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The Naked Chef - Jamie Oliver

Paperback

Published: March 2010
For Ages: 18+ years old
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Britain's most exciting young chef, Jamie Oliver combines bold flavours and fresh ingredients within simple recipes. He is at the cutting edge of modern life and modern British cooking. THE NAKED CHEF has something for everyone - from those who want great food but want to keep it simple, to those who work for a living and don't have time to spend all evening cooking. It is about giving people confidence and getting them to feel at ease in the kitchen, even if they have never tried cooking before!


About The Author

Jamie Oliver started cooking at his parent's pub, The Cricketers, in Clavering, Essex, at the age of eight and has since worked with some of the world's top chefs. He is now running Fifteen - one of the best restaurants in London and the subject of the television series Jamie's Kitchen.

Jamie has written for The Times, as well as for GQ and Marie Claire magazines. He currently writes for Delicious magazine in the UK and Australia.

He also started, and continues to be involved with the Fifteen Foundation, which provides training and mentoring for disadvantaged young people - allowing them to follow their dreams and become chefs.

Jamie lives in London with his wife, Jools, and their four children.


Introduction

About the book

When I first moved to London I rented a tiny flat in Hampstead, with a kitchen the size of a cupboard. After that I moved to a Hammersmith base­ment flat which wasn't much better, so I knew only too well the restrictions of a small kitchen with only basic cooking equipment.

I had been cooking good food in a restaurant for some time, but found it difficult to re-create many of the recipes at home for lack of time, space, equipment or, sometimes, the availability to the average shopper of good­-quality produce at reasonable prices. So, in an effort to re-create some excit­ing restaurant recipes in a limited kitchen, I found myself stripping down those recipes to something quite basic. I then adapted them, using what I did have in the cupboard, larder, fridge or garden.

Using this principle I have built up a foolproof repertoire of simple, deli­cious and feisty recipes. At the same time I have tried to avoid culinary jar­gon and any complicated, time-consuming process that isn't justified by the end result.

The aim of this book is to inspire you to get into the kitchen, fired with enthusiasm and confidence.

About me

I grew up in a pub in a small, pretty village called Clavering, near Saffron Walden in north Essex. Having lived there all my life, pulling pints, opening bottles of wine and cooking were all part of everyday life to me.

My interest in cooking began after I said to my dad one day, 'All my friends are getting pocket-money - can I have some, please?'

He smiled. 'No,' he said, 'but you can get up in the morning and earn some if you want!'

Dad always had a thing about getting up in the morning. I can clearly remember what used to happen if I overslept on a Saturday morning in the summer - he would be watering the window-boxes and would put the hose through my bedroom window and squirt me as my early morning call! Dad had a selection of pleasures awaiting me, all involving lots of hard work and gen­erally a broom or a mop (I don't know who he shoved up the chimney, but luckily it wasn't me). After that I was 'promoted' to a spell in the wash-up, which was even harder and sweatier. I thought this was perhaps not macho enough for a cool and sophisticated eight-year-old - I decided that most of the hard-core action was in the kitchen with the real men, and that's where I wanted to be. Here my education began. And not only in the culinary department, because I also learnt some very choice language! I must have been a real pain for my dad's five chefs, but they were very patient and encouraging. This is where I began to learn my practical and technical skills.

I worked in the pub every Saturday and Sunday until I left school. When I was fifteen I had two weeks' work experience at the Starr at Great Dunmow, and Brian Jones and his head chef had enough faith in me during my second week there to put me in charge of a section. I was in my element, and this inspired my decision to cook for a living.

Fortunate enough to get a place at Westminster Catering College in Vincent Square, I commuted every day for three years. I was completely in awe of the enormous college and the cosmopolitan mix of students. It was wicked! I loved every single part of the course, not just the practical work, as there was always so much of interest going on throughout the college.

My personal taste for classy, modern food wasn't fully formed at this stage.

As a young chef I naively thought that a busy plate was a good plate. It wasn't until I went to work at Chateau Tilques in France that I learnt that quality, real care, love and individual flair have to go into every stage of food preparation.

This was where my passion for food was conceived; surrounded by people who were so much more talented than I was, whose enthusiasm was highly contagious and very inspiring, I learnt all that I could.

The place to learn more, I thought, could only be London. Everyone in the restaurant scene was going mad for it; and I had to be a part of it.

I desperately wanted to learn about Italian food, and was lucky enough to get a job at Antonio Carluccio's Neal Street Restaurant, where their pasta and bread are undoubtedly some of the very best in London. Antonio Carluccio and his sidekick Gennaro are famous for their wonderful wild mushrooms. I thought it was so funny when, in the middle of the English porcini season, some old Italian men came to pick mushrooms for five days. They knew their stuff (quite important when you're picking mushrooms!) - they knew of 'secret' locations in the country, and returned each day with huge baskets of porcini. On Monday they looked extremely poor and scruffy but by Friday they were wearing really flashy new white top-of-the-range Nike trainers. Excellent! Picking mushrooms was obviously a well-paid job!

After a year at the Neal Street Restaurant, and finding that I loved Italian food, I felt I wanted an even broader knowledge of it. I then decided that I wanted to work at the River Cafe. I rang the restaurant at least ten times, attempting to speak to Ruth Rogers or Rose Gray to ask for an interview. Eventually I was able to speak to Rose - she sounded very cold and blunt; she scared the hell out of me! But I was soon to find out that it was just her telephone manner and that actually she is the nicest, warmest and most inspirational chef that I have ever met.

Nothing can prepare you for working at the River Cafe. It doesn't matter what you have learnt before - Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers's style is unique and unconventional, and it really works. For a chef, using the finest, fresh­est, organic produce and being involved in a new menu every session is the most exciting experience. Some of my recipes are inevitably inspired by what I learnt at the River Cafe, for I was always encouraged to use my imagina­tion there. This is what I want to encourage in you . . . Go on, get stuck in!

ISBN: 9780141042954
ISBN-10: 0141042958
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: March 2010
Dimensions (cm): 24.0 x 18.9  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 24.6