Cooking School

Q&A with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver

Author: Canadian Living

Cooking School

Q&A with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver

CL: Your newest cookbook, Jamie Oliver's Great Britain (Hyperion, 2012), serves up a multitude of British comfort foods. What led you to write a book on British cuisine?

JO: It's funny, with this book and the television series, I've really come full circle. I've spent the last 10 years travelling the world, training in France and Italy when I graduated from cooking school. Now I am a father with four kids and a newfound respect and appreciation for my own country. I wanted to share all of the great things that the Brits are doing with the rest of the world.

CL: What's your all-time favourite British dish?

JO: My mum's Sunday roast. Always.

CL: Do you have any tips for parents to help get their kids excited about trying new foods and eating their fruits and vegetables?

JO: Absolutely, keep trying. What they don't like today, they might like tomorrow. For years, Poppy didn't like things with a squishy texture, and now she's fine with most things. Try to keep things colourful, serve a wide variety of fruits and veg, and don't give up.

CL: Tell us something people might be surprised to know about you. For example, do you have any special talents besides cooking?


JO: I'm really into woodworking and farming. I've got this crazy veg and fruit garden, and have started to breed turkeys. I get obsessive about learning new things and try to find out everything I can about whatever I am excited about: cars, photography, gardening, shooting, the chickens that lay my eggs. I always have too many pots on the boil, but love all of it.

CL: What's your favourite weeknight meal to make for Jools and the kids?

JO: I have to confess that Jools does the cooking during the week. Most nights I get home too late from work. But the weekends are mine, and the kids and I have been doing a lot of cooking together. Daisy makes some beautiful pasta and we love baking cakes together.

CL: If you had to eat the same food every day for a year, what would it be?

JO:
That would be boring, and I'm not sure I physically could do it, but I am crazy for chilies. I love them in everything, and when I eat enough of them I get a little happy buzz going. My face gets red, sometimes I sweat. They are fantastic.

CL: Are there any foods you used to dislike, but now enjoy because you found a way to make them tastier?

JO: Not really. I enjoy most things and eat and cook a wide variety of foods, so if I ever found the occasional thing I didn't like, then I didn't worry about fixing it up.

CL: Are there any Canadian dishes that you're partial to?

JO: Anything that my mate Derek Dammann cooks. I am going to check out his new restaurant in Montreal and can't wait to see what he's done.

CL: What's your favourite comfort food?

JO: Aw, I don't know. Spaghetti Bolognese? Mac and cheese? A cracking burger? Chile con carne? I love them all, really.

Download Bubble & Squeak -- a recipe from Jamie Oliver's new book Jamie Oliver's Great Britain.

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Cooking School

Q&A with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver

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