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The Naked Chef Takes Off [Paperback]

Jamie Oliver
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2005
In The Naked Chef Takes Off, Oliver returns to offer readers more easy and delicious stripped-down recipes. Oliver features mouthwatering breakfasts, tapas, roasts, fish, and desserts. Each recipe is accompanied by Oliver's commentary, which will encourage and inspire cooks of all levels! The Naked Chef Takes Off has sold more than 150,000 copies in hardcover in the U.S.

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Affable Essex boy Jamie Oliver continues the British culinary invasion with The Naked Chef Takes Off, the smashing follow-up to his bestselling The Naked Chef. For Oliver, the young Food Network import, food is all about "passing the potatoes around the table, ripping up some bread, licking my fingers, getting tipsy, and enjoying the company of good friends and family," and cooking up "what real people at home really want." The thing is, "real people" picking up cookbooks are often seeking easy-to-follow recipes. But that's not Oliver's bag. The layout of many of his recipes may frustrate traditional-cookbook readers--instructions often appear as one big chunk of conversational text with nary an ingredient or measurement in clear view--but that's part of the charm of Oliver's cookbooks. His commentary, tips, and cooking steps come across in a very approachable, colloquial style and leave plenty of room for individual flair or improvisation. Oliver's enthusiasm for cooking is infectious; the recipes and chapter introductions spill out like a best mate who just can't stop talking about food and how much fun--and simple--it can be to whip up these spectacular dishes.

Oliver kicks things off by stocking your pantry with best-quality ingredients, and he's an apostle for fresh herbs, raving on about growing and drying your own at home. "Morning Glory" is a chapter full of dishes like Midnight Pan-Cooked Breakfast (bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, sausages, and eggs brought together in the "biggest nonstick pan available" and sopped up with buttered toast--a rustic one-dish cure for any oncoming hangover). "Tapas, Munchies, and Snacks" brings Slow-Cooked and Stuffed Baby Cherry Chili Peppers to the table (when you're done snacking on the chilies, you're left with a jar of terrific flavored oil, perfect for salads or pasta). There's Squashed Cherry Tomato and Smashed Olive Salad, and a Fragrant Thai Broth, infused with lemongrass, ginger, and lime leaves. Once you've mastered his basic risotto recipe you can turn out Shrimp and Peas Risotto with Basil and Mint, and likewise his basic bread recipe is the foundation for Chocolate Twister Bread. "Easy peasy" dessert ideas like Strawberries Marinated in Balsamic Vinegar or Malted Milk Balls and Ice Cream (bash a big bag of Whoppers into bits and sprinkle over quality vanilla ice cream) are a refreshing end to any meal. Now, be a "right little tiger" and get cooking--Seared Scallops and Crispy Prosciutto with Roasted Tomatoes and Smashed White Beans and other fabulous dishes await. --Brad Thomas Parsons --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

