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Jamie Oliver webchat, Thursday 29 August, 2.45pm

(1000 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 27-Aug-13 11:12:29

We're chuffed that Jamie Oliver is paying a return visit to Mumsnet this Thursday. His first MN webchat was back in 2010.

Jamie has a new book out, Save with Jamie: Shop Smart, Cook Clever, Waste Less (all subjects dear to MNers' hearts). It has 100 brand-new recipes designed to be accessible, reliable and, above all, affordable.

This is what Jamie says about his new book: "For years I have been telling people that if you look back through history, the best food in the world has always come from communities under massive financial pressure. But the proviso is that you MUST be able to cook! If you can't, and have no money, that is where the trouble starts. This is a cook book which, from start to finish has tasty recipes, all dedicated to great value, is a brilliant weapon to have on the shelf, and is relevant to every household. If you use this book the way it's intended, you should end up saving a wodge of cash from your wallet."

And to tie in with the book, he has a new six-part series on Channel 4 starting on Monday 2 Sept at 8pm.

Please post your question and join Jamie for a chat at 2.45pm on Thurs.

Scootergrrrl Tue 27-Aug-13 11:13:26

Do you think he'll look at the threads about his new series on here first? Then run away screaming grin

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 11:40:52

My Challenge, oh pucker one, is to feed a family of four with £30 for a week, BUT you have to have no pre-bought herbs/spices/magic ingredients in your larder. The cupboard has to be literally bare.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 11:51:27

Can i just add - that £30 has to cover, breakfast, dinner and tea! smile

Suddengeekgirl Tue 27-Aug-13 12:11:11

I don't care what the grumpy ones say, I really like Jamie and his books! smile

My question is... A lot of people who are trying to cook good meals for their families to eat together are also cooking whilst watching/ playing/ chasing etc small children. Are these new recipes easy to do whilst keeping an eye on your 4 and 2 yos and making sure WW3 doesn't start? smile
I know I tend to save my tricky recipe cooking for weekends when dh is home and I can cook in peace!

noobieteacher Tue 27-Aug-13 12:11:41

Jamie some of us are talking about you on another thread. Some people are being very cynical and doubt your integrity as your book costs £26 on Amazon (currently reduced to £12 however).

I on the other hand am a Jeliever and am glad you are doing a good book on real cooking that doesn't cost a lot. Supermarkets have had a mirage effect on the cost of food, somehow letting us think that £1.20 is a normal price for a loaf of bread. I welcome a shot of reality into this insane business. When you go into a supermarket these days all you see is people standing at the shelves doing maths. I would like to know what the REAL cost of a loaf of bread actually is, because you can also buy flour that costs £2.00 a bag so where does that leave you? The alternative is 20p flour but is that actually edible?

YoungBritishPissArtist Tue 27-Aug-13 12:12:43

<marks place>

Good luck, Jamie! smile

noobieteacher Tue 27-Aug-13 12:18:18

Also Jamie - when will you do German food? Rick Stein tentatively wafted over it on TV yesterday and has offered us only ONE recipe for green sauce. I have ONE German cookery book, translated very badly with odd measurements which confuse me. Germany needs a culinary translator.

What is the average cost of a full day's worth of food from this book? Or to make the maths easier - how much would the food shop for one week of jamie meals, breakfast lunch and dinner for a family of four - including store cupboard 'basics'?

Thaumatrope Tue 27-Aug-13 12:38:54

Imagine your cupboard was bare, and you wanted to buy five brilliant flavour-giving ingredients that could be found cheaply and used in lots of meals.

Which five would you buy?

usualsuspect Tue 27-Aug-13 12:43:10

Jamie, is it ok for me to watch your tv programmes on my big TV?

noobieteacher Tue 27-Aug-13 12:45:02

grin @ usualsuspect

somersethouse Tue 27-Aug-13 12:49:22

Love Jamie, have all the cookbooks, love his ethos, love how he has changed, against much adversity, the way people think about food. He has made the world healthier. I also love his enthusiasm and can't bear the negativity he has received on a thread today - it is utter bollocks.

My question: Hi Jamie - I live in Spain, my question is: what is your favourite Spanish food? smile

ivykaty44 Tue 27-Aug-13 12:54:40

I have a couple of Jamie books and some recipes I love ( curry paste) and others I have not liked at all ( the tomato soup) I eat very little meat for many reasons.

Would you think about doing a vegan and vegetarian book?

Oh and I don't have a tv as little time to watch when you do your own cooking wink

MrsSchadenfreude Tue 27-Aug-13 13:03:57

Another vote for German food, and perhaps central European food more generally. Some nice Polish zrazy, bigos, golabki? Lovely Austrian cakes like topfenstrudel, the politically incorrectly named Mohr im Hemd? Hungarian food is more than goulash (which is soup there and not a stew).

GobbySadcase Tue 27-Aug-13 13:09:29

Might I suggest that if you are going to do your various campaigns (which thus far have all had good aims) that you consider the causes of the situation and that everyone's circumstances are individual before making massive generalisations and assumptions reinforcing the current media propoganda against low income groups?

