BY DARREN DEVLYN
FOR years Jamie Oliver won us over with a combination of laid-back charm and skill in the kitchen. He then risked that popularity by fronting a series of shows designed to shine a light on animalwelfare campaigns and obesity problems.
Oliver weathered severe criticism for Ministry of Food, set in Rotherham, Yorkshire, and received similar flak for his war on obesity in the US.
Oliver is now back in front of the camera doing what some say he does best — cook.
In Jamie’s Family Christmas, he shows us simple ways to get the main elements of Christmas dinner — turkey, gravy, roast potatoes and stuffing — perfect. Tell us about the program. We’re all looking for a reasonably-priced Christmas this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself— we’re showing you how to make things go further, as well as some indulgent treats. We have the basics of getting your turkey into the oven. We have an incredible jerk ham, which is delicious. There’s a whole load of clever things you can do with leftovers— stuff like an amazing Christmas salad and a turkey and leek pie. Plus some quick-fire ideas for snacks and drinks. What are your top tips this Christmas? If you’re cooking for lots of people, do two smaller turkeys instead of one big one. It’ll be easier to cook, and they’ll be juicier. Sort your veg out the night before— do all your peeling and chopping, and tossing in olive oil and herbs . . . What are you doing for Christmas? I have 20 family and friends around, including 10 kids, so I’mdoing a free-range turkey, a goose and a jerk ham. Veg from the garden. What’s your favourite Christmas memory? Getting a drum kit when I was 11 . . . What are your favourite and least favourite Christmas foods? Favourite— trifle done properly. Least favourite— trifle done badly. Jamie’s Family Christmas, Channel 10, Mon-Fri, 6.30pm