The Naked Chef Takes Off

( 6 )


After hitting bestseller lists nationwide with The Naked Chef, the brilliant Jamie Oliver is back with a brand-spanking-new book to accompany a new season of shows on the Food Network.

There is no doubt that Jamie has captured the heart of the nation with his passion for simple, delicious, home-cooked food. His talent is huge, his style relaxed, and his recipes divine. If you think cooking is boring or time-consuming, or you haven't the confidence to chuck out those ready-made ...

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After hitting bestseller lists nationwide with The Naked Chef, the brilliant Jamie Oliver is back with a brand-spanking-new book to accompany a new season of shows on the Food Network.

There is no doubt that Jamie has captured the heart of the nation with his passion for simple, delicious, home-cooked food. His talent is huge, his style relaxed, and his recipes divine. If you think cooking is boring or time-consuming, or you haven't the confidence to chuck out those ready-made meals, let Jamie change all that for you. Here he returns to get you in the kitchen with his mouth-watering recipes and new favorite dishes -- from the most fantastic breakfasts, tapas, and bevvies, to robust roasts, pastas, and desserts to die for.

Filled with fresh ingredients, pukka recipes (all specially adapted for American home kitchens), and boundless enthusiasm, The Naked Chef Takes Off is definitely something not to be missed.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
According to the author, this sequel to the bestselling The Naked Chef is not the typical “Famous Chef Book.” Explains Jamie Oliver: "This book isn't about cheffy food, it's for normal people who want shortcuts and tips. At the end of the day, it's for everyone who is interested in cooking tasty, gutsy, simple, commonsense food and having a right good laugh at the same time." And any fan of his television show, The Naked Chef, will want to get it in a hurry.

Let's face it: Jamie Oliver is pretty irresistible. He's young, cute, a little bit scruffy, and talks that funny British talk -- Pukka! Wicked! Blimey! -- as he prepares food on the show for his mates before they go off on adventures.

Paring down recipes to the bare essentials and simplifying restaurant methods for home use (the approach that earned him the adjective "naked"), Jamie delivers plenty of tasty, simple dishes. You'll find many good things for breakfast, from bacon sandwiches (Bacon Sarnie My Stylie) to composed muesli (Pukkolla), plus a good section of appetizers, tapas, munchies, and salads, as well as main dishes and a handful of desserts. There's even a small section of bevvies (drinks), including Caipirinha and Watermelon Vodka.

The book is filled with gorgeous photos of both the food and the chef (Jamie on a motorcycle, Jamie in the kitchen). The only caveat is that lovers of ultra-precise recipes will be thrown by the occasional casual measurement (two glugs of oil, three handfuls of herbs). But I bet they're not watching the TV show, either. (Ginger Curwen)

. . . charm shines even brighter than the glossy pictures . . . recipes for dishes like paparadelle with mixed wild mushrooms are clearly written.
Mollie Katzen
Jamie Oliver is down-to-earth and contagiously passionate about food. In this competitive world of celebrity chefs, I truly believe he is the Next Big Thing.
Rolling Stone
Who's the hardest-working man in show business this year? We nominate 25-year-old British cook Jamie Oliver.
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 Cr?me 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, theauthor made People's "Sexiest Man Alive" list. Sales should be brisk. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
The title of Oliver's second book is apt indeed less than a year ago, the talented young British cook was unknown in this country. Now, however, with his own Food Network TV series and more than 100,000 copies of The Naked Chef in print, he's practically become a household name. ("Naked" refers to his style of cooking, "using the bare essentials of your larder and stripping down restaurant methods to the reality of home.") His new cookbook is, if anything, even more engaging than the first. It's not about "cheffy" food but simple but inspired recipes, presented with such charming enthusiasm that they are likely to lure even noncooks into the kitchen: Squashed Cherry Tomato and Smashed Olive Salad, Roasted Slashed Fillet of Sea Bass Stuffed with Herbs, and Chocolate Pots. Color photographs and a lively design further add to the book's appeal. Essential. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786867554
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/19/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 326,547
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver started cooking in his parents' pub at the age of eight. After three years at the prestigious Westminster Catering College, he worked at some of London's most famous restaurants, including the River Café. He currently hosts his own cooking show, The Naked Chef, on the Food Network. He lives in London with his wife.


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

Read an Excerpt


Monkfish Wrapped in Banana Leaves with Ginger, Cilantro, Chili, and Coconut Milk

You just can't go wrong with this combination of flavors.  It's open to all white fish, especially swordfish, cod, haddock, and monkfish.  Banana leaves are very easy to buy from Asian stores.  Get nice big ones to wrap your fish up in.  Failing banana leaves, you can use grapevine leaves which you can get in the supermarket — somewhat smaller, but no less tasty for that.  If you really can't get hold of any leaves then aluminum foil will do.

Serves 4

4 large banana leaves or grapevine leaves

a little olive oil

2 fresh chilies, red, green or both

2 stalks of lemongrass, outer leaves removed, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

2 good handfuls of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped juice and zest of 2 limes

2 tablespoons sesame seed oil

2 heaped tablespoons finely sliced fresh ginger

6-8 oz monkfish per person

14 oz can of coconut milk

4 rosemary sprigs or bay leaf stalks, to secure

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Lay out your banana leaves and rub them with olive oil.  Leaving aside your fish, coconut milk, and herbs, sprinkle a little bit of everything else on one end of each leaf.  Place your fish on top and then sprinkle what's left over them, except the rosemary or bay leaf sprigs.  Pour 5-6 tablespoons of coconut milk into each parcel before folding the leaf over the fish, bringing the sides in and spiking it with a rosemary sprig or bay leaf stalk to secure it.  This will look lovely and it's natural, but I have been knownto use a clothes pin or string to hold it all together.  It won't be a perfect seal but this allows it to breathe and steam, letting the flavors infuse.  So gutsy and tasty.  Put your parcels on a tray and bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

I serve the individual parcels on plates at the table and let my friends dissect them.  When opened, the fragrant steam wafts up and smells fantastic.  Serve with plain boiled rice to mop up the juices — that's all it has to be.  End of story, done, lovely.