That flat screen tv might be 10 years old and donated to them by a relative when they've upgraded their own, for example. They might have a severely autistic child who doesn't engage with the world around them at all other than via audio/visual media, for example.

Please stop being so judgmental. It does worsen the situation for families like mine.

Another vote for a vege or vegan book. Kids are dairy free and I'm cutting down on meat.

My question is, aside from the obvious tomato or bolognaise sauce and soups, what would be your must have sauce/meal base stashes for the freezer. (Preferably meat and dairy free)


Faverolles Tue 27-Aug-13 13:17:28

Hello smile

After your campaigns on school lunches, I wondered what you thought about lunch box police (many threads on mn) who ban normal everyday food that actually appears in cooked school lunches, and recommend low fat/high sugar alternatives.

If you were making your children's packed lunches day in, day out, what would you put in to make sure they were healthy and interesting, and fitting within a tight budget?

Thank you

insancerre Tue 27-Aug-13 14:34:18

have you ever used freecycle?
I recently gave away a big lcd flatscreen tv. It needed fixing and would have cost several hundred pounds to fix, which I couldn't afford
so we bought a new one, on credit, and gave the old one away for free

littlemisswise Tue 27-Aug-13 15:05:59

I like cooking and have passed that on to my two sons, however many children don't get that at home. My son managed to get an A in his Food Tech GCSE without actually ever planning or cooking a meal. Do you think the way cookery is taught in schools needs changing and if so how would you change it?

Hmm, I do want to ask a serious question in light of todays headline re the flatscreen TVs (I`m hoping you will say you were mis`quoted completely, as a tv would be handy for watching your show)

I do think teaching good cheap easy cooking is a great idea, but I do wonder about costs as most recipies do not take into account the `store cupboard` (have built mine up over a long period and can cheaply replace items weekly or monthly) and gadgets needed for cooking (ie, mixers, good quality saucepans, processers etc.....), so for a lot of people building up a well stocked store cupboard is really expensive, do your new recipies take this into account? (so not using too many items that are quite unusual) I think this puts a lot of people of trying to cook from scratch.

LaVitaBellissima Tue 27-Aug-13 15:21:59

I love Jamie grin

My question, can you please do a recipe book for Slow Cookers? Do you or Jools use one? I love mine but seem to always do the same few recipes, usually pulled pork or shoulder of lamb.

Looking forward to the new series on my flat screen

LtEveDallas Tue 27-Aug-13 16:05:23

(I think this webchat is a really bad idea. His comments today have put a lot of people's backs up, and I can see the whole thing degenerating into a bunfight that will show MN in a bad light. I really do think it should be reconsidered/rescheduled - just like the Ceaser Milan one was)

That said:


My neice is a single parent to a teenager. She also has recently been diagnosed with reactive arthritis and cannot work, she can barely walk and there are days she physically cannot get out of bed. She has not yet been assessed by ATOS so gets no 'extra' provisions.

She has a total of £54.00 per week to feed, clothe and look after her and her child. She is also about to lose 14.00 per week of that in the 'bedroom tax' unless she can find someone willing to house swap with her.

She is limited to a local Co-Op small supermarket to buy her provisions from. The nearest Tesco would cost her £4.00 on the bus to town and from there another £2.00 on the bus to the supermarket. She is limited to how much she can carry (I've just bought her a shopping trolley). If she can get on the 'net she tends to do an Iceland shop as it is the only place that will deliver, free, to where she lives. Otherwise she shops on the day, every day.

Will she be able to make any use of your new book - if I bought it for her? Will she be able to afford to make any of the recipes? Will she be able to make them without a HUGE outlay on the storecupboard essentials - many of which she will not have? And will she be able to buy and transport them back home (to give you an idea of how she suffers, until I bought her the shopping trolley her 'sunday lunch' shop took her 3 journeys - 1 for the cheap and nasty pumped full of water value chicken, 1 for the veg and 1 for the potatoes, because she couldn't carry it all at once)

I think you have lost touch with the 'common man', how very little some people have to live on, how hard it is to live in semi-rural communities and where not everyone is able to 'source' fresh veg, a handful of XXX and some 'lovely Feta'. Sweeping statements like this mornings will do nothing but hurt people.

I'd like you to prove me wrong - Could my neice make 7 main meals out of your book, for 2 people, for less than £54? What about £40? (We can assume my neice will only eat one meal a day, and my great neice will have her Free School Meals 5 day out of 7)

Faverolles Tue 27-Aug-13 16:09:11

"(I think this webchat is a really bad idea. His comments today have put a lot of people's backs up, and I can see the whole thing degenerating into a bunfight that will show MN in a bad light. I really do think it should be reconsidered/rescheduled - just like the Ceaser Milan one was)"

I agree with this. Would be very bad timing.

orangepudding Tue 27-Aug-13 17:25:46

Is your book accessible to those with limited resources such as those who don't have a cooker with oven and hob, perhaps just a mini oven with hob or a microwave?

