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The Naked Chef [Hardcover]

Jamie Oliver
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 47.00
Price: CDN$ 29.47 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Oct. 11 2000
Naked--It's not him, it's the food! Jamie Oliver, a.k.a. the Naked Chef, is England's #1 bestselling food sensation, a charismatic, streetwise culinary wonder boy whose personality is as fresh and unpretentious as his cooking. In this extraordinary cookbook, Jamie takes all of the trade secrets he has accumulated since he started cooking at age eight and distills them into a refreshingly simple style that really works for people who are passionate about food, but dont always have a lot of time, money, or space. Jamie has applied his strip it bare then make it work principle to all his meals--from salads to roasts, desserts to pastas--and has created a foolproof repertoire of simple, feisty, and delicious recipes that combine bold flavours with fresh ingredients. With more than 120 fuss-free recipes, The Naked Chef, a sumptuous feast for the eyes as well as the stomach, is modern cooking at its best.

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From Amazon

There are a few British television chefs, such as Delia Smith and Nigel Slater, who know exactly what viewers want. They cook food that is simple to prepare but looks and tastes delicious. That's probably the reason why the BBC appointed Jamie Oliver as the presenter of its series The Naked Chef (which airs on the Television Food Network in the U.S.). A working chef at London's celebrated River Café, Oliver cooks simpler versions of the fare you would find on the restaurant's menu. It's basically modern Italian food using ingredients that can be found by almost anyone who is reasonably interested in food shopping. Like the television show, the book is titled The Naked Chef. In Oliver's words, this sums up the idea: "It's basically stripping back to the bare essentials." He applies this to all his recipes--from salads to roasts, desserts to pastas. He doesn't use culinary jargon or time-consuming processes. In the book you'll find suggestions for ingredients to keep in your larder (pantry) and herbs to grow on your windowsill. Recipes include Warm Salad of Radicchio; Gem and Pancetta; and Beetroot Tagliatelle with Pesto, Mussels, and White Wine. There are also tips on how to cook live lobsters, how to make gravy, preparing dry beans for cooking, and how to make the perfect roast chicken. Several photographs accompany some of the recipes, with step-by-step instructions. Oliver's recipes for bread are particularly good--a tribute to his training at Carluccio's, the Covent Garden deli. This is the perfect book for anyone who doesn't want to spend much more than a half-hour preparing meals and is not willing to compromise on innovation or taste. --Dale Kneen, Amazon.co.uk

