Oliver’s Twist on Fabulous Food

I have a soft spot for Jamie Oliver. His enthusiasm and passion for cooking is so infectious! The acclaimed British chef, with an affable, easy going charm, has a laid back attitude that’s reflected in his down to earth approach to everyday cooking.

Image Source: facebook.com/jamieoliver/photos

In an earlier post titled “Domestic Goddess Sizzles in the Kitchen”, I pointed out that cooking had never been my speciality. In fact, cooking and I go together like chalk ‘n’ cheese, we just don’t gel. Eating on the other hand is my forte. I love food. But, it’s more than comical that I have a tendency of scorching, nuking and spoiling the most simple of meals like scrambled eggs or even the humble toast. I’ve experienced more misses than hits when preparing food that’s fit for human consumption. Consequently, I have a ‘can’t cook, won’t cook’ mind-set to whipping up a gastronomic smorgasbord.

Image Source: facebook.com/jamieoliver/photos

 Often cooking programs focus on complicated feasts, and not surprisingly, I find such recipes way too challenging to even attempt given my limited culinary skills. What’s worse is that you need a myriad of gadgets which I don’t own, just to slice, dice, chop, julienne, mix, mash or boil the ingredients. Otherwise, the recipe consists of exotic components you’ve never heard of, or elements you’d rarely use in other meals and your local store doesn’t carry in any case. To top it off, I don’t have the time, not only to prepare the dish, but to clean up the mess afterwards. It’s all too hard and puts me off from bringing my A-Game to the kitchen.

Image Source: facebook.com/jamieoliver/photos

On the other hand, Jamie’s signature style to preparing a meal makes cooking accessible to the masses, boofhead friendly and idiot proof! He’s recognised that cooking fabulous food isn’t just for elite professionals or experienced cooks. Let’s face it, we don’t always need to prepare Michelin awarded meals for everyday cooking. Jamie’s recipes aren’t pompous or pretentious. When it comes to casual dining, precision isn’t paramount and presentation doesn’t always require the perfection that’s demanded in 5-star restaurants. Instead, Jamie’s twist on a delectable dish centres on simplicity and big bursts of flavour, colour and texture. His meals have a rustic, organic quality, using fresh, seasonal and/or everyday ingredients commonly found in your pantry. Convenience and ease is the key, but taste isn’t sacrificed.

Image Source: facebook.com/jamieoliver/photos

 Best of all, Jamie Oliver is a chef with a heart of gold and a conscience for social issues. He takes on causes and challenges close to his heart. Jamie’s highlighted the rising levels of obesity amongst young children and has campaigned tirelessly for healthier menus in school canteens. He opened Fifteen, a not-for-profit training restaurant that empowers young adults from underprivileged backgrounds with an opportunity for a better future1. The initiative offers disenfranchised youths with an apprenticeship and first hand experience in hospitality2.  He promotes a healthy lifestyle through the magic of food, with recipes emphasising the importance of affordable, well balanced meals. Through his cook books and various television programs, he has inspired families to get back to basics with home cooking, to source and use locally produced goods and to opt for freshly prepared meals rather than the fast food alternative.

Image Source: facebook.com/jamieoliver/photos

 What’s refreshing about each of Jamie’s television cooking series is that they don’t rely on his experience and celebrity profile to humiliate and break down aspiring chefs or avid cooks like a drill sergeant, a la Gordon Ramsay. Mainstream television is flooded by reality based competitions, where amateur cooks and professional chefs are under pressure cooker conditions and consequently ridiculed for their errors or critiqued on trivial criteria as a form of entertainment.

 Instead, Jamie’s shows have a casual, light hearted vibe that centres on what cooking programs should focus on – creating practical, well balanced, hearty culinary delights; comforting meals made with enthusiasm and love.

Sources: http://www.jamieoliver.com/  Viewed February 19, 2013

Citations: http://www.jamieoliver.com/  Viewed February 19, 2013

44 thoughts on “Oliver’s Twist on Fabulous Food

    • Ha ha ha! I’ve been busy looking at food blogs:) Also been busy writing other posts. It takes me a while to put together a piece worth publishing. I have so many ideas in my head, some that doesn’t make sense…it gets hard putting it together lol!

  1. One of the food stylists we work with has worked with him many times (every time he comes to Canada) and she says that he’s even nicer in person. Kind and generous. It’s a nice change in a celebrity.

  2. Describing Jamie’s work is a not easy today as it seems that all the words were used.We can just wonder every time and add: innovative, inspirational, grand, sophisticated,…you can add endless tags to his work.

  3. I am a fan of Jamie’s TV shows and his do-good initiatives. I admire his personal life narrative too. BUT…there’s something wrong with the instructions in his cookbooks. I’m a cookbook collector and frankly nothing that I cook using his recipes turn out like they should. One area for improvement Jamie!

  4. Awesome post! Jamie Oliver really does stand out amongst the “look-at-me” celebrity chefs of the day. You have picked a fine food mentor:-) Wanted to encourage you–and you were pretty much already saying this–but you don’t need to bring your “A-game” to the kitchen. Just bring your game–any game, really–and get cooking:-) It ain’t rocket science, and you can only get better by doing it. Thank you for stopping by foodforfun’s cornbread and connections. Happy to have you over:-) Wishing you all the very best.

    • Thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed the post. Yeah, I’m a bit over the “look-at-me” chefs a la Gordon Ramsay (I’m a bit over him). Thanks for the encouragement. Like everything, my cooking journey is a work in progress. I have my hits and misses lol!

  5. completely agree with you, good food can be easy and simple to make and love Jamie’s approach to cooking and making healthy choices. Nice post! Keep cooking though, I burned many a meal before I got the hang of it, it still burn cookies though, don’t know what it is about baking but I’m gonna keep at it!

    • Great minds think alike! So glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks so much. I still have a habit of overcooking steak – there’s always that fine line between medium and scorched hehehe I haven’t attempted cookies yet, but it’s on my ‘to do’ list. Cheers!

  6. i totally love jamie’s style and the passion he has for food. i definitely prefer the likes of jamie oliver, nigella lawson and nigel slater rather than other “great” chefs who make amazing food, but how the hell do i cook that at home?! great post 🙂 thanks for stopping by my blog!

  7. Excellent post! I adore Jamie Oliver – he is such a great inspiration. I wish that the show he did in America was still on. He has such an amazing gift and seemingly caring soul.

    • Thanks so much! So glad you liked the post:) He is an inspiration. The fact that he takes on challenges to help others through the magic of cooking puts him above other celebrity chefs.

  8. Could not agree more, Jamie’s cooking is not only simple but very tasty, I love cooking and have a few of his books, mind you thirty minute meals is more like an hour and half with me and the same amount of time clearing up 🙂

    • Ha ha ha. My friends and I have had the same experience. 30 minutes becomes an hour or more. Sadly we don’t have the magic of television and a production crew to prepare ingredients for us:)

  9. I seem to remember reading that he struggled in school because of learning disabilities. He’s such an inspiration for following your own path and being passionate about what you do. Cool beans for sure:)

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