Trigglesx Tue 27-Aug-13 17:27:44

I agree that this is bad timing. The "big screen TV" comment was ill-advised and in all honesty, put me off completely.

I have a fairly large TV (purchased before H and I separated when we were both working), have a fair bit of food waste (child with disabilities that has a food problem, yet I still persist in exposing him to good foods even if he doesn't eat them as eventually he will sniff or lick or possibly taste something new), and am currently on benefits. I do buy some ready made food, mainly because I need a backup for those days when my son is having so many difficulties that I cannot be out in the kitchen cooking and it's easier to pop something in the oven to cook.

I also have a Wii system with games, a Nintendo 3DS, and a fancy phone - all 3 of which I was given for free (from Mumsnet grin for various things - testing products, prize draw). To someone looking in, it might give the wrong impression. We also have a tablet (not an ipad, but something similar), that DS uses that was purchased for him with disability funds.

Alienating what should be your target audience isn't the best marketing move IMO.

Personally, if you want to impress me - have a word with that nutter on the other BBC programme recently where the well off woman with her own cleaning company stood there telling the poor woman that buying chicken breasts was better value than buying the whole chicken - when most of us know that is simply WRONG!!!

If you want to impress me - bring out recipes that will help someone gradually build up their store cupboard, rather than expecting a huge change. Start off showing people how they can make stuff they are used to eating in perhaps a more healthy manner or less expensive by cooking it at home.

And stop making snap judgements based on seeing a television for heaven's sake. Some people who are low on money make sure they spend a decent amount on their television as they know it will be a solid source of entertainment - you know, like to watching cooking shows? hmm

Trigglesx Tue 27-Aug-13 17:34:58

hate it when a good flounce is ruined by a typo...

should be: you know, like watching cooking shows? hmm

all better now grin

I dont think this webchat is a bad idea at all really, some of it might make for uncomfortable reading for Jamie, but thats not always a bad idea, I`m sure he can take it, and everyone has the right of reply, so Jamie can tell us if he has been mis-quoted or mis-understood. It might also make Jamie and other TV Chefs think about real budget cooking and how to maybe write or show people how to build up a cooking knowledge without big freezers, store cupboards and lots of equipment. Delia did a basic one not too long ago which was very popular, maybe another one might be a good idea.

I think (and this is no reflection on Jamie whatsoever) that sometimes people forget how tough it is for those with very little money (I have not forgotten) and how hard it is for people to get together the extras required for a `easy meal pe se` so they dont always realise that throwing in to a processor and cooking in bulk is not always possible (and I have asked a question above regarding that). When people are working long hours cooking can seem like a luxury and popping to markets is not always possible, Saturday markets tend to be those very expensive artisan markets, and I take it thats not what Jamie meant.

I find that the best way with cooking is to use a recipie as a guideline, I have, over the years, learnt and built confidence enough to work around recipies to what I have in the house, sometimes with better results than the original recipie (sometimes worse grin)

YoniMatopoeia Tue 27-Aug-13 17:45:23

This could be fun... Or not.

Agree with others. The timing is not good given the recent remarks o have seen quoted on here today.

NatashaBee Tue 27-Aug-13 17:45:41

Well said Trigglesx!

expatinscotland Tue 27-Aug-13 17:46:38

How much are you paid to produce a range of fast food sauces for Sainsbury's? And was it more than you were paid by Channel4 to pontificate to the hoi polloi about how wrong it is for the unwashed masses to use ready-made sauces?

'Lost touch' is an understatement.

Silverfoxballs Tue 27-Aug-13 17:49:44

Do you think you could beat Heston Blumenthal in an arm wresting match?

On a serious note I agree with Lem and others about the possibility of a bun fight so maybe just postpone.

motownmover Tue 27-Aug-13 17:58:07

Do you ever pinch yourself and think wow about how you have made gazillions - or do you say - oh no another A-lister like Gwynnie that you have to cook for?

PS how big is your TV?

PSS how many TV's do you have?

motownmover Tue 27-Aug-13 17:59:12

oops and one more- what was that UKIP comment about I didn't get it!

motownmover Tue 27-Aug-13 17:59:45

ooops - is it true that olive oil becomes really bad for you when it is heated past a certain temp.

I'm going to stop now Jamie!

NatashaBee Tue 27-Aug-13 18:01:11

Someone on the other thread suggested that Mumsnet should invite Jack Monroe (http://agirlcalledjack.com/) for a webchat instead - I would really like to see her as a webchat guest.

motownmover Tue 27-Aug-13 18:01:59

That is a brilliant idea Natasha

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Tue 27-Aug-13 18:04:30

Hi Jamie, since your 15 minute meals I have noticed a change in the ingredients that you have used - there is a lower fat content. Why is this? Is it what the masses want? Were you personally more aware, which then translated in your cooking? smile

TheCrackFox Tue 27-Aug-13 18:12:24

Do any of your staff at your restaurants have zero hour contracts?

