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on 9 September 2002
I've just received my order of cookbooks from Amazon (funny how all the good cookbooks come out at once) and Jamie's Kitchen was one of them. Normally Jamie is my absolutely favourite chef, that guy rescued me from ready meal hell, however with his latest offering I don't think I'll be reaching for it after a hard day at the office as this cookbook is in a completely different direction from his previous 3. The recipes are much much more resturant style (which I suppose is only fair as he's actually opening a resturant, he could hardly serve steak sandwiches), therefore his recipes are great for dinner parties but not particularly great for everyday. The dishes all looked lovely (the book is bigger than normal, more like a coffee table book and is full of gorgeous shots of food and alot of the man himself) but I was nearly completely through reading the book before I came over a recipe I was drooling over, desperate to try (mozzarella, bacon and bread kebabs on rosemary sticks). Another departure is quite a few pages showing techniques, which I thought was a bit against his slap it all in approach. One of the other books I brought was Nigella Lawson's Forever Summer and comparing the two I noticed how the two cooks seem to almost have metamorphosised into each other, Nigella's first book How to Eat I always thought had some quite fussy complicated recipes whereas now her cooking is much more centred to the fun, quick and easy approach, specially with her latest book, Jamie seems to be going into reverse, but even so with his resturant style recipes they're still not as complicated and fussy as say Gary Rhodes recipes. If you're fan of Jamie's I'd still recommend you buy this even if it's just to drool over the pictures of the food (and him) and to see how his career has progressed.
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on 10 January 2003
Sorry Jamie I loved all the previous books and although the series was great and the book is stunning to look at I found the recipes fussy, complicated and full of ingredients I had never heard of! Maybe this casts doubts on my kitchen know how but even my trusty Mum couldn't shed any light!!!
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on 21 November 2002
I have now watched Jamie's Kitchen, and been very interested throughout, but I have now also eaten at 'Fifteen' the Shorditch Restaurant Jamie and his young trainee chefs have began working at after their intensive training course under the watchful eye of the Geezer of Gourmet, Jamie Oliver himself.
Where this book is different to his others is these recipes are more complicated, and the type of things he will be serving up in his restaurant, so not so easy for us to rustle up at home. Some of the ingredients are things I had never heard of but for dinner parties or special occasions they are well worth the effort. I can only keep my fingers crossed that my attempts will look like the amazing illustrations in the book (truly drool making), but hey I will try my best and no doubt enjoy the result.
When I watch Jamie on TV it is plain to see his enthusiasm for food and cooking, and that really comes across in Jamie's Kitchen too, I have even found myself using some of his catchphrases while cooking!!
There are plenty of recipes in this book to keep me going for a long time, and I will do my best to test them out, If I fail at an attempt, what the hell, it will have been fun, But if I manage to pull off the amazing truly mouth-watering dishes Jamie has put into this book, well I will be a very happy chap, and no doubt so will be the friends I will get round to try them out too!
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on 22 October 2003
A completely different book from the previous ones. The previous three books are a collection of somehow provocative recipes that twist traditional dishes from Italy and France with some good results. They were a sort of college-friendly cookbooks, but with not much help for the basics.
This book is different. It gives hints and explainations for the basic cooking styles. It helps a beginner to improve his/her skills. It also provides some interesting recipes, which appear to be "cleaner" then in the past.
Buy it if you are a beginner or if you do not own the first two books. But if you look for refined cooking and good culinary tips (and you are able to spot cooking time errors) go for Ramsey's book instead.
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on 9 August 2006
333 high quality, shiny pages split over 9 chapters:-

Cracking Salads
Cooking Without Heat
Poaching and Boiling
Steaming & Cooking in the Bag
Steaming & Braising
Roasting, Pot-Roasting & Pan Roasting
Grilling & Char-Grilling
Baking & Sweet Things

plus an introduction with sections entitled:-

Getting Yourself Kitted Out
Shopping Tips
Now it's Your Turn

Finished with a concise Index, showing bold page numbers for illustrated recipes, and red to indicate vegetarian recipes plus JO's trademark 'Nice One' thanks list, giving full credit to his wife, following on from his touching opening dedication:-

'To my two great girls, lovely Jools, the best thing that ever happened to me, and little Poppy - the best thing I ever made.'

