Hello! My name is Oliver English - I am a filmmaker, photographer, speaker, food activist and former restaurant developer. I am the co-founder and CEO of Common Table Creative, an impact-driven production & hospitality company.
We believe that powerful storytelling is one of the most compelling instruments for change, and specialize in creating films and hospitality experiences that educate & inspire action around the most pressing food, sustainability and social justice issues.Together with my brother Simon, I created and am currently producing Common Table Creative’s signature documentary, Feeding Tomorrow along with our talented team.
I was born and raised in Boston, and after living in New York City for a few years, recently moved to Venice, California. I love to cook, travel, take photos, hike, draw, spend time with family & friends. Below is a little more information about my background, passions, photography & the Culture Trip Travel Journal. You can follow my journey @Oliver_English.
The Culture Trip Travel Journal is a collection of experiences I encountered though my work in the global restaurant business, traveling and exploring the world. Individually and collectively, theses experiences have profoundly enhanced my understanding and appreciation of the world and those who make it go round. They have also showed me the power of food and hospitality to help unite people and inspire positive change.
Passion In every culture and city throughout the world, restaurants are a cultural hub at all levels of society. They are a community gathering place, where locals and tourists alike discuss art, culture, fashion, politics, society, and just catch up and enjoy life with friends and family. While opening and developing a restaurant, you interact with people of all different socioeconomic status. For me, restaurants are the literal and physical “first step” into a new culture. One that would help me lay the ground work for a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, a new people, city society, and general way of life.
Background Prior to launching Feeding Tomorrow & Common Table Creative, I led my family company, The Olive Group’s international restaurant development sector. He opened restaurants throughout North America, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. My experiences in the global hospitality business showed Oliver first hand the positive and negative effects of globalization and climate change on the worlds food system. They inspired me to use art as activism to address the issues at hand, and inspire long-term lasting change.
Throughout my time in the restaurant business, I worked for some of the most prestigious global hospitality companies. They include Elizabeth Blau & Associates in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Alain Ducasse Enterprise in Paris, France. In New York City, Oliver worked with The Union Square Hospitality Group at the three-star Michelin Eleven Madison Park, currently rated No. 1 by San Pellegrino’s 50 Best restaurants in the world, and The Dinex Group, the management company of Celebrity Chef Daniel Boulud. Oliver is a graduate of Cornell Universities School of Hotel Administration and a member of the American Council for Young Political Leaders (ACYPL).
My Photography embodies moments that speak to the beauty I find in life: Travel, People, Food, Design and the Environment. Travel and exploration open our eyes to the wonders of nature and culture, those of which define who we are and how we interact with each other and the planet. Food holds the power to bring people together from all socioeconomic, cultural and geographical backgrounds, and is the ultimate democracy. Design, architecture, and nature shape the environment in which we interact and live.
My lens, both in terms of perspective and more literally my Nikon, has been that of a young American working for a global hospitality company. Having grown up in the restaurant business, I previously directed international restaurant development, and worked to bring our restaurant brands to new countries around the world- so far Abu Dhabi in the UAE, Manila in the Philippines, and Nassau, the Bahamas. In addition to setting up the business, I would go and live in the city for 2-4 months to get the operation started and make sure everything is running smoothly. Throughout my time, I would photograph all elements of the design, food, and team to be used for our various media outlets. Each time learning new lessons about myself, those who I meet along the way, and the world at large.
My passion for photography has carried through to my new company as well. I carry my camera with me to every shoot, and every dinner - finding similar beauty and simplicity in farmers, craftsman and our environment.
Travel is one of the most exhilarating, enlightening, and life changes experiences we as human beings can undergo in our lifetimes. Travel is transformative, and can help us discover who we are, all the while grasping a more holistic view of the world, and those who make it up. Since I can remember, I have always been fond of exploring new places, people, and cultures. Finding that little hole in the wall restaurant where grandma is cooking, or having a conversation with someone in a different language using only facial and hand signs. In every case, I have been taken outside of my comfort zone, and encourages to look at people from all kinds of different backgrounds, as equals, all are here kind of winging it and doing our best.
Im excited to be sharing my experiences, and look forward to your thoughts and comments. Stay tuned!