Jamie - when you were tackling school dinners, why didn't you do more to make healthy versions of the food that was familiar to the children - ie. burgers made with good mince, on whole meal buns with some salad in them, or pizza on a whole wheat base, with a packed-with-veg tomato sauce, and some decent cheese, oven cooked wedges made from scratch rather than chips etc, etc - rather than bringing in lots of entirely alien recipes that the children (who are often very conservative when it comes to new foods) were very likely to reject?

Is it because it was better telly to completely upset the applecart rather than changing things gradually for healthier options made of better ingredients?

Tee2072 Tue 27-Aug-13 18:19:47

Jamie...good luck...

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 27-Aug-13 18:25:17

Jamie, on your very first 'School Dinners' series, you said that you were not really acting out of self-interest because 'let's face it, my kids in't gonna go to state school'.

Do you see a contradiction in patronizing and criticizing the pupils and staff in institutions which you have already stated at the outset that there is no chance you would ever use yourself? Do you think that the catering staff and teachers whom you were instructing might have found this a little irritating, insofar as, no matter what they did, you would never ever consider them worthy of educating your own children?

MikeLitoris Tue 27-Aug-13 18:26:29

I assumed jamies comment was based on an actual event, tbh I get myself into a froth about it. I know people that do put stuff ahead of feeding the dc properly. Not always benefits but it does happen.

I don't think I have a question for Jamie blush I have to admit I dont buy recipe books. I tend to just look on line.

I get put off by the assumption that I must have a well stocked cupboard with 'basics' in.

If I've got a tenner and I'm going for essentials what should I get?

Someone on the other thread suggested that Mumsnet should invite Jack Monroe (http://agirlcalledjack.com/) for a webchat instead - I would really like to see her as a webchat guest.

Yes MNHQ, please do! She's amazing. I can't wait to buy her book when it's published.

My question for Jamie Oliver: "benefits-bashing" is a popular pastime at the moment. If, as you claim, your comments as published by the RT were taken out of context, would you consider making a programme where you have to live on benefits for a minimum of a month? (That would obviously include buying all ingredients for your family's meals and paying all the bills). If not why not?

WilsonFrickett Tue 27-Aug-13 19:01:57

I was going to post a question but actually I think I'll hold back and urge you to answer LtEveDallas question instead, please. Because it's a really, really good one.

Jack Monroe also sometimes adds herbs and things not counted in the cost, and uses part packs of things.

Jamie, everything I've done from 15 min meals has been good, I wasn't a fan before but am now. Any chance of a book that collected all the gluten free recipes from all your earlier books? As its a bit ££ if you can only have I recipe in 6!

crazynanna Tue 27-Aug-13 19:13:04

The low-income stereotype comments have also put me right of you,Jamie. My Poverty Action Group are also mightily pissed off. And I used to enjoy your enthusiasm in all things foody. Now, I just see you as a poorly informed spouter.
Shame that.

girlylala0807 Tue 27-Aug-13 19:14:10

Dear Jamie,

As a single mother and a benefits claimant who lives in a council flat (no flatscreen here) im afraid buying a luxury such as a book is totally out of my budget, so, are you going to distribute these books to assist those you are trying to "help" or will you just continue to sneer and patronise those at the lower end of the social scale?

Oh I have a better question! (Sorry MNHQ!).

When you say that your new hideously expensive book is all about value and budget, what exactly do you mean by value and budget? I have £35 a week to feed a family of four. I know families who have less. Can we afford your recipes?

BIWI Tue 27-Aug-13 19:31:23

Whilst I think his comment was misguided, and may well have been taken out of context, I think the overall view that people in this country have the wrong priorities when it comes to spending their money is true.

As a culture - and I don't just mean The Poor - we really don't value food enough. Cheap, cheaper and cheaper food is what we demand, without thinking through the consequences of that.

We are also, though, not taught about food at school any more - with the result that we now have several generations of children who have grown up being fed ready meals and processed foods - because their parents can't cook, therefore ensuring that they won't learn how to cook either.

And if you can't cook you are reliant on manufactured food rather than being able to buy the raw ingredients and transform them into decent meals.

So food takes a disproportionate share of the weekly budget.

Given the insistence of some that Jamie's meals require a groaning store cupboard of expensive items,

I'd like to ask Jamie what he suggests would be really good basic ingredients to have in our cupboards that have the broadest relevance for as many meals as possible.

To be fair, BIWI, most people spend so little on food (proportionally) because we spend so much on rent/essential utilities/council tax and other non-negotiable bills. If you compare income spend charts for different decades it's very clear. Food is often the,only thing left to squeeze when you are really poor - unless you fancy being homeless...

BIWI Tue 27-Aug-13 19:48:33

Actually, Te, I was making the opposite point - although obviously not very well! grin

We spend a lot on food, because we can't cook so we have to pay for processed/manufactured food. If you can cook, things are a lot cheaper.

DoItTooJulia Tue 27-Aug-13 19:55:10

Ok, ignoring all the hype and hot water, I'll plough on with my questions!

