He’s published books on Italian and American cooking; showed us his potting shed and pet gardener; tried to make school dinners nutritious and given us the confidence to attempt full-scale family meals in 15 minutes. Now Jamie Oliver has his sights set on teaching us how to cook well for less. This summer, Oliver will publish Save With Jamie: Shop Smart, Cook Clever, Waste Less with a tie-in television series on Channel 4.
It’s a brave move. Jamie Oliver in crusading mode can be a bit rich for some people’s palates – remember the beefy mums posting lunch-time burgers to their little darlings through school railings? Not to mention the Los Angeles Unified School District refusing to let Oliver film on their premises – but I think if anyone can teach us how to think differently about how we cook, it’s Jamie.
He’s certainly done it in my household. His shows seeped into my husband’s consciousness and his books have crept on to our bookshelves. Now, the majority of our home-cooked meals (all cooked by my husband. Thanks, Jamie!) come from one of Oliver’s books. While traditionalists (my mum) might hate his slang, his obsession with putting everything on a wooden board, his liberal hand with the chillis and his general attempts to make us all eat better, I love it all.
I’ll even give him a tip for his new book: if you stop suggesting everyone cover their dishes in extra virgin olive oil before they serve up, we’ll probably all save about £15 a week.