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Which Jamie?

I recently had a chance to browse through a few cookbooks to find a gift for my 16 year old son. I've narrowed it down to "Jamie at Home" and "Cook with Jamie". I think he would love either one, but didn't have a chance to look at either in depth and have to place an order soon.

I liked "Cook with Jamie" as more of a teaching tool. This will be his first "real" cookbook and to get him started he'll be cooking by my side as he has very basic kitchen skills.

What I loved about "Jamie at Home" was the beauty of this book, and S loves anything done in good taste. The photography and Jamie's appreciation for his garden really come through and the book is absolutely inspiring. I get the impression it may have easy recipes to follow as well.

I look forward to reading your opinions on either one and hopefully get more of an idea how the recipes might differ from one book to another. I had a chance to read one of the threads on these 2 books but I didn't really get the info I needed. I'd love to get both for him, but only one for now.

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  1. Definitely Cook With Jamie since he's just learning. I think Jamie at Home is a pretty grown up book. It appeals to me because I'm a SAHM to small children and I like to pretend I'm some sort of modern homesteader who grows her own food and Puts Things Up for my family to use in the long winter ahead (I don't really, but I wish I did). It doesn't actually talk about preserving much, but it has that vibe. It does have some great recipes in it (I just made the beef pie from it again today) but the last thing you want to do is set him up for failure with recipes that are too involved. You want to build his confidence in the kitchen with easy recipes that teach important skills. I just don't see Jamie at Home as being that kind of book. I haven't spent much time looking at Cook with Jamie, but I feel safe saying Jamie at Home isn't really a "first cookbook" kind of book.

    1. I have to agree: Cook with Jamie. That being said, if there was one book I wish I had when starting out, it would be Nigel Slater's Appetite. The recipes are different, well thought out, always work, and he gives you some options/add-ons at the end of each. Reminds me a lot of Bittman's Minimalist books.

      1. I haven't read either COOK WITH JAMIE or JAMIE AT HOME, though I plan to do so forthwith. I'm giving JAMIE'S FOOD REVOLUTION to two friends who have expressed an interest in cooking, but don't have a lot of experience. I like the simplicity of the recipes as well as the book's emphasis on "healthy" and "inexpensive."

        Now I'm wondering if I should have chosen COOK WITH JAMIE instead. I haven't yet given the second copy to its intended recipient.

        I'll just have to buy a copy, I guess. Thanks to you all.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Jay F

          Jay, there were a few brand new copies available on Amazon for 18 cents plus shipping. I thought it might have been a typo but all the books in this seller's storefront were all under 20 cents.

          It looks like there were 2 or 3 copies available (I bought one) and looked for your e-mail address to message you. They were gone soon after, but now I'll have to wait to see if the sale actually goes through.

          1. re: lilgi

            Well, thanks for thinking of me, lilgi. And don't you *love* when you find a deal like that?

            I just sent my friend JAMIE'S FOOD REVOLUTION, a size 26 Le Creuset French oven, and a nice wooden spoon as a graduation gift. He wants to be a more serious cook once he's done with school, and I thought this would be nice.

            1. re: lilgi

              lilgi, I put my e-mail address back in my profile. If you wouldn't mind, could you tell me the name of your Amazon seller? thanks, Jay

                1. re: Jay F

                  The vendor did in fact honor the low price (18 cents) and my total was $4.17. It took a long time to arrive but got it finally. I came by a thread regarding the storefront pricing; I think what happened was there were too many orders placed and they had to honor them - I'm guessing because it's through Amazon. I wish I'd ordered a lot more from them.

            2. Thanks all, I appreciate your comments.

              Both books have an entirely different feel, and I think "at Home" spoke to the nurturing side of me. My son is also much more into vegetables and his palate has developed a great deal over the past year. I also find that he's much more open to trying new things than he used to be, so this is why I hadn't ruled this one out.

              Sarah, thanks for going into more depth for "at Home". Definitely a beautiful gift for the right person, but for now I'll consider "Cook with Jamie".

              1. I love "Cook with Jamie", and it is one of my go-to gifts; however, I have to add that out of all of my Jamie books, the one that is the most oil and food-stained is "Jamie's Dinners."

                1 Reply
                1. re: foodiemommy

                  I'm pleased to hear that this is a good book for the budding cook, especially since I couldn't follow any of the other conventional cookbooks for S who's a "guy's guy". I had trouble making a choice.

                2. Finally got the book and he loves it! Of course, he wants to try the mac and cheese first ;)