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Happy Days with the Naked Chef Hardcover – October 9, 2002

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Editorial Reviews Review

Jamie Oliver's Happy Days with the Naked Chef is in the same mold as his bestselling cookbooks, The Naked Chef and The Naked Chef Takes Off: recipes for simple, comforting food. This time, however, he has some interesting additions from his travels to Australia, New Zealand, America, and Japan. There are three new ideas in Happy Days with the Naked Chef. Oliver has included a chapter on "Comfort Food"--the kind of cooking Nigel Slater and Nigella Lawson specialize in. There are recipes for British favorites like Toad in the Hole, Fish Finger Buttie, and Sticky Sausage Bap with Melted Cheese and Brown Sauce. In his "Quick Fixes" chapter, Oliver has selected dishes where saving time and minimal washing up are the key ingredients. These include a Steak Sarnie and Chicken Breast Baked in a Bag with Mushrooms, Butter, White Wine, and Thyme. He has also included a "Kids Club" chapter, which offers inspiration for parents trying to get their children excited about food. The new additions don't dominate the book as the remaining two-thirds contain Oliver's standard Italian-style fare: simple salads, fish, meat, vegetables, breads, and desserts. Don't miss the excellent recipe for Medallions of Beef with Morels and Marsala and Crème Fraîche Sauce. Oliver has also been traveling and you'll find recipes with bok choy, soy sauce, and ginger popping up here and there--delicious! --Elizabeth Murgatroyd,

From Publishers Weekly

Big-energy, high-profile Food Network celebrity Oliver (The Naked Chef) says this book addresses what the average person wants to cook at home; and perhaps never has a personality cookbook ranged so far across high and not-so-high cuisine. Oliver proposes the best way to eat store-bought fish sticks (broil them and serve on a white roll with ketchup) and devises easy dishes he calls Quick Fixes, such as Chicken Breast Baked in a Bag with Cannellini Beans, Leeks, Cream and Marjora. He suggests how to get kids involved (make Chocolate Cookies with Soft Chocolate Centers) and then proceeds to mouth-watering adult fare: Pot-Roasted Pork in White Wine with Garlic, Fennel and Rosemary]; Lovely Pan-Baked Plaice with Spinach, Olives and Tomatoes; and Medallions of Beef with Morels and Marsala and CrŠme Fraiche Sauce. Oliver's impulse to wow an audience is reflected in such recipes as Whole Roasted Salmon Wrapped in Herbs and Newspaper, to be cooked on a camp fire or over a barbecue, and Flour and Water Crust Chicken, in which a whole bird is enclosed, baked and brought to the table in a pastry covering. Chocolate and Whole Orange Pudding is actually baked with a pre-boiled orange in the center. A small quibble, but home cooks should pay attention when assembling ingredients because they are not always presented in simple lists. The 11 components in Japanese Rolled Pork with Plums, Cilantro, Soy Sauce and Spring Onions, for example, are given in only six lines. Oliver concludes with some of his favorite beverages, which include Easy Peasy Ginger Beer and the Margarita. (Oct.)Forecast: Oliver's previous two entries from Hyperion have been very successful, and this will follow the pattern. The last week in October, he'll tour seven cities, conduct cooking shows in bookstores and throw in some drumming as well, a musical talent he practices in his spare time.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; 1 edition (October 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078686852X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786868520
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,115 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

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Leckman on October 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jamie Oliver's third cookbook doesn't disappoint! Fans of his previous two cookbooks will be pleased with his latest offering which showcases Jamie's signature fare: fresh, snappy, elegant dishes that are actually very doable in your own kitchen. Chapters cover salads, soups, pasta, fish, meats, breads, desserts, as well as some welcome sections highlighting roasted veggies, some fun options for cooking for and with kids, beverages (soft and hard), "Quick Fixes" which covers fast ways to prepare your favorite basic entrees, and "Comfort Grub" - an international jaunt through a selection of hearty, homey comfort foods. Aside from the great recipes and sharp photography, Jamie's charm, zest for life, and pure appreciation of food shine through on every page.
Although I have known folks who cringe at Jamie's cavalier "handful of this, heap of that " style of measuring, I found that he has grown a little less ambiguous as time goes on and the recipes in this book reflect that growth and precision. Another small thing I found very helpful (as the wife of a vegan): the index of the book kindly flags vegetarian dishes, making it easy to sort quickly through options for restricted diets. Whether you're an old fan of Jamie's shows or a new convert, this is a great addition to any kitchen library.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By The Bee Bee VINE VOICE on November 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Sadly, I think a lot of people pass off Jamie Oliver as a goofball celeb chef and never give his cookbooks a fair try. I found his previous works to be a little silly, a little wordy and maybe overly cutesy, but Happy Days with the Naked Chef is a fine, clever cookbook with a pile of challenging, fun recipes.
The writing is a lot sharper and more focused this time and the recipes read more like traditional recipes. True, there are some bizarre Britishisms that you have to wade through, but I think Oliver did a much better job of internationalizing his chatty prose in order to clarify his thoughts. That effort is definitely appreciated when you get into the depths of a complex recipe like Beef with Morels and Marsala. If you're a fan of the show, you'll already have your own mental lexicon of Oliverisms to get you through. Non-viewers might need to visit his web site to uncover the meaning of some of the more extreme terms.
Regardless of whether you watch Oliver's Twist on a regular basis, this is a genuinely engaging book. It's a great read, and has enough really inventive recipes to keep you busy for a year's worth of Saturday nights. Highly recommended!
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In every way imaginable, this third Jamie Oliver cookbook proclaims that he has arrived as a celebrity chef, husband, father, and all around swell lad made good. His name on the cover is about three times the size of the book's title, `Happy Days with the Naked Chef', the book is dedicated to his two children, Little Henners and Jakey Bakey, and photos his nibs with his wife, Jools appear throughout the book. On top of all this, there is a much broader representation of international flavors in these recipes based on trips to the Orient, echoing the influence of Japan on the culinary thinking of Joel Robuchon.

At the risk of laying it on just a little too thick, I really believe Oliver shows the kind of passion about good food and cooking which I have seen in very few other TV culinary personalities. Stopping short of a comparison with Julia Child, as Saint Julia did say she couldn't quite understand him most of the time, I would compare his enthusiasm with that of Mario Batali and Jacques Pepin, although he does not have the depth of technique of Jaques or the extensive knowledge of local Italian cuisines as Mario.

Oliver does not simply dedicate to his children for schmaltz value as he devotes a sizable section of the book on the value and attitudes to use when cooking with your kids. These few pages alone are worth the price of the book. Emeril just published a whole book on techniques for cooking with your kids, and as good a job as he did in telling you how to do it, Jamie does a much better job of telling you why you do it and what benefits will arise from the effort.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Kasey M. Moctezuma on October 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
this is a really fun cookbook and there is something for everyone here. For those who like Jamie Oliver's first two books, this is more of the same nice stuff - good rustic recipes that are tasty and some of which are very fast and easy to make. The recipes are a mixture of Italian, British fare from Jamie's childhood days, and a mixture of a few other cuisines. What is nice about this book is that there is also a section about cooking with kids and getting kids interested in helping with food preparation and to make meals more interesting and interactive for them (and you!). Also, at the end there is a section of drinks as well, some alcoholic (like the sidecar) and some non-alcoholic (like mango lassi). All in all this is a really nice book and it will make you realize that making your own bread, soups, tarts, etc is not really hard, and is really rewarding and fun. And... as a wife who cooks every day, it has given me a lot of fresh ideas for new meals. check it out!
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