1. What's your favourite cook book?

2. We're veggie and would love to see a veggie JO book....any chance?

Oh sorry, I misunderstood! Lots of threads about this to muddle smile

Whether ready-made or from scratch cooking is cheaper tends to be based on what's accessible to you and at what cost. I am assuming Jamie will be addressing this, because I remember it coming up in one of his other shows. Estates with only corner shops with no fresh food and takeaways and £££ to get bus to out of town supermarket.

BIWI Tue 27-Aug-13 20:07:49

There's always online shopping ...

expatinscotland Tue 27-Aug-13 20:11:48

There is? Always? Funny that. We are semi-rural. There is no online food shopping.

Iceland is the only free place to shop online as far as I know! And you only have to send £25 for delivery.

ChampagneTastes Tue 27-Aug-13 20:12:32

Jamie - I love many of your recipes and am a great admirer of your work to improve school meals. I am a keen home cook and every meal is made from scratch HOWEVER it is only because I have a well stocked store cupboard that this is possible. I could not do it when I was a student for example. You say your recipes are cheap - are they cheap in real terms (as in, if you ask for cumin, you consider the cost of buying a whole jar of ground cumin) or are they cheap assuming you can buy in bulk?

(PS: my DH would like to thank you for the apple and blackberry pie in Jamie at Home - he is a very happy man right now).

BIWI Tue 27-Aug-13 20:12:44

Well obviously there are individual circumstances, expat, but it's increasingly easy to do online shopping, is it not?

BIWI Tue 27-Aug-13 20:15:06
Greythorne Tue 27-Aug-13 20:15:49

I would like to ask Jamie why he insists on using the word 'pimp' left, right and centre.

He described the hideous powder blue suit he wore to get married in as 'something a pimp might wear'.

The menu at his restaurant (Union Jacks) features menu items that have been pimped.

He features pimped up prosecco on his website.

Jamie- As a sentient human being, not to mention father of little girls, can you tell me why you choose this term, normalising it, and diminishing the systematic brutalisation and exploitation of women and girls by pimps?

expatinscotland Tue 27-Aug-13 20:16:48

I wouldn't know, BIWI, because we have never had it out here. There is a HUGE part of this country not served in such a way. Hardly an individual circumstance.

goforthejobular Tue 27-Aug-13 20:22:05

Jamie -

How much do you spend each week on feeding your family?

What percentage of your weekly income is that?

Do you kids take a packed lunch to their expensive private schools or do they buy a hot meal there?

If UKIP were to win the next general election and pull us out of the EU, what impact do you think that would have on food imports and exports and the cost for the average family?

I can see this turning into a bunfight...

Jamie, there were times when I was waiting for my ESA appeal to be resolved that I was feeding my kids soup mix and stock. But we had a big telly because we bought it six years ago when we were both working. We're in a much better financial position now. So, can we get a bigger telly?

wordfactory Tue 27-Aug-13 20:23:18

My question: Why do you stick your head above the parapet like this?

You could just as easily do a project on Jamie's Lunch Boxes, Jamie in China, Jamie's Baking classics.

I know you've said your wife wishes you would stick to those less controversial projects. Why don't you?

goforthejobular Tue 27-Aug-13 20:27:07

If your businesses suddenly want kaput and you lost everything, would you sell your telly because poor people shouldn't have big tellies?

NotQuiteBrummie Tue 27-Aug-13 20:27:11

At what point during this crusade to make cheap yet healthy recipes accessible to "the poor", did you decide on the £26 RRP for the recipe book?

CorrinaKedavra Tue 27-Aug-13 20:31:46

Good question Greythorne.

twistyfeet Tue 27-Aug-13 20:41:07

Do your recipes in the outrageously expensive book feed a family of 5 for £35 a week? Because that is my budget. And I dont have freezer. Or a handy local market.

lambanana Tue 27-Aug-13 20:53:40

I cant even bring myself to look at you never mind listen to the flat screen telly shenanigans as you write for the Sun newspaper. End. Of.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 27-Aug-13 21:00:40

Ooooh - this is going to be fun grin

SeaSickSal Tue 27-Aug-13 21:04:53

Why are you so concerned with poor people who you don't think eat well? Why aren't you concerned with say, Philip Green or Eric Pickles or Dawn French or middle class people who guzzle wine and pate?

A criticism I would level at you is that your 'concern' seems to manifest itself in voyeuristic 'Jeremy Kyle' type moments in your shows where you invite the public to be shocked at how lazy, greedy and feckless the poor are.

Do you think in future shows you might be a bit more even handed in representing poor diet as something that affects all of us rather than simply blaming it on the poor?

Greythorne Tue 27-Aug-13 21:29:29


Great post.

(Is that a name change?)

Merguez Tue 27-Aug-13 21:36:57

Some very harsh comments on here.

JO wants to teach people to shop, cook and eat better for less money. Seems like a good idea to me - after all schools don't teach stuff like that any more (I think they should).

People taking umbrage just because JO is successful and rich are missing the point here.

