The Naked Chef

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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. ...

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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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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Bookseller's Report
England's "Naked Chef," Jamie Oliver, didn't earn his sobriquet baring the family jewels. He became England's food sensation by slicing recipes down to size, insisting "strip it bare, then make it work." With 120 cut-the-fuss, back-to-basic recipes, this former chef at London's prestigious river Cafe teaches us that good cooking can be quick, tasty, and unpretentious.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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 chapters--herbs and spices, soups, salads and dressings, pasta, seafood, meats, vegetables, legumes, risotto and couscous, bread, desserts--with a concluding section on stocks and sauces. Oliver's suggested list of ingredient staples--English mustard, durum semolina, couscous, sea salt, soy sauce and capers, among others--reflects 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 plate--the 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. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
No, Oliver--who looks more like a 16-year-old soccer player than a well-known chef with a best-selling cookbook (in England) and a BBC series to his credit--is not naked; it's his recipes that have been stripped down to the basics and then adapted into a "repertoire of simple, delicious, and feisty" dishes, as he puts it. Writing in a casual, conversational style, Oliver, currently at London's acclaimed River Caf , comes across as as unpretentious and appealing as his recipes, from Ravioli of Smashed Fava Beans, Mint, and Ricotta to Asparagus with Any Interesting Melting Cheese to Fast-Roasted Cod with Parsley, Oregano, Chile, and Lime. There are mouthwatering color photographs of many of the dishes, and interesting kitchen observations are scattered throughout. Unusual but thoroughly engaging, this is strongly recommended. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Women love guys who can cook. Which explains why Jamie Oliver is as big in the UK as Oasis's Gallagher brothers...In other words, he is everything we-and our gourmet-loving girlfriends-wish we were.
Oliver looks like Mick Jagger but keeps his apron on; it's the chow that's naked...Oliver's natural charm shines even brighter than the glossy pictures
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786866175
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 10/11/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 585,900
  • Product dimensions: 7.75 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.00 (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, and 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 thirty-three and lives in London with his wife Jools and their daughters, Poppy and Daisy.


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

Table of Contents

Introduction ... 3
First Move ... 7
Herbs and Spices ... 11
Soups ... 14
Salads and Dressings ... 28
Pasta ... 44
Fish and Shellfish ... 82
Meat, Poultry and Game ... 106
Vegetables ... 134
Legumes ... 156
Risotto and Couscous ... 168
Bread ... 182
Desserts ... 196
Stocks, Sauces, Bits, Bobs, This, That and the Other ... 222
Index ... 240
Thanks ... 248
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Recipes from The Naked Chef
Fresh Tomato and Sweet Chilli Pepper Soup with Smashed Basil and Olive Oil

I like this soup hot, but it can be served cold in summer. It looks nice, and the flavors work well together but still remain individual in taste. It goes well with a toasted sandwich of mozzarella, or some other creamy cheese, for lunch.

Serves 6

15 ripe plum tomatoes
3 medium red bell peppers
approximately 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh seeded red chilli
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 good handfuls of fresh basil leaves

Score the tops of the tomatoes, blanch in boiling water for about 20 seconds, or until you can remove the skins and seed. Grill the peppers whole (to achieve a really sweet pepper taste they should be grilled until black), rest in a covered bowl, then peel and finely chop them.

Put the chopped peppers in a warmed, thick-bottomed pan with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and the chopped red chilli. Add a pinch of salt and cook slowly for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then add the roughly chopped tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes with another pinch of salt and the red wine vinegar so that they sort of melt and infuse themselves together. Add the stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.

In a mortar and pestle (or a food processor) smash the basil to a pulp with a pinch of salt. Stir the remaining olive oil and a drop more red wine vinegar. Drizzle the mixture generously over your soup.

