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"jamie at home"

anyone else catch the premiere episode today?

the recipes were great. simple, hearty, chock full of seasonal ingredients.

unfortunately, he's gotta be the messiest cook i've ever seen, and to be honest, it was really irritating to watch. not only does he splash & slop ingredients all over the place, the "plating" of the first dish he prepared was beyond disgusting. i seriously thought he was joking...if someone served that to me in a restaurant, i'd send it back. it looked like someone had already eaten it and regurgitated the meal back onto the plate.

my 5-year-old niece could do a better job, and she can barely even pour her own cereal.

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  1. Hi goodhealthgourmet,

    May be that's the whole point. Since it is called jamie AT HOME, he may want to show that even if you are not a great cook, you can still whip up something that is delicious. You may not be technically skilled, but the important part of a delicious meal AT HOME is about the ingredients and the cooking, and have FUN.

    If I am cooking at home, it is all about how I like it. Sometimes I may make a mess and spill things everywhere, but I ultimately have fun. My dish may look ugly, but I enjoy it.

    And you shouldn't expect his dishes to be at a caliber of being served in a restaurant, because it is home cooking. May be great cooks at home can do even better than restaurants, but IMO as far as home cooking go, it doesn't have to look like what I have in a restaurant.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kobetobiko

      i understand that it's supposed to be more relaxed, but i wouldn't plate my own dinner like that, even to dine alone with no one else around. we eat with our eyes first, and i just don't find sitting down to a big pile of slop on a plate appetizing, regardless of the setting or occasion. plus, part of what i enjoy about cooking is creating something appealing to the eyes as well as the palate. personally i think it's possible to have plenty of fun in the kitchen without making a huge mess, but it's just my preference, and we're all entitled to one. anyone who wants to create abstract art on their kitchen surfaces while they're cooking has every right to do so, i'm just grateful i'm not the one responsible for cleaning up :)

      but seriously, i think what bothered me the most was that the ingredients he used were such good, fresh, quality items, and so beautiful in their own right...and the way he treated them, squashing them down on the plate, etc., seemed almost disrespectful to me.

    2. It's pretty standard "Jamie Oliver" fare, if you ask me... He's the kind of guy that's not going to run a 3 Michelin Star restaurant, but could put together a pretty tasty Holiday dinner spread for a family.

      My Blog: http://www.epicureforum.com

      1. I loved it. But after rough-hewn Jamie in his woollen hat slopping food around, it was more than a bit jarring to see Sandra Lee's plastic-looking face on the TV screen next!

        1 Reply
        1. Being a chef, I might be the only one of the breed to say this publicly - but besides having a dirty or chipped plate, I don't need fancy plating to eat. Honestly, I don't care how beautiful it looks. The minute I take a piece/bit into it/taste it - the beauty of the plating is gone, and what's left is taste. If it tastes like poop - I don't care how beautifully it was presented. Sometimes I think chefs try to fool the customer with the "wow" factor in the looks department, while forgetting about the "wow" factor in the taste department. I will take flavour and texture any day over presentation.

          4 Replies
          1. re: maisonbistro

            I'm with you in the taste department. Jamie Oliver is just about the only celebrity chef we have in the UK who seems to have a natural instinct for flavour. Most of his recipes from his early "Naked Chef" days top this "At Home" are easily reproduced at home. I have all his books and use them regularly (whereas, for example, I have no Gordon Ramsey ones and don't want any)

            1. re: Harters

              i have no doubt his recipes are delicious. my mouth was practically watering as he prepared the duck & squash salad...but then the way he dumped it onto the plate killed it for me. there was just nothing appetizing about the way it looked. i'm all about flavor, but if it doesn't look good enough to eat, i'll never get around to tasting it and discovering just how wonderful the flavor is! mind you, this won't stop me from preparing the dish myself, i'll just make it look prettier before i dig in :)

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I like aesthetics sometimes for food, especially in restaurants, but I disagree that JO's food looks too unappetizing. He is kind of a messy chef (even his Iron Chef plates were surprisingly, ahem, rustic) but I think it translates really well to home cooking, and his flavors really do sing nicely even at home. He has a real knack for making easy-peasy dishes that have loads of taste and are still quite original too. I thought the duck and squash dish looked mouthwatering at the end, especially because I really imagined I could make it myself!