The young, hip Londoner (The Naked Chef) again brings his big personality to bear on cuisine that isn't "cheffy food, it's for normal people who want shortcuts and tips...." However, normal people may be put off by instructions as vague as the "2 good handfuls of arugula, 1 small handful of capers and 1 handful of anchovies" specified in the Slow-Cooked and Stuffed Baby Cherry Chilli Peppers. Also, simple recipes such as Crunchy Thai Salad are presented in descriptive text alone; ingredient quantities are left unspecified. Yet Oliver wields an adventurous hand in combining flavors, as with Monkfish Wrapped in Banana Leaves with Ginger, Cilantro, Chilli and Coconut Milk. Playful ideas also abound, such as Squashed Cherry Tomato and Smashed Olive Salad, in which the tomatoes are squashed by hand. On a more sophisticated note, there's Seared Scallops and Crispy Prosciutto with Roasted Tomatoes and Smashed White Beans. Oliver's Basic Bread recipe is adaptable enough for Chocolate Twister Bread, Pizzas and Chickpea Moroccan Flatbread. Desserts include Two-Nuts Chocolate Torte with almonds and walnuts and CrŠme Br–l‚e The Way I Like It, which is only an inch thick with a thin layer of crisp caramel. Venting his youthful spirits, he even tells how to spike a watermelon with vodka to intoxicate your "mates." Agent, Borra Garson. (Sept.)Forecast: Already a popular Food Network host, Oliver airs new episodes this year in conjunction with the book. Naked Chef has 100,000 copies in print, and for its sequel, Hyperion plans a $100,000 marketing campaign, including a five-city tour and confirmed appearances on Rosie O'Donnell, Late Night with David Letterman and Entertainment Tonight. Last year, the author made People's "Sexiest Man Alive" list. Sales should be brisk.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Get the first one, but.... March 27 2002
Ths book is OK, but no where near the quality or usefulness of the first. So, look it over in the store before spending the $$
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5.0 out of 5 stars Number 1 Jan. 7 2004
This guy will convince you that you can do any recipe you want, He inspires you to cook. I've never done one of his recipes with the same ingrediants twice and rarely fully follow his own seasonings but he gives a great base to start with and experiment.
Alot of other chef's dont like him but what can you say when the people who eat his recipes love it. all five books are worth buying
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative Chef and Fantastic Food Sept. 13 2003
I watched Oliver's very first TV program in England and admit that I was going to be very critical (I was working as a Chef at the time with my own restaurant). When the half hour show ended I was enchanted with the young man and his approach to food and life. I never missed another show all the time I remained living and working in England. I have all three of his books and they are all great. He is so enthuiasitc about food that you can't help but be caught up in the joy of cooking and sharing your efforts. Since his success he has helped and encouraged and acted as a mentor to many young people who are interested in entering into the world of catering/food service.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome March 19 2003
By A Customer
I've never written a review for any book before, but I had to for this one. I've had the best food of my life from the recipes in this book.
For example, I bought this book about 3 months ago, I eat pasta daily (literally) and for the past 3 months *every day* I've used Jamie's sauce on my pasta. Before that I used about 30 different store-bought flavors. The amazing part is how simple *and healthy* it is: Plum tomatoes, olives, olive oil, salt, and pepper - that's *it*. Cooked properly, it's perfect.
I also made a shrimp dish that was awesome. Forgot what it was called but it was some kind of crispy shrimp.
I hope he writes 100 more books.
His show can inspire the heck out of you too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yum! Feb. 5 2003
Wonderful every-day ingredients elevated to new heights. Who knew simple foods could be, well, so simple! And so delicious! Even a vegetarian (like myself) can use most of the recipes, by either omitting meat all together or substituting it with soy-based products. I have to give Jamie major props for promoting organic foods!
Besides this being an excellent cookbook, it's an excellent read. The writing style is sharp, witty, conversational and warm. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Book for all cooks Jan. 3 2003
I've been a big fan of the FoodTV since I got cable and I've always been extremely impressed with Oliver's approach to "raw" cooking. He's innovative methods of using fresh ingredients make the his dishes just a little different than others. I found myself anxiously flipping through the pages when I first got it as a present. The colorful pages and the exotic but simple ingredients in his receipes made me drool. The boldness of his cooking as well as his creativity are very displayed. I was a little sad about not having outdoor markets such as ones in London available in my area. But non the less, he cleverly expressed the message of cooking "naked" in this book. Afterall, developing your own style and being innovative is what makes cooking fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wish he'd cook for me Dec 12 2002
By A Customer
Jamie Oliver makes cooking fun. Reading the cookbook is as much fun as making the recipes, and he makes you feel like one of his mates! Wish he'd cook dinner for me sometime! The instructions are sometimes pretty basic, but this is good for beginner or intermediate cooks, since it makes you realize that you can improvise a little and the food will still turn out good -- it will just have more of your own personal touch.
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I'll admit I am biased. I love Jamie's approach to cooking and I rarely miss his shows on TV. "The Naked Chef" and "Oliver's Twist" show him in his own kitchen cooking for real friends. This book captures that spirit. He has a relaxed attitude in the kitchen, which to me should be the only one to have. This is after all supposed to be fun. His recipes here are a continuation to the previous book (The Naked Chef) and so far I have not been dissapointed with any of them. Some which sound too simple to be interesting turn out to be fantastic crowd pleasers such as the tagliatelle with spicy sausage and wild mushrooms. His approach and ingredients usually tend toward Italian--it's no secret that this is his favorite style--but there are plenty of other influences from Indian to Asian to just plain hearty pub food. There are some great roasts and some fantastic seafood ideas here as well as some really nice bread recipes. If you want an easy to follow, unpretensious cookbook that is just as much fun to read as it is to use, get this book.
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