Why not reserve your judgement until you've seen his programme? No-one has to buy the book if they don't want to.

expatinscotland Tue 27-Aug-13 21:38:16

JO wants to sell his latest book, that's what he wants.

GobbySadcase Tue 27-Aug-13 21:50:28

Nice one, expat.
I used to have a lot of respect for JO, the campaigns before ave been run with excellent aims.

But promoting an expensive book (more than some families' weekly food budgets) after selling out promoting stuff mentioned previously on the thread whilst lecturing poor people in a very offensive way makes me switch off completely.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 27-Aug-13 21:58:10

merguez I have no problem with Oliver being rich and successful, just with his ill-thought out and hypocritical judgments on situations and people abut which he knows very little.

CorrinaKedavra Tue 27-Aug-13 22:00:37

I would also like to see expat's question about selling jarred sauces v haranguing people for using them to be answered.

Hulababy Tue 27-Aug-13 22:05:54

Have all JO's books - find them really easy to follow and the majority of the recipes we like. Another one who would live to see a Vegetarian book, or at least one that uses far less meat. I eat fish/seafood so use lots of those recipes of yours, but don't like meat. Love to see more veggie meals though.

Also -would you consider doing a decent cookbook aimed at young cooks?

DD is 11y and loves to cook - proper cooking, making meals rather than just baking buns/cakes. Whilst there are books out there most are aimed at a younger age range and focus too much on baking. Would love to see a decent cookbook, written out clearly for younger cooks but not patronising/childish if you see what I mean. DD has some dyslexic type issues so one that was clearly laid out, decent space between lines of writing with clear images would be good - and covering proper meals that they can cook for the whole family and definitely not just "kids" food. Maybe also starting with some basic meal planning, how to chose a main and dessert, deciding on ingredients, etc.

Kleptronic Tue 27-Aug-13 23:02:06

Jamie. Families on low incomes, who often have health and social issues, low literacy and educational achievements and low self esteem need to eat well on a pittance with no access to supermarkets, only wildly understocked and overpriced local shops. Very often with no access to gas/electricity.

Where would you start with this, Jamie, what would you advice would you give please?

Darkesteyes Tue 27-Aug-13 23:09:49

Other Mners have already mentioned your extremely disappointing and classist comments of today so instead of just reiterating that i thought i would ask you about your comments about young people.
Could you please clarify or explain the comments you made here Thankyou.


halfwayupthehill Tue 27-Aug-13 23:12:12

1. Please answer ltevedallas's question.
2. Do you have any idea what it is like to be a lone parent, working 50 hours a week outside the home, not living near a good market, barely making enough to pay for childcare, permanently exhausted with a fridge-freezer on its last legs, no car etc etc, toddler underfoot in the kitchen?
3. Instead of flogging yet another book, why not just send all mnetters one good, cheap easy meal recipe a week for free.
4. Why do you feel a need to be divisive? Surely with the rising cost of living you could promote your show by targeting everyone who wants to eat well for less...mmmm.

SunshineBossaNova Tue 27-Aug-13 23:25:17

What advice would you give people like my brother, who was housed by the council for weeks in a B&B room with no access to cooking facilities?

Hi Jamie.

I think it's important that schools should fund basic cooking lessons again. What are your thoughts?

I also think its important that new families and existing are made aware of basic store cupboard ingredients and utensils to help them cook from scratch.

goforthejobular Tue 27-Aug-13 23:55:35

I saw a video of your young son Buddy dancing to Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines song... What do you think of the song and its rapey lyrics and its dodgy video? Do you think it sets a good example to your children?

HoneyDragon Wed 28-Aug-13 00:07:00

Just to add to Greythornes post.

Did you regret saying

"It should punch you round the face, with a little kiss after"

For your BBQ sauce?

TheCrackFox Wed 28-Aug-13 08:14:20

Have you heard of Gerald Rather and how he destroyed his own successful business empire with an ill judged comment?

FancyPuffin Wed 28-Aug-13 08:25:21

Jamie - You seem to have lots of opinions on people with lower incomes or on benefits. As someone who was successful from a young age and who has not had to experience poverty and having children at the same time, what has made you decide focus on this.

Other than when you have a camera crew with you, do you actually spend any time personally investigating the issues you suggest are happening.

The benefits myths you have been recently peddling suggest your investigations involve reading the Daily Mail, is this true?

Pan Wed 28-Aug-13 09:24:41

IF your passion is for food, rather than marketing and money (£26rrp for a book about inexpensive eating, really?), would an idea to spend some of your millions on free initiatives to educate on buying, storing, preparing and cooking food properly? A bit like Delia's classic Complete Cookery Course, except
- updated to use free all new media means for max reach, apps etc
- using online demos
- free targeted laminates available outside of Sainsburys
- offer services free to orgs such as MSE, PAGs, Gingerbread and any other org with a direct interest in the better well-being of less well-off people or in difficult circumstances
- aimed at younger people (without the '15' recruitment tag) to secure better future out comes

And don't align it to a new book.Otherwise you'll end up appearing like a just any other knobish 'tv cook' with a slick PR/marketing machine.