            2. I think the reason I like him so much is because he food doesn't look perfect...I looks like something I would make at home. I try to make my food look pleasing to the eye when I plate it but sometimes you just can't...a plate of brown lentils with veggies is going to look pretty gross when you put it on a plate no matter what you do. But he's got a very rustic style of cooking and plating...and sometimes that can be messy.

              but I get what you are saying...we've been spoiled with looking pictures and shows of pretty and appetizing looking food so when we see something that's not so pretty we turn away from it a bit.

              1 Reply
              1. re: lasiciliana

                "brown lentils....pretty gross" Hah!

                Last week I made a nice smoked salmon in cream sauce and served it over wide noodles. We took one look at our plates and declared "Cat vomit on noodles!" Exactly what it looked like though it was very tasty. We chuckled all through dinner. I'm chuckling now....

              2. It's worth noting that there doesn't appear (from the two episodes I've seen) to be lots of pre-prepped things for his dishes. I think the duck was already in the oven, but he still had to take it apart. He's breaking down the vegetables and mincing and chopping and all in that small space. Emeril, simply as an example, has many small bowls and dishes with prepped items so he only does minimal prep on camera. In thinking back over some of the episodes of Iron Chef America, many chefs had kitchens in which it appeared something had exploded. Every pot and pan in the place in use, things boiling over, detritus from prep all over the place and so on.

                I thought the duck and squash salad looked great, I'd happily dig in. Ultimately, how you get things in the pot isn't really so important (barring, say, dropping it on the floor and stepping on it and then putting it in). Plating isn't very important to me....it's difficult to be all about flavor if you're first about the visual.

                6 Replies
                1. re: ccbweb

                  When you're first about the visual, you end up w/ Sandra Lee who spends far more time making her food look interesting than cooking.

                  1. re: chowser

                    i'm not "first about the visual," i'm first about the flavor. but that doesn't mean i don't care how it looks.

                    i hope your comment about sandra lee was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. it's pretty ridiculous [and insulting] to compare me to the queen of tablescapes and packaged cake mix just because i have a desire to plate nicely and eat food that looks appetizing.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      No, sorry, I didn't mean you at all. I was only responding to ccbweb's comment about being "first about the visual."

                      1. re: chowser

                        that's what i was hoping, but i had to ask to be sure :)

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          My hat is off to you and those who have the time to make great food and have equally nice presentation. I used to spend hours on cake decorating but now I just smooth and comb (lol, kind of like my hair...) since I'm usually short on time these days. I do miss it, though. I don't know if it's Sandra Lee's influence, or just the mom crowd, but I see many people choose to spend time on presentation rather than the food.

                          1. re: chowser

                            for me, it's neither sandra lee nor the "mom" issue [i'm single with no kids].

                            growing up, my mom was never concerned with aesthetics [or flavor, for that matter!] and i still ate what was put in front of me. but back in my early 20's when i started cooking for other people & entertaining, it just became an issue for me. i figured if i was going to take the time to prepare a good meal, it was worth a little extra effort to make it look nice.

                2. I was channel hopping and he had some kind of boiled/steamed veg mix on which he piled shredded boiled/steamed meat and then proceeded to pour some kind of liquid all over the platter.

                  Sure, presentation isn't everything, but that mess did not look appealing. "Rustic", yes, and I imagine it must have tasted alright (because he does look like a pretty good chef), but plating there was basically "pile stuff on a platter and hope it doesn't slop over the sides".

                  1. A new series started last night on our side of the pond. Two programmes shown back-to-back. One on lamb. One on leeks. Both great episodes. Classic Oliver.

                    He slow roasts a shoulder of lamb. Fab. It comes out the texture of the pulled pork I've eaten in the States. And as for the lamb koftas....WOW.

