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Happy Days With the Naked Chef Paperback – January 12, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (January 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141003405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141003405
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,956,050 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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
I love to cook and eat, and can make very complex things that take a couple of days or longer to put together, but I also have a small child and a lot of other things to do, and I love this guy's food!! Getting an excellent dinner on the table without too much effort (or even extreme expense) is his whole focus.
I have gotten more useful ideas from him on making fast heavenly healthy dishes with not too many ingredients. His food is heavy on fresh ingredients, olive oil, and fresh herbs. If you love to cook fine food and want more quick food ideas, or if you have no clue how to cook and want to start, this is a wonderful book.
The first two recipes I tried from this (a roast of lamb, and a beef stew, both with plenty of vegetables) were simple to understand and prepare, had longer cooking times than prep times, and were the best recipes of their kind that I had ever tried, and I have a very large and very good cookbook collection! I look forward to cooking my way through the rest of it.
I also love the pictures - usually a book with such beautiful food photography has turned out to either have mediocre or ridiculously complicated recipes! Neither is the case here. I must also say that the dishes I turned out looked wonderful as well as tasting wonderful, with no special effort on my part.
I also have to praise him for his ongoing support and promotion of organic meat and vegetables!
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