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Jan 12, 2008 09:53 PM

"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:

      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....