And talking about PR, you surely have such people?

ExcuseTypos Wed 28-Aug-13 09:30:10

Jamie I have a lot of your books and I enjoy cooking from them. However I feel really peed off by your negative comments about poor people and TVs.

I also wonder how your British staff feel about the comments you've made today about British workers being lazy?

It's not about the food anymore, you're making personal judgements which you have extrapolated into whole sections of society. Why are you doing this?

HotCrossPun Wed 28-Aug-13 09:47:04

*Did you regret saying

"It should punch you round the face, with a little kiss after"

For your BBQ sauce?*

shock shock shock

MN - can you make sure Honeydragon question goes to the top of the pile please.

I used to really like Jamie sad

LEMisdisappointed Wed 28-Aug-13 10:14:32

Did you regret saying "oh yes jools, going onto mnet for a webchat is a really good idea"

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Wed 28-Aug-13 11:09:19

Hi, Jamie.

I worked with a health visitor for a while and have been into homes where there's not a lot but often have a huge TV or stereo system so I get what you're saying. Problem is, people who are less well off are reliant on places like Brighthouse for items for their homes and Brighthouse don't sell small TVs. Also, a few pounds out of their income every week isn't a big hit (a few pounds over a few years is a huge mark up though). Cooking skills and budgets are often taught by schools and parents. If they don't do this because there's no lessons or because no one's taught them then they can't pass the skills down. It may be a good idea to look at the home economics lessons that children should get in secondary school and see how these can be improved wink

Anyway, I grew up in a house where fresh food was rare. My father used to buy a sack of potatoes and would cook chips with something out of a can on most days. I moved to go to University and I had no cooking skills apart from whacking a potato into a microwave, and I've had to teach myself. I have a 14 year old who is learning to cook (we're coming to your Big Festival on Sunday) but I've no idea where to start. Is there a list of basic things that a teenager should be able to cook? He's veg phobic (doesn't like the taste confused) and we don't eat too many take aways grin.

Thank you.

Valpollicella Wed 28-Aug-13 11:19:02

I have a suspicion this webchat won't go ahead...or it will be very selective answers

LEMisdisappointed Wed 28-Aug-13 11:28:08

Lady - i'm glad you wasn't my health visitor!

Trigglesx Wed 28-Aug-13 11:32:22

In a recent article, he labelled himself a "shit stirrer" as well as giving quite a few comments that were considered controversial and frankly a bit distasteful (ironic, considering he's a chef grin).

I think that, in all honesty, if he is quite happy to "shit stir" then he should be man enough to show up for a webchat regardless. I am appalled that someone who has his level of money/income is comfortable making sweeping derogatory statements about the poor and the youth of today. Surely there are better ways to get people interested in cooking than being inflammatory and falling back on Daily Mail stereotypes. I'm curious to know what type of research (if any) he did into what poor families are dealing with before he put together this book and started making his "guaranteed press" comments.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Wed 28-Aug-13 11:33:44

It was the health visitor who pointed this out, LEMis. hmm

LEMisdisappointed Wed 28-Aug-13 11:46:05

why the hmm face? Its very worrying isn't it that HCP are looking down on the people they are supposed to be helping, what hope is there for the rest of them. So i will refresh my comment to im glad she wasn't my HV and you weren't her lacky. oh and no, i don't have a huge TV and don't even know what brighthouse is.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 28-Aug-13 11:46:58

Jamie Oliver making comments about "the youth of today" makes me feel old!

Faverolles Wed 28-Aug-13 11:48:17

" making sweeping derogatory statements about the poor and the youth of today."

But with all the propaganda on the BBC and channel 4 (DM goes without saying!) going on over the last few months, it's not surprising that so many have a derogatory attitude to the feckless poor.

So, Jamie, how about bucking the trend of blindly believing stereotypes and try to make a change at that level, rather than writing books that those it's aimed for will never be able to afford?
How about a campaign to get proper, honest cookery back into schools, including teaching the skills needed to meal plan and properly budget?

ivykaty44 Wed 28-Aug-13 11:52:51

why should he spend time and money trying to get cookery books into school - he spent time and money trying to get school lunches changed and look at the thrashing he got for that. Unless he is sadistic why put up with the pain of another campaign to help yet get beaten by people pushing chips through the school railings

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Wed 28-Aug-13 11:53:53

I said in my post that I was rarely given fresh food at home when I was a child, LEMis, so I can see it from a different perspective. I apologise if you saw my post as a sweeping generalisation, I was just trying to say that there's often more behind things then we can see. I don't think I explained myself very well. The hmm was towards the HV's comments.

GobbySadcase Wed 28-Aug-13 11:54:30

Today's nugget is that apparently British workers are whiners!
Is there any social group you're not attempting to offend, Jamie?

Oh, and is it true that all your staff at Fifteen and JO restaurants are on zero hours contracts?

