Jamie's Italy

( 11 )

Overview

Bestselling author Jamie Oliver finally devotes an entire book to America's favorite cuisine—Italian!

Italy and its wonderful flavors have always had a major influence on Jamie Oliver's food and cooking. In Jamie's Italy, he travels this famously gastronomic country paying homage to the classic dishes of each region and searching for new ideas to bring home. The result is a sensational collection of Italian recipes, old and new, that will ...

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Overview

Bestselling author Jamie Oliver finally devotes an entire book to America's favorite cuisine—Italian!

Italy and its wonderful flavors have always had a major influence on Jamie Oliver's food and cooking. In Jamie's Italy, he travels this famously gastronomic country paying homage to the classic dishes of each region and searching for new ideas to bring home. The result is a sensational collection of Italian recipes, old and new, that will ensure that Italy's influence reaches us all.

Italy has inspired Jamie Oliver throughout his career. His ambition has always been to travel across the country on a quest to capture the very essence of Italian cooking—and to produce the best and simplest Italian cookbook for everybody anywhere to enjoy.

Jamie's Italy is the result of that journey—and it's a land of plenty. As well as providing more than 120 brand-new recipes for everything from risotto to roasts and spaghetti to stews, structured as traditional trattoria menus, Jamie takes you all over Italy to cook with and learn from the real masters of Italian cuisine: the locals. Far from the standard "lemons and olives" version of Italian cooking, Jamie's Italy is a cookbook by the people for the people. From Sicily to Tuscany, it's about the local fishermen, family bakers, and, of course, the "Mamas," sharing their recipes and the tips that have gone into their cooking for generations. But it's not only mouthwatering food that Jamie brings back home: it's also the spirit that makes cooking and eating absolutely central to family life, whichever part of Italy you're in.

Bursting with the warmth and hospitality of real family life, this is both a superbly accessible cookbook and a unique travelogue and diary, in which you'll find the authentic flavor of Italy and the people who live there. If you love quality food prepared with genuine passion—you'll never want to leave Jamie's Italy.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Who would have suspected that quintessential Cockney Jamie Oliver would take a shine to Italy? But perhaps we shouldn't be surprised; the Naked Chef's preference for fresh organic food and international culinary culture would make him ideally receptive to Italian gastronomic traditions. Jamie's Italy brims with tempting recipes from every region and a full bounty of good cheer. Oliver's love of unpretentious home cooking translates into a heartfelt appreciation of Italian family, country life, and folkways. A generous feast.
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.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Oliver, a.k.a. The Naked Chef, got his start at London's River Caf , known for its contemporary Italian cuisine, but he's only recently been able to travel extensively in Italy. His new book is his enthusiastic, personal introduction to the "real" Italy, and he presents more than 100 recipes, many of them inspired by people he met on his journey from gamekeepers and winemakers to caf owners and home cooks. Most of the recipes are for casual, rustic dishes: The Best Shrimp and Parsley Frittata, Nonna Giusy's Fish with Couscous, Fried Crispy Polenta with Rosemary and Salt. Some of Oliver's "discoveries" about Italian cooking will not be new to anyone familiar with other good books available on Italian regional cuisine, from Carol Field's In Nonna's Kitchen to Mario Batali's Molto Italiano, but Oliver's exuberant style and mouthwatering recipes have won him many fans. For most collections. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401301958
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 11/14/2006
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 251,599
  • Product dimensions: 7.62 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver 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.

Biography

Jamie Oliver was part of a culinary evolution -- one including Emeril Lagasse and Nigella Lawson -- away from the intimidation factor of predecessors such as Julia Child or even Martha Stewart and toward simply prepared but sophisticated food. His show The Naked Chef, and now Jamie Oliver’s London (seen Stateside on the Food Network), presented the English chef’s approach to “pukka” life, with an emphasis on ingredients and ease over technique and equipment. Like a kitchen dervish, Oliver seemingly slapped together gourmet meals for on-camera occasions ranging from a christening to a football-watching session -- all of it narrated in a dialect so British that the Food Channel site features a glossary of his oft-used terms (“pukka” being excellent, or first-rate).