Pappardelle with Mixed Wild Mushrooms

These days there seems to be more and more of a choice of wild mushrooms in the supermarkets. They are not always stored and displayed as I think they should be -- I don't like sweaty mushrooms in plastic containers -- but I'm sure things will get better. Even as a chef I am surprised to see chanterelles and black trumpets popping up throughout the year as well as the more predictable cremini, shiitake, morel, button and oyster mushrooms -- there is a lot of choice. If you're a vegetarian, mushrooms can be a very interesting, fulfilling, gutsy, even meaty part of your diet.

Serves 4

9-11 oz mushrooms (I would probably buy around 14 oz of mushrooms, as you have to trim a bit off)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1-2 small dried red chillies, pounded or very finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 lb pappardelle
A small handful of grated Parmesan cheese
1 handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 oz unsalted butter

Brush off any dirt from the mushrooms with a pastry brush or a dish towel. Slice the mushrooms thinly, but tear girolles, chanterelles, and blewits in half. Put the olive oil in a very hot frying pan and add the mushrooms. Let them fry fast, tossing once or twice, then add the garlic and chilli with a pinch of salt (it is very important to season mushrooms lightly, as a little really brings out the flavor). Continue to fry fast for 4-5 minutes, tossing regularly. Then turn the heat off and squeeze in the lemon juice. Toss and season to taste.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Add to the mushrooms, with the Parmesan, parsley and butter. Toss gently, coating the pasta with the mushrooms and their flavor. Serve, scraping out all of the last bits of mushroom from the pan, and sprinkle with a little extra parsley and Parmesan.

Pot-roasted Guinea Fowl with Sage, Celery, and Blood Orange

This is a gorgeous recipe. The guinea fowl is cooked slowly in a pot, so it combines braising and roasting. The richness of the butter, used to baste the birds, with sage and garlic, works superbly with the guinea fowl. The fresh and fragrant flavors of the orange, thyme, and celery, used to stuff the guinea fowl, steam in the cavity, infusing their flavor into the breast meat. The stuffing is also great as a chunky and tasty addition to your gravy (see below).

Serves 4-6

Two 2-2 1/2 lb guinea fowl
8 blood oranges
1 whole stalk of celery
1 small handful of fresh thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, whole and unpeeled
6 tablespoons butter
10 sage leaves
1 1/2 cups fruity dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove any excess fat from the cavity of each guinea fowl. Wash thoroughly inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the cavity with a little salt. Cut off the two ends of the oranges, stand them on end and carefully slice off the skin (once you have removed one piece of skin you can see where the flesh meets the skin). Slice the oranges into five or six rounds each. Remove the tougher outside ribs of the celery until you reach the white, dense bulb and slice across thinly. Put in a bowl, mix in the thyme and a small pinch of salt and pepper, then stuff the cavity of each guinea fowl with this filling. Pull the skin at the front of each guinea fowl's cavity forward, to cover the filling, and tightly tie/truss up.

Heat a thick-bottomed pan and add the olive oil and the guinea fowl, the skin of which had been rubbed in sea salt and pepper. Cook until lightly golden on all sides, then add the garlic, butter and sage and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Add the wine at intervals, enough to keep the pan slightly moist at all times. Place in the oven for 45 minutes, checking every 10-15 minutes and just topping up the wine as necessary. The guinea fowl will be roasted and partially steamed.

When cooked, carefully remove from the oven and place upside down on a dish, allowing all the juices and moisture to relax back into the breast meat for at least 5 minutes. While your meat is resting, make the gravy.


Remove all the fat from the roasting pan and place the pan on a gentle heat. In the bottom of the pan will be your cooked, soft, sweet, whole garlic cloves and some gorgeous sticky stuff -- when this gets hot, scoop out the stuffing from the guinea fowl cavity and add to the pan with about 2/3 cup of wine. As the wine boils and steams, scrape all the goodness with a spoon from the bottom of the pan into the liquor. When it has all dissolved, leave to simmer gently. Squash the cooked garlic out of the skins with a spoon (discard the skins); this will also thicken the gravy slightly, as well as give it flavor. Pour any of the juices that have drained out of the rested birds into the pan with the gravy, simmer and season to taste. Serve the guinea fowl with roast potatoes and any simply cooked green vegetable -- spinach, kale, bok choy or broccoli.

