When was the last time you saw a cookery show that did not use a clinically clean kitchen top, used no measures and to top it, the chef continually tasting the food to get his ingredients flavored right? Probably never!
Jamie at Home is one such cookery show that takes the bling out of cooking. He gets down to earth to help us savor the finest tastes, textures and aroma that good cooking and good food has to offer. The keywords for this show would be fresh, green, kitchen garden, slow cooking, rustic, organic, and many more such aromatic and delicious words that seem so distant in this advancing mad world.
The catch of this incredible show is that this guy walks up to his garden, plucks or digs out the vegetables, heads to the kitchen to dish out this incredibly yummy food cooked the traditional way using the best of ingredients in the simplest manner possible.
From making a make shift smoking oven from a old biscuit box, growing potatoes in a old sack to using his hand as a measuring bowl, Jamie is unbelievably down to earth in his approach to cooking. Having had plethora of ultra modern airbrushed cooking shows, Jamie at home indeed comes across as fresh breath or air (or rather aroma) making us sit back, notice and once again aspire for simple joys of cooking and living. No other show, till date has urged us to take this reversed route in time. It is the kind of cookery show that not only sates your quest for good food but leaves you with lingering food for thought. And this means the quality of life that one yearns for.
The show does not start with a basket of vegetables on the kitchen counter, ready to be cut. Take one step behind and you are in Jamie Oliver’s farm patch. Jamie takes you through the process of growing the vegetable and offers tips and tricks on growing them right. Another feather in cap are his organic gardening practices. His gardener, Brian, guides Jamie in growing the vegetables and shares his words of wisdom on keeping the garden bountiful and green. And this gardening angle is the show’s USP.
Picked fresh from the garden, its journey into the kitchen, to its preparation and presentation, the show is delightfully entertaining, inspiring and happy-go-lucky. It kind of makes us appreciate the contribution nature does to keep us all sustained and the kind of living ecosystem we thrive in. Every little ingredient has a role to play.
Jamie at Home focuses on one ingredient at a time. He picks up one vegetable, loves it, and lives it, while we watch. That one vegetable or ingredient is the star of the week and all recipes of that episode revolve around it. The entire journey is laced with down-to-earth processes, tips and tricks and makes on feel as if he/she is sitting along with him and following his instructions. He not only shows some incredible recipes but also educates on how that one vegetable or ingredient rules the table and what should be done to get the most out of it.
The charm of watching Jamie at Home, is the use of words that are utterly unconnected with cooking, kitchen or recipes. Once in a while you are taken aback thinking – what did he just say? A blob, glob, swig? Hugh! That’s cute! He even wears a sock-cap in the kitchen and hosts the show. The only make-up visible on Jamie is the garden dirt and some fallen twigs in his ruffled hair. LOL. Jamie must be in his mid 30s but still retains his boyish charm, and present his shows just the same way. His lively presentation, full appreciation for food and its flavors, the fun, joy, excitement, is all in good humor and good taste. His energy and enthusiasm is very infectious and heartwarming. And I am not surprised that this guy may soon be seen as a cartoon character called Little J.
Jamie at home looks rugged, rustic and very country – as if the camera was rolled in dirt before filming the episodes. And this is exactly the best part of the program. We get a heartwarming trip of his patch of land in Essex. I love his garden that seems to have everything that one needs for sustenance. Added to this is the lovely rustic kitchen, vintage tools and crockery that simply lend in the old world charm. Even the outdoor kitchen where he cooks and bakes under the open sky is so inviting. It is quite a scene to watch Jme grill the colorful vegetables under the overcast skies forming a magnificent backdrop for simple pleasures of life.
A good drizzle of olive oil, followed by a generous handful of grated parmesan to handful or processed cheese are mouth watering highlights of Jamie at Home. There is no restraint in picking up and using these ingredients which are a dieter’s nightmare. And this generosity is exactly what binds us all to the show. It’s a guilt free trip down the good food lane without adding more calories 🙂 I only wish that this show was a little lengthier… for the added goooo-iness.
I dig for garden fresh vegetables and spices. When I was small, mom would ask me to pluck some curry leaves for what she was cooking at that moment. I still remember the aroma of the fresh leaves, freshly plucked and running back to the kitchen. That act must have stayed in my subconscious with respect to garden fresh cooking. Whenever I come across people growing their veggies, spices and condiments in their garden, they have a fan in me. And it’s no different with Jamie Oliver.
Jamie at Home is devoid of glamour, airbrushing, rehearsed scripts, and well-lit sets. Some of his dinner recipes are indicated by the use of lanterns and candles in the kitchen – to give that much needed warmth. This tele-series has audience hooked with delightful green visuals, recipes, tips and tricks and more. One can actually feel happy watching the show for it is not about worrying clinical precision or weight watching plans or calorie charts. Its about the whole experience of making your food – right from sowing the seeds to sprinkling the garnish. It is about taking in the aroma, feeling the wholesome life-giving and life sustaining experience.
Jamie at Home is also available as a book and I have asked my friends to it pick up on their next trip to UK. I am sure I will dig into those pages whenever I need some soul food and when the show is not on TV. Another reason for getting this book is to present it to my mother, who is as mad as I am when it comes to rustic living and cooking.
Jamie at Home = zen + garden + food + nut host. It is a very different show, with a very different chef and a very different soundtrack. Here is the soundtrack for closing credits.
“My World” lyrics by Time Kay for Jamie at Home TV Show
take time to make yourself feel good
and you do whatever you want
cause you can now, in my world
make it up for losing so much time
cause you can now, in my world