Oliver’s informal tone makes cooking seem an act of will rather than skill, and his books present a vibe similar to his show. He prescribes techniques and ingredients almost offhandedly, mentioning his own preferences in such a way that leaves you free to discover alternatives but likelier to follow the master. In a cereal recipe from The Naked Chef Takes Off, Oliver writes, “At this point feel free to improvise, adding any other preferred dried nuts like raisins, sultanas or figs -- but personally I think my combination works pretty well. This will keep for a good couple of months very happily in your airtight container, but you'll have eaten it by then, I guarantee.”

Often, dishes in Oliver’s books consist of a few list-free paragraphs that seem more like concepts than recipes at first; but if you read, you’ll see that everything you need to know is right there. Measurements for Oliver often consist of “some,” “a handful,” “a squeeze.” Instructions often include directives such as “bash up,” “whizz up,” “scrunch,” and “smear.” With text like this, it’s easy to see how Oliver has gotten scores of novices -- particularly men -- into the kitchen.

It wasn’t surprising that Oliver became a media darling so quickly. His ebullience, photogenic looks, and youth made him the sort who could appeal to everyone from grandmas to regular blokes. His culinary skills, however, could not be questioned. Having started at age eight by helping in the kitchen of his parents’ pub/restaurant in Essex, he later attended Westminster Catering College and gained experience at kitchens in France and at London’s Neal Street Restaurant and the River Café. His presence in a documentary about the café led to several T.V. offers after it was shown, and The Naked Chef was born.

Cooks around the world couldn’t get enough of Jamie Oliver -- but by 2001, many in Britain had had their fill. Wrote one Guardian columnist, “Jamie Oliver is -- like the Lord himself -- all around us. He is available and on sale in every format, real and virtual. …It is getting hard to spend a day without seeing his face or hearing his voice.” Sensitive to the criticism, Oliver reportedly told the Observer, "I'm quite boring, I've been with the same girl for nine years, I work hard, everything I do is positive, so I couldn't see any reason why the press would aggro me. But then it did." The nay-saying seems to have died down a bit, as it’s become clear that the appetite for all things Oliver has not yet been sated.

Those who are looking for a certain amount of culinary consistency in a cookbook author might do well to look elsewhere. Oliver has often mentioned that he is continually sampling cultures and evolving his cooking style, still being in his 20s and all. His next book, Jamie’s Kitchen, he writes on his Web site, “is completely different to Naked Chef stuff.” This is good news, though, for cooks who aren’t afraid to experiment a bit. Oliver helps ease the bumps in the ride.

Good To Know

Oliver is opening a nonprofit restaurant in London that will also employ underprivileged kids in the kitchen, an endeavor he hopes to capture in a new T.V. show.

He has played the drums in a band called Scarlet Division since he was 13, and released a CD in the U.K. called Cookin’, which was a compilation of his favorite tunes to cook by.

Married to ex-model Juliette “Jools” Norton since 2000, Oliver had daughter Poppy Honey in March 2002 and has a second child on the way.

Oliver’s association with the grocery chain Sainsbury’s caused some headaches for the chef. The spots, which also featured Oliver cooking on his BBC-produced show, did not agree with the network’s code of ethics. One in particular, which featured Oliver speaking Cantonese and practicing Kung Fu, drew protests from some viewers who considered it racist. His deal with the BBC eventually soured over conflict with his Sainsbury’s commitment, and Oliver set up his own company, Fresh Productions, to handle his projects.

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    1. Hometown:
      London, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 27, 1975
    2. Place of Birth:
      Essex, England

Customer Reviews

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( 11 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2010

    just edible!

    This was easy to read good food when prepared always fresh I just love Jamie.He has a way of cooking and getting me to cook that makes me want to eat and eat better.Love,love,love it!You'll find it full of easy to use information and great visuals.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2006

    More than just a Great Cookbook

    Jamie¿s Italy is full of recipes that you will want to try and that you will grow to love. Jamie stresses the use of local as well as seasonal produce as the keys to an authentic dish. He also includes some great basic recipes for making pasta and cooked vegetables. Jamie¿s Italy is a wonderful place to be, I hope one day to travel off the beaten path and eat all those wonderful things from the source.

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    Posted May 28, 2010

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