From Publishers Weekly
Oliver, television's Naked Chef
, may have been born in Southend-on-Sea, but he turns out to have an Italian soul in this collection of recipes from all over the Boot. As an outsider, Oliver has great reverence for the traditions of Italy, and he offers some surprisingly deep insight about how a lack of choice and a massive working-class population have kept those traditions alive. This is no sugar-coated fairy tale, however: Oliver doesn't hesitate to get down-and-dirty, as in a description of Palermo street food served by hand from a "chain-smoking, dirty-looking bloke," and he cogently explains why he insisted on including a "graphic and gruesome" photo of a slaughtered sheep. Indeed, Oliver enthusiastically encourages British and American readers to familiarize themselves with foods less common in their home countries such as rabbit. Nonna Giusy's Fish with Couscous reflects the African influences of Sicily, and Altamura Pea Soup with fresh peas and broken spaghetti perfectly represents the Italian genius for making something out of almost-nothing. Desserts include a simple Pear Sorbet with grappa. Candid photos such as one of Oliver's mentor's father, a 96-year-old who cooks for himself every day reinforce the personal feel of this collection, and the impression that Oliver has a deep affinity for Italian food, no matter his British roots. (Nov.)
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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, 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.