INTERNATIONAL hospitality icon Jamie Oliver's first foray into the Adelaide restaurant market will be spearheaded by a Naracoorte girl.
Kylie Hole, 38, has been appointed general manager of Jamie's Italian, due to open in Adelaide later this year.
It represents a career high for the former Naracoorte South Primary School student, who has been working towards a general manager's role throughout an already impressive career.
Having worked at Disneyland in the US, on a cruise ship, in a New York bar, managing restaurants at both Bali and Hayman Island and finally in management on the exclusive private island of Laucala, off Fiji, Kylie has landed a dream job.
"I think this is my ideal first (general manager) posting as such," she told the Herald from London, where she is currently doing four weeks of intensive training. "I'm extremely passionate about my career choice of hospitality and have been preparing myself for this challenge for a long time.
"Jamie Oliver is such a well known personality in Australia, and for me to be able to be part of the team bringing Jamie's Italian to Adelaide is incredibly exciting.
"Already, I have met so many people that have worked in various different roles in the Jamie Oliver family, and it seems that the effort and hard work that you put in you will get in return."
Life has been something of a whirlwind since Kylie was appointed to the key role, with the team surrounding Oliver swinging into the task of getting a high standard restaurant up and running in only a few months.
"The training program is very thorough and in-depth, which is fabulous for me," Kylie said. "There is a great support system in this company and the time and money being invested in my training is really motivating.
"I'm here in London at the Piccadilly restaurant for four weeks, spending the first three of those in each different section of the kitchen. My last week will be training on the floor, where I will shadow one of the servers.
"When I leave here, I will go back to Sydney to complete another four weeks of training, including bar and management training.
"Once the training in the restaurants is complete, I'll head back to Adelaide, where we will train all of our eager new starters."
Kylie, who is likely to meet Oliver for the first time this week, said the fare at Jamie's Italian would be of the highest quality, but as is Oliver's trademark, it would be appealing to everyone.
"Our restaurant in Adelaide is going to seat about 170 guests and it will serve beautiful house-made pastas, amazing antipasti and fantastic mains and specials," she said.
"Jamie's Italian welcomes everyone. We'll take reservations, but we'll also welcome walk-ins to the restaurant.
"I hope that Adelaide welcomes Jamie's Italian with open arms and we are able to keep the diners coming back time and time again. The food is amazing and the concept is casual, warm and welcoming, so I am pretty sure Adelaide and our visitors will love it."
She might have been living a jetsetting lifestyle in her adult life, but before that she had a happy upbringing in Naracoorte, where she grew up with father Brenton, a well-known school teacher and football coach, and mum Mandy.
"Growing up in Naracoorte was fantastic," Kylie said. "My schooling was great, we had great teachers, the township was so nice too, and we had such a fun neighbourhood.
"There were always plenty of kids playing at each other's houses and the weekends were filled with plenty of friends and outside activities.
"The sporting culture there was also great, and once I finally found my coordination, I also found my competitive spirit.
"From my first basketball games until now, I am fiercely competitive. That goes a long way in any career.
"I'm still a country girl at heart and I got my warmth - I think - from growing up in the country. I've just used that and taken myself around the world."
Brenton, who now lives in Adelaide but spends time in the SE as a development officer with Glenelg Football Club, said Kylie's family was proud of the career path she'd taken.
"She's been everywhere really and she's always wanted a general manager's role," he said. "She's worked in every area of the industry and tried to get experience in all the roles, and get up a step each time.
"Now she's been lucky enough to get this job and it'll be good for her."
Brenton joked that he and Mandy had "gone around the world to catch up with her" throughout Kylie's adult life, and it would be nice to have her working in Adelaide.
Kylie agreed: "I've been away for a long time and have been very fortunate to have been able to travel and see the world, at the same time furthering my career.
"I've thought about coming home often, but have never had the right career opportunity come up. This position is absolutely that."