Chef Brad on 30 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver: Learn to cook real, everyday food

Chef Brad’s take on next week’s cookbook club pick – 30 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver:

Let me start with the fact that I am a huge Jamie Oliver fan, from back in the Naked Chef days especially. He just seems like a cool guy. Riding down the streets on his little scooter, picking herbs on the side of the road. And his apartment was just so freaking cool. Slight man crush here. But I digress.

The whole 30 minute meal bit has been done by just about everyone, and has really lost it’s cool factor in my book. However, with undying devotion to the Naked Chef, I purchased the book and gave it a fair chance. I was expecting a rehash of Rachael Ray’s box mix creations, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the book actually focused on ‘from scratch’ cooking. Not an easy thing to do. Most cookbooks designed for ease of use are generally not super helpful or interesting to chefs. This one, however, bridges a gap between experienced cooks looking to make great, interesting food and busy working professionals and parents trying to make quick, easy meals that taste good, too.

While the recipes are good, the real highlight of the book is how Jamie explains the keys to making cooking easier and quicker. The best part of the whole book for me is the page on reclaiming your kitchen. He talks about how most of us have kitchens that are full of stuff, not related to cooking. Toys, bills, magazines, laundry, shoes and everything else finds its way into the kitchen. It’s these obstacles that make the kitchen more and more cluttered and completely inefficient. It’s the small things like this such as the equipment list he gives you and tips throughout the book that really help streamline the cooking process at home.

Years ago when working in restaurant kitchens, this book probably would have passed me by. Now though, this book is the complete embodiment of what Cookology stands for. I am not interested in 30 minute meal books that teaches people how to layer Nilla Wafers and strawberry ice cream and call it a Napoleon. Don’t get me wrong, Nilla Wafers are great, but that’s not what I’m looking for. This is a cookbook, not a cheat sheet. That’s what I want to do here at Cookology. I want to teach people to cook, not how to turn vanilla box cake mix into 47 other flavors of mediocre cake. Sorry Sandra Lee!

It is refreshing to read a book from a chef that is so passionate about teaching people how to cook real, everyday food again. This makes Jamie a Cookology favorite. A chef with the same goals and mindset. Everyone has to eat and everyone has to cook at sometime. Making the cooking experience easier, healthy, and fulfilling is the key making it more enjoyable.

That’s going to make this an awesome cookbook club. The food Jaime cooks is very similar to the food I like to cook, and our passion for real, wholesome food is the reason we love to cook. It’s going to be fun to discuss this book, but even more fun to cook from it with everyone. Not sure what I’m going to make from it yet, but I was thinking the pork chops and crispy cracklins would be a good start. I figure anything with “crispy cracklins” has to be a good start. Not a bad place to finish either. Much better than a Nilla Wafer Napoleon.

Have recipe requests for next week’s meeting? Email us. Never been to a cookbook club meeting? They’re open to anyone who wants to learn more about food and cooking. Learn more about our cookbook club meetings then sign up to join us next week.


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One Response to “Chef Brad on 30 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver: Learn to cook real, everyday food”

  1. April 3, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    awesome idea 5 5 p 8 8 n i u i

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