I’ve been thrashed in the public eye for 15-odd years now so I think I’m a bit de­sen­si­tised

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - THE LAST WORD - WITH JAMIE AND JIM MY ’S FOOD FIGHT CLUB HOST JAMIE OLIVER JAMIE’S FOOD FIGHT CLUB SATUR­DAY, 6.30PM, TEN With Shan­non Mol­loy

“THIS [show] isn’t just some elab­o­rate, clever ruse to get a bunch of celebri­ties I like to come hang out with me for a bit in the kitchen. This is our way of bring­ing a bit of a Top

Gear feel to food. It’s a mag­a­zine ap­proach, mak­ing it fun and ex­cit­ing. It also has a nice heart and soul, fram­ing food in a slightly dif­fer­ent way.

My best mate Jimmy is a zo­ol­o­gist and bi­ol­o­gist and has his own ca­reer do­ing sort of science and farm­ing stuff.

He adds a food science el­e­ment to the show and I han­dle the cooking.

Then we have a few spe­cial celebrity guests to share in the fun and share a meal that’s spe­cial to them. We do it all in a pop-up cafe in Es­sex on Southend Pier. It’s where I grew up.

The recipes in it aren’t nec­es­sar­ily about be­ing ac­ces­si­ble or ev­ery­day – it’s about epic, un­de­ni­ably awe­some food. You can do it, but it’s awe­some, and we’ll show you how.

With the celebri­ties, I think you get a bet­ter in­ter­view when you’re cooking with them. They open up and re­lax and they’re very present. We take the cue from them in terms of what we cook. We go to a big ef­fort to make it work too.

One time we had a guest tell us about this place in Thai­land that had an in­cred­i­ble pad thai, so we sent a lo­cal re­searcher to track down this shack.

They took pic­tures and did in­ter­views … then we re-en­acted the dish. It was re­ally spe­cial.

That’s what food is to peo­ple – it’s spe­cial. It has a per­sonal nos­tal­gia too, like mu­sic, and un­locks mem­o­ries and feel­ings. It’s re­ally nice.

I don’t eas­ily get star struck – I’ve been thrashed in the public eye for 15-odd years now so I think I’m a bit de­sen­si­tised. But I def­i­nitely get gen­uinely ex­cited, if that counts. By the time they come on the show, I’ve re­searched that spe­cial meal of their life to such an ex­tent that I feel like I know a dif­fer­ent side to them, al­most.

Loads of our guests come on and then af­ter­wards send a card thank­ing me for the ex­pe­ri­ence, say­ing how much it meant. That doesn’t hap­pen of­ten.

While it’s def­i­nitely fun, we try to raise dis­cus­sion about food is­sues. We try to be quirky about it. Like with wonky veg, or ugly pro­duce – stuff that’s per­fectly fine but doesn’t look pretty.

And most of all I love that I get to do it all with my mate, Jimmy, who I’ve known since I was one.

We have a real laugh to­gether and it’s quite a nat­u­ral re­la­tion­ship, which I think gives the show a cer­tain feel.”

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