Oliver’s hearty Christmas dish wish list
IF ANYONE is looking forward to a quiet Christmas, it would have to be Jamie Oliver. The celebrity chef has been whipping up controversy all year as he continues his mission to change people’s dietary habits for the better.
In his documentary Eat to Save Your Life, he had scalpel-wielding anatomist Dr Gunther von Hagens dissect the corpse of a 160kg man who died of heart failure after a lifetime of scoffing junk food.
Jamie’s Fowl Dinners had footage of Oliver electrocuting a chicken, and unwanted male chicks were suffo- Jamie Cooks Christmas, PG Channel 10, Wednesday, 7.30pm Festive cooking special Duration: 1 hour cated. The harrowing sequence was designed to highlight the cruelty of battery farming.
And in Ministry of Food, Oliver took on a whole city — Rotherham in Yorkshire — to show just how reliant many people are on takeaway food, and how little knowledge or motiv- ation they had to cook even the most basic meals.
Oliver’s wife, Juliette, and daughters Poppy Honey and Daisy Boo, must be hoping he’ll get off the soapbox and enjoy the festive period with them at their home in Essex. There’s not much chance of that.
‘‘I have 20 family and friends around including 10 kids, so I’m doing a free-range turkey, a goose and a jerk ham. Veg from the garden — turnips, Swiss chard, red cabbage, swede and leeks,’’ he says.
People can get some hints for their own Christmas feast on Jamie Cooks Christmas. He promises to add his own distinctive twist to the classic Christmas menu.
He’s joined by friend and former mentor Gennaro Contaldo, who brings his European influence to the dishes.
‘‘We’ve something for cooks of all ages,’’ Oliver says. ‘‘We have the basics of getting your turkey in the oven, and we have an incredible jerk ham. There’s a load of clever things you can do with the leftovers — stuff like an amazing Christmas salad and a turkey and leak pie — plus some quickfire ideas for snacks and drinks.’’