                    Those who like nice pretty tidy plates will not like this series, either.

                    1. So, I go the food network website for some of his recipes from this show via
                      and can't get any of them. I keeps taking me to the home page of his show. Anyone else know how to access the recipes?
                      I know FN often does not post them, but it makes it look like they are there.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: itryalot

                        You'll find very few of his recipes on-line as my understanding is that he does generally does not authorise copyright reproduction. Even in the UK, only one recipe per episode is available on the TV network's website (and that's just the new series we're viewing - there's none now available from the earlier series.) Clear message from Mr Oliver is "go buy my book" - so I did.


                        1. re: itryalot

                          I clicked on your link and then on "spicy pork and pepper goulash" and it took me right to the recipe page.

                          1. re: itryalot

                            Ummm, try the Canadian food network - I found tons of Jamie's recipes there just yesterday. Including some from his Naked Chef days.


                            1. re: maisonbistro

                              ccbweb and maisonbistro - Will try again. Thanks

                              1. re: maisonbistro

                                i went to that site and tried to watch a "ricardo" video. access denied to me here in the u.s.

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  That's too bad. I quite like Ricardo Larrivee. He's a celeb in Quebec, where he has a programme on SRC (French CBC). I would be really surprised if the American FN picked him up, but for your benefit, I hope that they do. He's very good, informative, and a great promoter of local produce.

                                  Back to Jamie; I haven't seen all the episodes of Jamie at Home, but like what I have seen. I think that as far as presentation, it's important to remember that his sensibility is, essentially, Italian, cf. French or anything else, and Italian of any level has never been about elaborate or pretty plating. As a non sequitor, watching him trying to get a large foccaccia into his brick oven had me in stitches. Perhaps I'm an easy mark.

                            2. I found the show to be refreshing. Nothing over the top. I'd watch it again.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: melly

                                I find it amusing and interesting that Food Network is widely (and deservedly) criticized for the overall dumbing down of their programming over the last several years. Gone are shows like "A Cook's Tour" (although re-runs seem to be popping up from 2002), Molto Mario, and other classic shows featuring actual chefs and actual cooking. Then they hit, in my opinion, a home run with a show featuring actual from the ground ingredients and rustic and simple preparations . . . and of course people don't like it and pick it apart.

                                In my opinion, it's a great show. Jamie features ingredients I'd love to get my hands on. Leeks, fennel, peppers, and pumpkins all directly from the ground? Blue/green eggs from his own hens? Please. This is real cooking and he's cooking the way I enjoy cooking. With passion and a clear love and respect for the ingredients. What's not to love?

                                I guess it's just fun to be a hater.

                                R. Jason Coulston

                                1. re: Jason_Coulston

                                  I'm with you, Jason. Watching "Jamie at Home" is one of the highlights of my weekend. It gives me hope that TFN hasn't completely given up on their hard core food-loving viewers.

                                  1. re: Jason_Coulston

                                    I love this show too. I was not a huge Jamie Oliver fan before but now I am.

                                    1. re: Jason_Coulston

                                      i'm not a "hater" and there's nothing fun about being bummed when you genuinely hope to enjoy something and the experience falls short of your expectations. i had really been looking forward to the show, and i was disappointed. so be it. but hey, i am entitled to my opinion, and there's no need to insult me or call me names just because i exercised my right to express said opinion.

                                      i think he's a talented chef. i respect his philosophies on food & cooking, and the commendable efforts he makes to improve other people's lives & give back to the community. and i've posed positive comments about the show & his recipes on other threads. i was simply turned off by what i saw in the premiere episode, and i called it like i saw it.

                                      we're all here on CH to trade opinions and critiques, both positive AND negative. if you're looking for a lovefest, start a fan site.

                                  2. I noticed he caught himself using the word "pukka" in a recent ep., and joked that he hadn't used the word in years. Does anyone know why? I'd heard his accent was mocked by his domestic audience, but hadn't seen any specific comics do so.