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What I Love about Jamie Oliver's Recipes - Easy - Doable - Affordable!
Simple - Fresh - Satisfying - Delicious.
Jamie's Recipes Are Doable?
Have you ever been out for dinner and picked up the menu and you've sat there gob smacked by the description of the food they have to offer... and I don't mean the actual food I mean the way it is described! And you sit there trying not to look like a total idiot because you can't decipher what in goodness name it is you are reading. Or like me a number of times pulling out my mobile under the table and googling (thank God for google) the meaning of some of the word descriptions so that I can at least sound like I know what I want and make an intelligent order. Honestly these days if we go out spontaneously for dinner and I haven't pre booked a table or looked at the menu beforehand and the menu is convoluted I have no problem with apologizing and walking out and finding somewhere with a simpler menu I can identify with.
I just have to say here that I have had my share of fine dining experiences, have eaten in different cities around the world including two of Jamie Olivers London restaurants and am a lover of good food and the way it is sourced and prepared and am familiar with complex menus but...
Give me chef's like Jamie any day with his passion and love of food and his easy, simple way that he prepares it so that it permeates the culinary experience making it so richly rewarding and satisfying.
That said, let's look at what makes Jamie so special.
Where the Fifteen Restaurant idea originated
In the early 90's Jamie was troubled by the high levels of youth unemployment numbers, particularly youth who had been kicked out of school or left early due to difficulties at home and needed a fresh start in life. Buoyed with an idea of using the 'magic' of food to help inspire a generation of kids that had missed out on the vital skills of cooking a meal, Jamie began the his Restaurant challenge with fifteen carefully selected young people and opened Fifteen London which donates all of it's profits back into the apprentice scheme. With his belief that young people have 'Untapped talent' that was often hindered by troubled lives and that given the opportunity they could rise above their difficulties and develop a passion for life, hard work and a love for good food the idea of creating a restaurant where young people were trained as chef's to appreciate food; from growing, to cooking, to serving it was born. For Jamie hard work and effort paid off over a ten year period as he developed an apprenticeship program and saw many young people given the chance for a better future.
From Pantry to Table in 30 Minutes
I want to encourage you, if you haven't already bought his book to try Jamie's 'Thirty Minute Meals' they are so doable.
I don't even no if doable is a correct word but when I think of making a meal I want and need it to be doable. And by that I mean that when I read a recipe I can:
- Understand what I'm reading. - The ingredients and method terminology need to be clear.
- Identify the ingredients. - I don't want to or have time to get out a food dictionary or Thesaurus to interpret the items that I need to make a meal for my family or friends.
Access the ingredients - For me the ingredients have to be easy to obtain locally and the produce fresh and seasonal.
- Afford the ingredients - The influx of cooking shows on our screens over recent years has increased our knowledge of foods and ingredients as well as increased our technique and abilities to prepare and cook meals. Buying expensive ingredients for a special dish is a delight but on a day to day basis, if cooking for a family, most often budgets are tight and food staples come before gourmet ingredients. Good food doesn't have to break the budget.
Jamie Oliver is without doubt an intuitive, creative and conscientious cook and is an inspiration to many millions of people world wide, not just for his love of food but for his work ethic and generous spirit.
If you are planning a trip to London a visit to either Fifteen at 15 Westland Place London or Jamie's Italian at 11 Upper St Martin's Lane Covent Garden where some of his more rustic dishes are served, is well worth the effort as the food and the experience is enchanting.
Directions for both restaurants and more information including a map, nearest tube stations, phone numbers, and menus are found online at www.jamieoliver.com.