Day 6/10 of my cookbook challenge, the books and cooks who have influenced my kitchen over the past 40 years: Jamie Oliver, The Naked Chef.
First published in 1999, Jamie Oliver’s refreshing mix of youthful enthusiasm and unconventional approach inspired a whole new generation to get cooking and he’s never stopped since. Now an MBE, he’s published 23 books and opened and closed a number of restaurants, not bad for someone with dyslexia! His chirpy ‘chuck it all in’ family-friendly recipes are always a joy to make and eat and I’m still using the North African Lamb with Spicy Couscous recipe from that original book. I didn’t need him to inspire me to cook because I was already doing that, but he did help me incorporate his carefree ‘never mind the technique’ style into my menus – essential for us busy working mums who also want their families to eat well.
Until I started writing this series of blog posts, I hadn’t realised quite how many books of his were sitting in my library and even during lockdown he’s been inspiring the nation with his ‘Keep cooking and carry on’ tv show. His individual microwave marmalade steam puddings are still one of my favourite puds – with lashings of custard of course!