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Cook with Jamie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook Hardcover – October 2, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

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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About the Author

Jamie Oliver grew up in his parents' country pub, the Cricketers in Clavering, where he started cooking at the age of eight, before studying at London's Westminster Catering College. He then went on to work with some of the top chefs in England namely Antonio Carluccio at the Neal Street Restaurant and Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers at the River Café. The author of such popular titles as The Naked Chef, Jamie's Kitchen, and Jamie's Italy, among others, he has written for the Saturday Times, served as Food Editor at GQ and Marie Claire magazines, and hosted the popular television show The Naked Chef. He is twenty-nine and lives in London with his wife Jools and their daughters, Poppy and Daisy.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (October 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401322336
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401322335
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jamie Oliver started cooking at his parents' pub, the Cricketers, in Clavering, Essex, at the age of eight, and has gone on to work with some of the world's top chefs. He founded Fifteen restaurant in London and the associated charity, Fifteen Foundation, which continues to train disadvantaged young people to become chefs. There are now three other Fifteen restaurants in the world: Cornwall, Amsterdam and Melbourne. Jamie has also launched a chain of high street restaurants in the UK called Jamie's Italian. In 2005 Jamie led a campaign to improve the quality of school dinners in the UK and, through the Feed Me Better movement, caused the government to substantially change its policy towards school food. Jamie continues to write for publications in the UK and around the world, including his own magazine, Jamie Magazine. He lives in London and Essex with his wife, Jools, and their daughters, Poppy, Daisy and Petal.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

130 of 130 people found the following review helpful By T. Osborne on February 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book as a last minute Christmas/Birthday book for my boyfriend. I saw it in the store, and knew we'd enjoyed the Bruchetta we'd made from his Italian book, so I figured why not - it was a "good enough" gift.

Initially the idea behind the purchase was that maybe my boyfriend, who works on contract and is thus frequently by himself and/or always eating out, might enjoy some simple meals at home and maybe pick up some new techniques/ideas.

However, as of yet, this cookbook has not left my house, and invariably every weekend we find ourselves headed out to the market to buy local ingredients to try something new.

First off, he's French, and obviously eats meat - and he even remarked how much he's learned from the quick guides at the beginning of each section on choosing meats and preparing them.

But what really potentially "shocked" me the most, were the vegetable dishes we've tried in this book. I have been a vegetarian for 10+ years, and I have a wealth of cooking implements and cookbooks. I expected, you know, "ok" dishes, and yet every time I have been blown away by what we've cooked - every recipe thus far has become a favourite - and must repeat.

The Tomato Salad, for instance, good god. To think I've only eaten vegetables all this time and never tasted a tomato like that. The Honeycomb Canneloni - blew my mind. I honestly snuck back into the kitchen later to eat the leftovers.

This book turned out not to be a last minute Christmas gift, but potentially the most used gift I have ever given. We've had such a blast cooking with this every weekend, and the recipes always deliver and are creatable by somewhat novices :).

Absolutely ecstatic I bought this :).
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Angie2 on April 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just love to watch Jamie on his BBC program, and this is the first of Jamie's books that I've purchased. (I'd now like to order one more of his famous books).

Anyhow, what I simply love about this particular cookbook are all of Jamie's wonderful HINTS and GOOD INFORMATION that Jamie lays out for the reader at the very beginning of each Chapter and also within each sub-category.

Because I've seen Jamie on TV so many times, I am very familiar with his (rather cute) lingo, such as "dollop" and "knob",for example. His lingo does not turn me off,as some have stated, but rather, I like his way of speaking because it makes Jamie seem more REAL to me! .....And because Jamie projects such an approachable personality, the readers (and TV viewers) are, of course, instantly drawn to him and his cooking style.

YES, there is a photo of every single recipe, and YES, that is a good thing!....As another commentator stated, "there is alot to be said for photos of every recipe".

Some of the recipes would be hard for a beginner to duplicate , or even to comprehend. For example, "The Squash Sage and Amaretti Risotto" would be a difficult recipe for a beginner cook to visualize. Yes, the photos are tantilizing, however, some of the combinations may be hard to phathom (from a novice cook's perspective). Another example is the "Squid with Black Pudding stuffing and sticky tomato sauce" (hum???), or the "Perfectly Cooked Crispy Duck with Spiced Plum Chutney". Would a beginner "get it" or be turned off? (Just something for beginners to keep in mind).

However, if a reader of this book has seen Jamie actually cook on TV and has seen how his chosen flavors can actually "work", then MOST of the recipes in this book are very doable,FUN,and exciting!
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179 of 209 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
`Cook with Jamie, My Guide to Making You a Better Cook' by the British culinary wunderkind, Jamie Oliver, is a long drink of cool water for fans of Oliver, and a joy to read for any dedicated foodie, who enjoys reading cookbooks. It is a special treat to read two manuals on `how to cook' in the same month from such distinguished practitioners such as Oliver and Alice Waters.
At 447 pages, plus fabric bookmark sewn into the spine, this is obviously a serious book, especially since it lacks some of the graphical razzle dazzle and cutie pictures which have cluttered some of Oliver's books in the past. As Jamie himself says, this almost seems like it should be his first book instead of his seventh. Oliver even goes so far as to hope he has created `a timeless, modern-day classic' manual on how to cook.
The book has much which would qualify it for consideration as a `timeless classic'. Unfortunately, the bar for `timeless culinary classics' is pretty high, set, among others, by Oliver's compatriots, Elizabeth David, Jane Grigson, Claudia Roden, and Nigel Slater. So, while I don't believe it achieves those Olympian goals, it is still a very, very good cookbook, especially for younger readers and students.
The thing which sets Oliver apart from practically everyone else who chants the `fresh, seasonal, organic, local' mantra is that Oliver is committed to these principals in his heart and soul. He is not just repeating a party line. And, that commitment jumps off of almost every page in this book. This and his overall `joie de vivre' are simply infectious, and they bring his cookbooks alive with enthusiasm. Like many of his other books, especially `jamie's Italy' and `jamie's kitchen', one is almost surprised at how many original culinary insights one encounters on his pages.
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