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
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.