The Naked Chef Hardcover – Oct 11 2000
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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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Top Customer Reviews
Living in Norway I am used to make most of the food from scratch, and to bake most of the bread and cakes we eat. I also have inherited alot of recipes from my mother, my grandmothers, and (some of the best ones) from my father-in-law.
Of course I thought I knew everything there was to know about making tasty food in my kitchen:-) Then my husband got The Naked Chef for Christmas. I had seen a few of Jamie Olivers television programs and was interested in the book. And after having read a few pages I was hooked.
Jamie Oliver has a very simple, fresh way to cook. There is nothing difficult, no dishes with too much preparations (at least he tells us so). Still the food he is making is so good, so tasty, and looks so elegant. Take his bread recipes for instance. He starts with the same ingredients for all his different sorts of bread, then, "simsalabim", he does a little trick, and you have a totally different bread.
I celebrated my birthday as an Italian party the other night, and his Focaccias and Ciabattas are the most delicious ones I have tasted (exept from the fresh ones bought in Iatky of course).
I still have alot to try from his book, and look forward to great hours in my kitchen, in Jamie's company.
Britt Arnhild Lindland
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.
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!
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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.
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 morePublished on Feb. 26 2010 by J. Turrell
A very nice book, with lots of description and pictures of the finished item.
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 morePublished on July 8 2004 by W. Gross
I finally threw myself into really making something from this book on Valentine's day for my sweetheart. Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2004 by MTHand
when I first got this cookbook, I leafed through it, marveling at the gorgeous pictures, and laughing at his breezy tone. Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2003 by lovelymuse
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 morePublished on Jan. 19 2003 by Graymac
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