Colourful photography of JO himself, family, friends, locations, techniques and recipes, interspersed with useful reference sections e.g.:-

Handy pasta recipe
Risotto recipe
Blanching tomatoes
Grating and peeling
Easy chicken stock
Flavoured salt
Sweet pastry and notes on baking blind
Slicing herbs and leaves/chopping and slicing
Boning a chicken
Making a 'cartouche'
Filleting or tranching a flat fish
Filleting a round fish
Tying up a bird

The Perfect Basic Bread Recipe
'This recipe is fantastic for making your own bread at home - give it a go - it is so easy and will give you some great results. The other breads in the chapter all use this recipe as a base.'

As above, typical JO banter heads up each recipe e.g.:-

'I'm putting 'chips' in the book because if they're cooked properly they're one of the tastiest things in the world. That crunch and fluffy softness inside is absolutely irresistible - especially if they're someone else's!
A good chip requires control and vigilance when cooking.
Get yourself a nice spud, e.g.......................'

Barolo Poached Fillet Steak with Celeriac Purée:-
'I didn't try poached meat until a couple of years ago and to be honest the idea didn't appeal to me. A lot of chefs implied that cooking meat in a good red wine was a waste but how wrong they were. As well as 'Barolo', this dish works with many other red wines especially nice spicy ones like 'Rioja' or 'Shiraz'. What I'm trying to say is that if you use rubbish wine in cooking it will come back to haunt you in the tasting.'

A small taste of the recipes contained within:-

The proper French side salad
Pomegranate and gin cocktail
Scallop spoons
Soft boiled egg with asparagus on toast
Pappardelle with amazing slow cooked meat
Chinese chicken parcels
Moroccan lamb stew
Quick time sausage cassoulet
Chargrilled marinated vegetables
Tender braised leeks with wine and thyme
Italian style confit of duck with roasted radicchio
Unbelievable roast pork with stuffed apples and parsnips - (all roasted together)
Rosemary stick kebabs
Grilled marinated mozzarella with crunchy bread, smoked bacon and a black olive & lemon dressing
Baked chocolate pudding
Nectarine meringue pie
Surprise pudding

Inside cover quote from 'Time Out':-

'The design and photography are clear and luscious and the recipes are the kind you want to try and really can make at home.'

And one can't really say fairer than that!
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on 27 March 2009
While I use Happy Days for more casual cooking, I use this one when I want to impress. The recipes are a bit more complicated and require more ingredients that the Happy Days book but they are original and delicious.
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on 27 January 2009
I love this cook book! It is a welcome contrast to his previous books and I refer to this book especially when I am entertaining friends. So far all the recipes have worked really well and he has great ideas for combining ingredients. I came across this book because friends cooked us a wonderful meal using one of its fish recipes. Get it and be inspired to cook for friends!
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on 25 July 2003
As a chef myself the recipes and pictures are wonderful. I use all of Jamies books almost everyweek to get ideas for my menus. His food style is awesome and this book reflects it. I special ordered this book from the UK since it is not available in Canada, and I don't regret the extra that I paid for this book. It is his best yet.
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on 20 November 2012
I am 'in between properties' so have everything in storage. I wanted a particular recipe from 'Jamie's Kitchen', couldn't find the book in local shops because it is quite old and not a lot of Jamie's books turn up in Charity Shops either! I could have looked for the recipe on-line (as I have many others during this 'in between' stage) however I wanted to spoil myself with a gift, so searched on Amazon for a 2nd hand copy. There were several, so I narrowed it down by checking up on the condition of the books and I am delighted with my purchase. It'll be my first 'moving in' gift to myself. P.S. The recipe was a huge success too!
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on 10 October 2015
Bought as a present. The pictures are really nice and the recipes not too hard to do. The book was presented in a weird way though. I can't cook but I could still manage them.
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