From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The seemingly inexhaustible Oliver (The Naked Chef, Happy Days with the Naked Chef, etc.) returns with what may be his best book yet. Aiming to educate readers on cooking basics, Oliver offers over 175 recipes that emphasize flavor and freshness over labor-intensive preparation. With a conversational style that favors general guidelines over strict instructions-recipes often call for a “knob of butter,” a “handful of shelled peas” or “a big handful of freshly grated Parmesan”-Oliver’s friendly and enthusiastic approach handily deflates new cook anxiety. Loaded with photos that cover common skills like cleaning and preparing fresh lobster, discerning degrees of doneness in meat and crafting homemade pasta, Oliver’s patient explanations leave little room for confusion. His dishes, many of which are updated versions of classics, are impressive and accessible. A simple baked potato is made savory by stuffing it with bacon, anchovies and sage, and a basic risotto becomes extraordinary with the addition of apples, walnuts and gorgonzola. Empathizing with those strapped for time, he offers four takes on that trusty fall-back, chicken breasts, all of which can be prepared in a single baking dish. Loaded with everyday dishes ranging from fried calamari and onion gratin to shortbread cookies, this volume doesn’t set any new culinary standards, but it will certainly make an impact on determined newcomers still intimidated by the prospect of preparing a three course dinner.
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My guide to making you a better cook.I can’t tell you how long I’ve dreamed about writing this book. It’s the biggest book I’ve ever done, and I’ve really tried to make it a timeless, modern-day classic. Whether you’re a student, a young couple, an established cook, or a novice, I’ll take you through a whole load of simple and accessible recipes that will blow the socks off your family and any guests you might have round for dinner. There’s information on the equipment that I think you should have in your kitchen, advice on how to recognize and cook loads of different cuts of meat, as well as on how to get the best value and quality when you’re out shopping. With all of us consuming more processed food than ever, it’s a sad fact that most people just aren’t confident enough to cook anymore. With this in mind, now is the time for you to get stuck in and reclaim your fantastic cooking heritage!You know what . . .if you’re going to eat three times a day for the rest of your life, you might as well learn to cook properly and enjoy it! So roll up your sleeves and let me help you. P.S.: By the way, you should feel good about buying this book because every single penny I make from it will go toward training and inspiring young kids from tough backgrounds all over the world to have a career in food through the Fifteen Foundation. So on behalf of them, thank you.
About the Author
Jamie Oliver grew up in his parents’ country pub, where he started cooking at the age of eight and has since worked with some of the world’s top chefs. Jamie has starred in five television series. Jamie’s Fifteen Foundation provides training and mentoring for disadvantaged young people and now has programs and restaurants in London, Cornwall, Amsterdam, and Melbourne. He’s probably best known for his work as the Naked Chef–a young Brit who stripped down food to its bare essentials. Jamie lives in London with his wife, Jools, and their daughters, Poppy and Daisy.