March 25, 2004
The Naked Chef Tours America

Irrepressible Jamie
I have just noticed (too late to inform my friends in Chicago) that the UK chef Jamie Oliver is doing a whirlwind tour of the states. You can read his impressions of Chicago on his site, as well as a review of Café Atlantico. Actually, he's a lot less explicit about the food there than our friend Barrett in his review.

So why do so many people love Jamie Oliver? He is so darn inarticulate that you sometimes think a village somewhere must be missing its idiot. But then he adds a personal touch or says something to the point and you realize there is an intelligence of some sort hiding behind the patter. And you remember his recipes, which range from the classics (with many good tips) to the truly original. I also like the way he gives credit where it is due: one of my favourite recipes in the Naked Chef, Chickpea and Leek Soup, is credited to a friend of his who found the recipe in an old cookbook. And lastly, there is that bubbling irrepressible charm and good humour: you just can't help smiling at his enthusiasm. You want to hate him for having it all (gorgeous wife and kids, great career, loads of money) but he makes it difficult, because he just radiates sincere good will. His restaurant, Fifteen, is connected to a charity he founded called Cheeky Chops, where unemployed young people who are interested in the food industry are given jobs and education.

So although his star is on the wane a bit in the UK (shame about those Sainsbury's adverts, Jamie) let us give a big cheer for Jamie who makes cooking original, healthy food look like a barrel of laughs!

Posted by Meg in Sussex at March 25, 2004 4:46 AM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

He may just be finishing his Elvis year (or two). His t-Fal ads here are not so chi-chi, either.

You never know. Martha Stewart hooked up with K-Mart and all that did was make her and K-Mart a lot of money.

Posted by barrett on March 25, 2004 at 9:22 AM

Just read his entry that mentions Cafe Atlantico. The other restuarant he mentions Zaytinya is where we ORIGNALLY were going to go, but which was booked up. That's what bounced us to the excellent Cafe Atlantico.

Posted by barrett on March 25, 2004 at 11:05 AM

Looking gorgeous never hurts. Have you read any of his cookbooks? I am addicted to his TV shows but haven' actually checked out his books yet.

Posted by Amy on March 26, 2004 at 1:15 PM

Well, as mentioned above I am addicted to the chickpea and leek soup. My cookbook also has a recipe for red onions roasted with butter and thyme, which is more or less the same as a Nigel Slater version I do with shallots and thyme (it's delicious!). I've tried the trout roasted with thyme (very good) and keep meaning to try some of the exciting things he does with home-made pasta, made with beets, for example. I'm not sure I would get the red pasta past my rather conservative husband though!

Posted by Meg in Paris on March 26, 2004 at 4:32 PM

trying find out Jamie Oliver;s schedule while in America? Please am eager to find out. Can an email message be sent to

Posted by waelon on November 26, 2004 at 12:49 PM

pity it's not so much about the food but about the filthy lucre & when naked dosen't mean nekkid anymore!!!!!!

Posted by Dirk van der Riet on March 19, 2006 at 10:07 AM

looking to tour America for great food and
what ever.

Posted by glenn on November 16, 2010 at 6:54 PM
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