Saturday, March 29, 2008

Jamie Oliver: Scratch Cooking

Jamie Oliver, the British television cooking-show chef, is starting a new series in which he plans to teach people how to cook from scratch.

"We spend over £2bn a year on ready meals, and that's not even counting junk food and takeaways," said Oliver. "Millions of people up and down the country are really busy, they're on tight budgets, and no one has bothered to teach them how to cook. It's no wonder that the last thing they want to do at the end of the day is cook a meal from scratch."

He's taking his inspiration from the British government's hugely successful propaganda campaigns during World War II, which included the Ministry of Agriculture's Dig for Victory, a series of posters advocating planting home gardens, and the Ministry of Food's The Kitchen Front, a series of BBC radio shorts which through vignettes of life with the Buggins family instructed housewives in how to feed their families well despite food rationing.

"I hope that once people see how quick, cheap and easy - as well as rewarding - it can be to prepare good food for you and your family, the ready meals and takeaways will be straight in the bin."

Here at Cincinnati Locavore we're big fans of cooking from scratch, and not only because it's literally the only way to manage eating locally. Scratch cooking means knowing your ingredients and being able to pronounce them! So we'd love to see this series. Unfortunately the intense focus on the UK will probably keep it from crossing the pond, same as his Jamie's School Dinners series. Guess we'll have to wait for the DVD!


vudutu said...

Who said the Brits can't cook? We love Jamie, we record it every Sat morning as we are usually at market. We want to try the pea stew he did yesterday. We had a killer carrot salad we got from him last night. My SO is lusting after his outside kitchen and garden. Nigel is actuallly the first Brit cookbook we got.

Fiona Beckett said...

Hi Valereee

While you're waiting for Jamie's book you could take a look at my blog The Frugal Cook which is charting my day to day progress (or occasional lack of it!) with the book on budget eating I'm currently writing

It's at

Glad you're impressed by British cooking, Vudutu!

valereee said...

vudutu, I've been watching his Jamie At Home show. Is that the name of it? He goes out and picks things from his garden sometimes, and I love that.

vudutu said...

Thanks Fiona, I'll dive into your site in depth, I am all about frugal! Yes Val, it's on Sat morn around 9 or 10 on our cable. He really has a good handle on earthy cooking.

valereee said...

I actually just caught his game birds episode -- just piles of pigeons, squabs, pheasant! I doubt I'll be replicating the recipe anytime soon, but it was entertaining.

Jessie M. said...

I have been a big fan of Jamie Oliver since his Naked Chef days, but this new show is his best yet. What I love about it, besides Jamie of course, is that his cooking has become so pure. I love that on Jamie At Home he is taking basic, simple organic ingredients from his garden right outside and turning them into simple, pure food. It's perfect and I never miss an episode. It's like porn to me and I can't wait to try his recipes each week! We need more chefs cooking like this on TV.

vudutu said...

ROFLOL, Jessie, "It's like porn to me" Food Porn! me too!