Recipes from The Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver. Copyright © 2000 by Optomen Television and Jamie Oliver.

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Customer Reviews

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( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2002

    Extraordinary and Fun!

    How often do you get a cookbook that is a kick to read! The recipies work well, and use ingredients that are easy to find.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2002

    Warning: Huge Recipe Errors!!

    Reviewer: Sarah Ehlinger from Los Angeles, CA United States I think Jamie is a creative chef who uses ingredients we all love in simple, interesting ways. However...anyone thinking of buying this book should be aware that it contains HUGE MISTAKES. I don't know if they are misprints or if Jamie never actually checked the recipies, but there are big problems. The steamed chocolate pudding, for example, tastes absolutely horrible -- like salt and flour -- because he calls for 1 1/2 cups of self-rising flour, which has a lot of baking soda in it. The Mediterranean fish in a tin foil pouch needs too cook for 20 minutes, not 10, and once you've opened the foil after 10 minutes you've ruined the whole thing. Basically, I'm very irritated that no one bothered to make sure the recipies actually work. Cookbooks should have no misprints at all -- it's NOT okay to call for a cup of powdered sugar when you really mean a teaspoon (in the chocolate sauce recipe). Annoying!!! Can ruin your night!!!! Beware!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2001

    A really, really wonderful cookbook

    This book is very nice to look at and is very well laid out, but most importantly, the recipes are great. Jamie Oliver delivers simple, beautiful, and most importantly invigorating recipes without the slightest edge of pretense. The list of staples is fantastic, and I love the Spinach, Feta, and Fresh Pea salad. This and Mario Batali's 'Simple Italian Food' may be the only two cookbooks I'll ever need!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2001

    The best cook book EVER!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think Jamie Oliver is the smartest cook ever! He has inspired this teen to cook and try new things. This is my second Bible! (No lie!The pages have stains all over it, I buying a new copy)I've gotten all my friends the book and now we are using the recipes in my freshman home ec. class. They are that easy! And my whole family watches the show like it's a drug and if we don't have it we might go insain! The man is great and a genius in his own field. Plus, he's not bad on the eyes! ;)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2001

    EE recipes- Elegant and Easy

    I haven't watched the show. A friend had this cookbook and I took a peek. The recipes use readily available ingredients (particularly if you have an herb garden). They are elegant, yet easily executed. I strongly recommend this cookbook for both novices and experienced cooks.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2000

    JAMIE IS HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i don't care what he cooks. He's as hot as the food! and i'm sure the book is great

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2000


    I personally have not read the book, but watch religiously on TV each week awaiting the next exciting recipie. I am particularly looking for the pork chop recipie shown in Brisbane Aust. last week, am I able to find it anywhere. Jamie, you are by far the best

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2000


    I will admit that I did not watch Jamie Oliver on tv before last month because I was put off by the title of his show, The Naked Chef. I thought, oh no, not another up close and personal selling tool. But I was surfing the channels, as one does, and did not realise what I was intently watching. Jamie has a way of putting over the art of cooking so that anyone can do it. On his TV programmes he makes it light and fun,yet action packed. He slides down the bannister of his upper apartment and shoots hoops before opening his front door! Cool! After his very clever deliveries, and you really want to run out and duplicate the experience. He is young, lively and believable. Even an oldie like me can relate and I love him. How could I have survived without him this far? Why aren't his programmes in America yet??

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2000

    a great book for all

    This is a great book for people who know how to cook and people who dont. I like cooking and I thought I could do with learning a couple of new so I bought this book. If you like his T.V program then you will enjoy this book I know I do. A great book for all ages and all standrds of cooks

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