Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is to launch a new high-street restaurant concept called Jamie's Italian next year, Caterersearch can reveal.
It will be Jamie Oliver's first owned restaurant venture as Fifteen, which he helped to create, is owned and run by the Fifteen Foundation charity.
The first Jamie's Italian will open in Bath in March next year and will be housed in a Georgian property in the city centre.
The second site has been secured in a 1970s office block in Brighton, with a third restaurant in Cambridge to follow.
Other locations are likely to include university cities across the UK with Oxford, Glasgow and Cardiff on the menu.
As many as 20 outlets are planned in the next five years, although Oliver said the idea was to create a restaurant collection rather than a chain.
He added that a restaurant in London would be unlikely.
Oliver said: "This is all about bringing my food to the public and offering them the best value for money they can get. I'm putting my name on the line. The restaurant will have to offer the best quality meal diners have had at that cost otherwise I will have failed."
Jamie's Italian will serve classic Italian food inspired by the dishes in Oliver's cookery books with affordable pricing and a neighbourhood restaurant feel.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served seven days a week with around 160-180 covers.
The menu will offer a range of pasta dishes - priced between £5 and £8 - as well as a selection of home-baked breads, antipasti, salads, grills and Italian desserts. Lunch will cost around £10 with drinks.
Jamie's Italian will be financed by Oliver and seven private investors. Together they have raised £7.5m for the project, of which Oliver has stumped up £500,000.
By Kerstin Kühn