Oliver has grown, along with his gar­den

Jamie at Home 7.30pm, Life­Style Food

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

THERE was a time, way back in The Naked Chef days, when all that mock­ney cock­ney, luvvly jub­bly stuff just made you want to give Jamie Oliver a damned good slap. Fast­for­ward less than a decade, and how times have changed. Af­ter sin­gle­hand­edly tak­ing on Bri­tain’s food cul­ture, pro­duc­ing count­less cook­books and tele­vi­sion shows, putting out a line of cook­ware and pick­ing up an MBE along the way, the 33- yearold boy from Es­sex is now ev­ery­body’s food hero. And more power to his el­bow. Oliver’s lat­est se­ries, Jamie at Home, which makes its sub­scrip­tionTV de­but on Life­Style Food tonight, is per­haps the best il­lus­tra­tion so far of how Oliver has ma­tured into a pas­sion­ate and com­pelling ad­vo­cate for fresh, or­ganic pro­duce.

The main in­gre­di­ents fea­tured in this se­ries are plucked from his ex­pan­sive or­ganic gar­den, overseen by gar­dener Brian Sk­il­ton who, aptly, bears more than a pass­ing re­sem­blance to fic­tional Bri­tish TV scare­crow Worzel Gum­midge.

Th­ese are whipped up into tasty, fresh and healthy meals by Oliver in his rus­tic kitchen.

Tonight the fo­cus is on peas and broad beans, some of the sim­plest things to grow, says Oliver, as he sits among the fo­liage pop­ping the del­i­cate legumes from their shells.

Beans on toast ( a tow­er­ing stack of crushed fresh peas and beans, mint and pecorino with a ball of fresh moz­zarella perched on top), a fresh and herby ver­sion of falafel and a quick plate of spaghetti and meat­balls ap­pear ef­fort­lessly, and may be just as easy to pre­pare at home. Good news

Cock­ney as­cent: Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver in

Add pota­toes, prop up the bag against a handy wall, and Bob’s your un­cle

in­deed for those find­ing them­selves low on tins of Heinz.

This episode, as with the rest of the se­ries, is in­ter­spersed with shots of a sketch­book con­tain­ing pho­tos of pro­duce from the gar­den. There are car­toon il­lus­tra­tions with cutesy hand­writ­ten notes, in­clud­ing ‘‘ Any idiot can plant broad beans and peas’’, and, in a thought bub­ble em­a­nat­ing from a pic­ture of a hun­gry toad, ‘‘ Come a lit­tle bit closer, slugs.’’

There are also handy tips for the large sec­tion of the pop­u­la­tion that doesn’t own a Chelsea Flower Show­wor­thy gar­den, as Oliver does. Grow bags, for in­stance, are great for tiny spa­ces. Sim­ply wedge in a cou­ple of pota­toes, prop up the bag against a handy wall, and Bob’s your un­cle: a po­tato crop in no time.

Oliver’s trade­mark ex­u­ber­ance re­mains very much in ev­i­dence in this se­ries, even when study­ing some lady­bird lar­vae ( one of the good guys, ac­cord­ing to the la­conic Sk­il­ton).

But some­how it doesn’t grate so much th­ese days, not even when Oliver re­peat­edly refers to his host of gar­den pests as Mr Slug, Mr Snail, Mr Pi­geon and so on.

Per­haps, like Oliver, we’ve all grown up a bit.

Michelle Rowe

Jamie at Home

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.