Excerpted from The Naked Chef Takes Off by Jamie Oliver. Copyright © 2001 by Jamie Oliver. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 10
Make life easy 14
Potty about herbs 16
Morning glory 20
Tapas, munchies and snacks 36
Simple salads and dressings 52
Soups and broths 82
Pasta and risotto 94
Fish and shellfish 146
Meat, poultry and game 170
Vegetables 198
Bread 220
Desserts 238
Bevvies 262
Stocks, sauces, bits, bobs, this, that and the other 274
Index 279
Thanks, nice one, shout going out, cheers, respect 286
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Serves many mornings

Pukkolla is my name for this outrageously scrumptious concoction. It's one of the best things you can have for breakfast as it's got everything you need to kickstart your day. Basically it's a bastardized, personally composed muesli. The great thing about it is that you can adjust it to your own preference. It's very handy to have a large plastic airtight container to store your composed pukkolla in, so try and get hold of one.

Composing and preserving
8 large handfuls of organic rolled oats
2 large handfuls of ground bran
1 handful of chopped dried apricots
1 handful of chopped dried dates
1 handful of crumbled walnuts
1 handful of smashed or chopped almonds, hazelnuts or Brazil nuts

Add your oats and bran to your plastic container with the apricots and dates. Add the walnuts and your other chosen nuts (I usually bash them up in a dish towel). 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.

Making and knocking together
Milk to cover
1/2 crunchy apple per person, washed and unpeeled

I would definitely try to make this the night or day before you want to eat it, although it can be made at the time (but you won't get the smooth silky scrumptious texture the milk gives it overnight). I normally place double the amount of composed pukkolla cereal I need (i.e. four portions for two people) into a bowl. Doubling up like this gives you enough to eat for the next couple of days. Cover with milk, grate in around 1/2 an apple per person and stir immediately to keep the apple from discoloring. Place in the fridge.

Tucking in and eating
1/2 banana per person, peeled and sliced or mashed
Honey to taste

Remove the bowl from the fridge. You will find it has softened and thickened, so loosen with a little milk. Add your banana, sliced or mashed. You will find that a lot of natural sweetness has come out of the dried fruit, so add honey to taste. Serve in a bowl with a dollop of yogurt and some mixed fresh berries.

Roast Loin of Pork with Peaches
Serves 6

Pork, peaches, butter and thyme is one of the most luscious combinations I've ever had. You must try it.

One 7-rib loin of pork, preferably organic
1 bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked from stems and chopped
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 fresh peaches (or use 2 16-ounce cans in natural juice), halved and pitted

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Score the skin of your pork about 1/2 inch apart through the fat nearly to the meat. With a knife carefully part the meat from the rib. Scrunch your chopped thyme into the butter with the seasoning. Rub and distribute a little of the butter into the gap you have made between the ribs and the meat. Push in as many peaches as you can fit and pack the rest of the butter on top. To hug the meat and ribs together and hold the peaches in place, simply fasten some string around the pork loin in 3 or 4 places and tie firmly. Place in a roasting pan with any leftover peaches and other veg you wish to cook with it -- potatoes, parsnips, celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes are all good -- and cook for 50 minutes to 1 hour, allowing it to rest for 10 minutes before serving. I usually make a little bit of homemade gravy in the roasting pan after removing the pork and veg. The sticky, sweet goodness is great when boiled with a little water or wine and any extra juices from the pork. Tasty.

Orange and Polenta Biscuits
Makes around 25 biscuits

Extremely simple and slightly unusual cookie-type biscuits, with the polenta giving a fantastic crunch. Great with ice cream, chocolatey things or simply with a cup of coffee.

3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
9 oz. polenta
all-purpose flour
Zest of 2-3 oranges, finely chopped
2 large eggs

Rub the butter, sugar, polenta and flour together before mixing in the orange zest and the eggs. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for an hour, until slightly firm. Place a large square of wax paper on a baking sheet and spoon small teaspoons of the mixture in lines 2 inches apart. Bake in a preheated oven at 375° F for around 5-6 minutes until the outside edges of your biscuits are lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before eating.

Copyright © 2001 by Jamie Oliver.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2004

    Love it

    Love his shows -- Love the book! Great recipes. Very inspiring. Little of this, little of that. Even my kids loved the Fantastic Fish Pie. Check out the 'bevvies' chapter. Really terrific.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2001

    I own both books and love them!

    I had been watching his show on the food network and loved the way he just threw things into a pot and it always came up fabulous. I bought the first book and absolutely loved it, and then I bought his second one. There is no way you can screw up his recipes. (However, his ingredient expensive. Such as beef fillet, proshutto and exotic veggies.) But it is well worth it and the food always comes out great. I cooked for my boyfriend the beef fillet with porcini mushrooms wrapped in proshutto. Baked asparagus with baby tomatoes and olives. A spinach and pea salad with a lemon dressing. He was absolutely amazed at `how great a cook¿ I was.

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    Posted February 22, 2009

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    Posted October 27, 2009

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