From Publishers Weekly

With charming finesse, 24-year-old British chef and BBC television cooking show host Oliver argues a convincing case for "getting naked" in the kitchen. His home-cooking philosophy advocates "stripping down those [restaurant] recipes to something quite basic, and adapting them to what I had in cupboard, pantry, refrigerator or garden." The 120 recipes are organized into 12 chaptersDherbs and spices, soups, salads and dressings, pasta, seafood, meats, vegetables, legumes, risotto and couscous, bread, dessertsDwith a concluding section on stocks and sauces. Oliver's suggested list of ingredient staplesDEnglish mustard, durum semolina, couscous, sea salt, soy sauce and capers, among othersDreflects today's global pantry. His culinary approach synthesizes top-quality, fresh ingredients with fundamental culinary concepts (e.g., composed salads, soups from stock) upon which readers can build. Oliver dispenses helpful tips and advice with boyish enthusiasm: "the perfect risotto should slowly ooze across the plateDthe fact that it isn't moving tells you that it's too dry. Yuck!" Succinct, user-friendly recipes range from traditional English home-cooking favorites, like Pot-roasted Rabbit with Rosemary, Thyme, Sage and Lemon, to international comfort foods, such as Fragrant Green Chicken Curry. A stellar pasta chapter showcases photogenic renditions of Beet Tagliatelle with Pesto, Mussels and White Wine, and Ravioli of Borage, Stinging Nettles, Marjoram and Fresh Ricotta. This is functional home cooking at its grooviest: Oliver delivers a hip classic that will appeal to a new generation of modern epicureans who face the challenge of cooking within the confines of tiny urban kitchens on time-pressed schedules.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Eye-catching title, simple food April 4 2003
Format:Hardcover
Jamie Oliver's first book based on his television series (no, the title does not refer to the chef but instead to his philosophy) is a fine entry in the cookbook market for those who prefer their meals on the plain but flavorful side. Oliver excels in simplicity. His stripped down recipes are easy to follow and don't require a lot of imagination to guess how they will taste. For example, his six recipes for salad dressings fit on two pages; the recipe titles describe exactly what one gets. While Oliver supplies a few recipes that I'll never try (Ravioli of Borage, Stinging Nettles, Marjoram, and Fresh Ricotta) and a few gourmet dishes (Spicy Squash, Basil, and Ricotta Tortellini with Crispy Herbs), most dishes will be familiar to those who dine out at mid-priced restaurants. The emphasis is heavily, though not exclusively, on pasta and Italian flavors. (For ambitious cooks, Oliver supplies clear instructions on how to made pasta at home.) Meat recipes are often plain, without sauces or exotic ingredients; you'll find roast chicken, slow-cooked lamb shanks, and pork chops with thyme, lemon, and pesto. The fish and seafood dishes tend to use off-beat (for Americans) ingredients such as sardines, whole trout, and skate wings, although pan-seared tuna, a staple in restaurants nowadays, makes an appearance. Desserts are uninspired.
The strength of this cookbook is the no-nonsense style and the color plates that accompany the recipes. I recommend this for beginning cooks and those who have simple tastes and are looking for something new. Gourmet cooks, particularly those with a lot of cookbooks, are likely to find themselves bored with the selections.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs a Little Dressing Up June 20 2001
By Prowler
Format:Hardcover
While the book is a great companion to Oliver's entertaining TV cooking show, the recipes themselves could use a little work. Either he hasn't described the process clearly enough, or the recipes aren't fully formed. A perfect example is the simple roasted chicken. First, you have to figure out exactly what he's asking you to do. Once you get the fresh herbs stuffed into the chicken and pop it into the oven, you're tantalized by the incredible smell. But when the chicken comes out, the flavor is disappointing and even unappealing. Some of the herbs he suggests using leave a nasty, bitter taste. Others simply leave no taste.
The recipes in the book give the experienced cook some interesting starting points to jump from, but I think the mixed results might leave a more inexperienced cook discouraged.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to Re-create These Tasteful Recipes! April 5 2001
Format:Hardcover
I enjoy watching Jamie Oliver's cooking show, The Naked Chef, on the Food Network so I decided to purchase his cookbook and try the recipes myself.
If you are like me and enjoy reading cookbooks as well as trying the recipes out, this book is for you! It is an interesting and easy read with great pictures. This young man is very personable in his writing style.
I cooked for a party of 6 the Spicy Squash, Basil and Ricotta Tortellini with Spicy Herbs (pg 75) and got rave reviews from my friends. I love fresh pasta and the flavors were subtle yet surprisingly refreshing. I am looking forward to trying other of his pasta recipes.
I am baking the Baked Chocolate Tart and making his Semi-freddo this coming weekend for a dinner party where I have been asked to bring desert. I can't wait to try and taste these two deserts.
I am also looking forward to trying his soups plus the fish and shellfish recipes in the cookbook.
I recommend this cookbook, The Naked Chef. It is well worth the money to try these new and exciting recipes.
Thanks Jamie for your creativity with food and love for cooking!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tasty Recipes, But Not What I Usually Cook April 1 2002
Format:Hardcover
I bought this book after discovering the television show and reading the enthusiastic reviews. The recipes taste great and leave your kitchen smelling heavenly. The instructions are clear, although occasionally, Jamie neglects to define specific terms such as "sweating" vegetables, and often uses imprecise measurements (i.e. "handfuls"). Being petite, my hand almost certainly holds less than his, but this is a minor point. If you don't use fresh herbs already, Jamie will quickly convert you.
Jamie states at one point that the book represents what he likes to cook. Unfortunately, the recipes do not reflect what I like to cook, and given a second chance, I would not buy this book again. The following information is not meant as criticism, but as a guide to help you determine if these recipes are for you.
You will find few stews, casseroles, or meats cooked in a sauce in this collection. Most of the meats are roasted with herbs, and three-quarters of the dishes use red meat (mostly lamb). The seafood section, while offering a variety of fish, contains only two shellfish recipes. The pasta section emphasizes fresh, homemade noodles with light sauces or filled pastas such as ravioli and tortellini. You will not find any recipes for lasagna, cannelloni, or other baked dishes. The grain chapter consists only of risottos and couscous, and the legume section mostly of seasoned beans or lentils meant as side dishes. The desserts consist primarily of steamed puddings, tarts, and an ice cream-like concoction called semifreddo. Alas, no cookies or cakes!
Some of these dishes are too time-consuming or fattening for me to make on a regular basis, despite their deliciousness. Others are simply not what I prefer to eat--I'll take Coq au Vin over herb-roasted chicken any day. Decide for yourself if this book offers the kind of recipes you want.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars First book, yet so lovely
Great recipes, he hasn't gone crazy with the organic stuff etc. yet
really good basics and interesting suggestions. From a while ago but recipes hold up.
Published 9 months ago by Shoshana
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeff's Oliver Twist review
I truly enjoy this cook book! Jamie Oliver lays it down simply and honestly. This book is not just a book of recipes printed on a page with a picture. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2010 by J. Turrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Jamie Oliver, The Naked Chef
A very nice book, with lots of description and pictures of the finished item.

Lady JJ
Published on March 7 2009 by Ms. J. Harper
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that changed my life
Recently, a friend asked me if any books had changed my life in the past year or so. I thought for awhile, and responded, "Why, yes, I guess you could say 'The Naked Chef' has... Read more
Published on July 8 2004 by W. Gross
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff!
As a complete beginner, I was totally amazed by the clarity of this book. Jamie takes sophisticated tasting dishes and strips them down to the bare essentials, I couldn't believe... Read more
Published on March 1 2004 by soul seeker
5.0 out of 5 stars What a dinner!
I finally threw myself into really making something from this book on Valentine's day for my sweetheart. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2004 by MTHand
4.0 out of 5 stars the recipes LOOK more complicated than they really are
when I first got this cookbook, I leafed through it, marveling at the gorgeous pictures, and laughing at his breezy tone. Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2003 by lovelymuse
4.0 out of 5 stars A sensible guide to eating well without fuss
Once you get past the self-hype and focus on the recipes, you'll find this is a good cookbook. Oliver aims to show you how to eat well without spending a day in the kitchen, and he... Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2003 by Graymac
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Coock Book For Beginners
This is a great book for newcomers to cooking:
1. It is written in an easy to understand syntax, no fancy words to describe different cooking techniques are used.
2. Read more
Published on Dec 14 2002 by palosverdesbeach
4.0 out of 5 stars the Naked Now..
Jamie Oliver is one of those Food tv staples that is both informative and entertaining and makes almost any dish look simple to do. Read more
Published on June 26 2002 by P. S. Rouse
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