum. The publication reported, at the time that "a source close to" the chef claimed that Oliver got the information from "accounts by contacts in 'exotic' locales." To the best of our knowledge, the story stopped there. Oliver hasn't publicly talked about the would-be program since his interview with The Times.