Trigglesx Wed 28-Aug-13 11:59:40

According to his article, very few of them are British, anyway. Doesn't mention zero hours contracts.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Wed 28-Aug-13 12:00:04

That's in the daily mail, it's it Gobby. grin Do you believe everything they print?

Vivacia Wed 28-Aug-13 12:01:35

Jamie, would you be interested in doing a documentary along the lines of living the life of someone managing on a limited budget? Or perhaps living with a lone parent for a couple of weeks and showing them and us how it's all done?

testedpatience Wed 28-Aug-13 12:04:54

Jamie, have you made any plans to get this Government to implement proper School cookery lessons for all children Yr 7 -10?

My daughters cookery class included a lesson on Pizza which consisted of squirting tomato puree onto a quarter french stick, a sprinkling of grated cheese then grilled. As you can imagine, it was inedible.

The fruit salad they were required to make was 3 different fruits chopped up and half a carton of orange juice thrown on topconfused This apparently uses the 1hr 10 mins allocated for the weekly compulsory cooking lesson in Yr 7 which they only have for a termhmm

It hardly inspires the next generation to make an easy ragu or whip up a home made sheperds pie when the rubbish the school is teaching them means they wont eat it at the end because its horrible and how can anyone be proud of a tomato puree pizza.

I would love to have the confidence to cook from scratch but wouldnt dare to buy expensive ingredients when it might go wrong with my own lack of skills so everything we eat is from a pack or jar especially if its on BOGOF. You would have a breakdown if you looked in my freezer, Birdseye is my friendblushgrin

It would be nice if the kids were given the confidence at an early age and surely cost effective if their health and awareness of food means they live healthier lives.

GobbySadcase Wed 28-Aug-13 12:09:32

Sorry Lady, got that from Sky News not the Daily Hate.
The keeping workers on zero hours contracts emerged from a bog post yesterday. Journos investigating that I believe.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Wed 28-Aug-13 12:12:22

It's in the Daily Hate. It seems to be a 'lets bash a celeb' week. It'll be someone else in the firing line next week.

GobbySadcase Wed 28-Aug-13 12:15:05

It's in plenty of other places too. Nice attempt to sidetrack, though smile

LEMisdisappointed Wed 28-Aug-13 12:20:47

Oh Sorry Lady - have some cake Home-made, from scratch of course!

I'm starting to feel a bit, only a bit, sorry for the pucker tucker man now - but they do say, any publicity is good publicity. Saying that, i think if I were getting slated in the papers and reading them from my luxury mansion i would find it pretty easy to brush it off so im sure he'll cope.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 28-Aug-13 12:22:41

I wrote my dissertation on food poverty and how been poorer basically means you're more likely to have a crap diet and therefore more chance of obesity. I got 95% for my dissertation btw so its something I feel I know quite a bit about.

It's far too simplistic to say that people could shop smarter and therefore eat better. There will be families tonight who don't have any "store cupboard essentials" at home who maybe only have £2 to feed a family for dinner. In such circumstances their choices are limited if they don't want to go hungry. A loaf of bread and a multipack of crisps will fill them up.

People don't always have hobs, ovens. They may not live near a supermarket, can't afford a taxi fare there. They may not have pots/pans, etc. they may only be able to buy food from an expensive corner shop.

Food prices have shot up in recent years, partly I believe to some sort of city types betting on food prices. I don't know the exact terminology but some sort of hedge fund types bet on food prices, somehow make money out of this and the result is food prices go up.

Jamie, I'd like to see a campaign where this activity is made illegal. It's morally wrong that rich people can do this, making poorer people suffer.

Darkesteyes Wed 28-Aug-13 13:09:17

Lady Mary MY link upthread about him saying the youth of today are too lazy to work is from the Psychologies website.
Just seen a remark on Twitter that DailyMailTV the Wright Stuff were having a go at what poor people eat this morning.
Yep Shit stirrer is about right
Thanks for fanning the flames of hate that little bit more.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Wed 28-Aug-13 13:13:36

confused Where on Earth have I done that?

Will you tell kerryann her youtube shows are excellent and that tillyann says hi? Love her I do. grin

Darkesteyes Wed 28-Aug-13 13:48:05

Sorry Lady Mary That was aimed at Jamie not you thanks

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Wed 28-Aug-13 13:54:02

No worries smile wine?

WilsonFrickett Wed 28-Aug-13 14:19:33

While I loathe most of the 'poverty porn' on TV atm I did catch this show

Great british budget menu and I thought it was excellent. Particularly James Martin trying to make food on the pensioner's budget.

Did you watch it? Why do you think you can succeed where three equally talented chefs really, really struggled.

Craftsonsea Wed 28-Aug-13 14:42:15

Hello Jamie,
I was also more than a bit hmm about the whole poor people / tele's thing however I'm working on the theory that I have said quite a few thick things in my time which I have then gone on to regret. I'm hoping this is the same for you?!
My question is therefore what thing have you done so far or would like to achieve that you'd like to be remembered for?
As an aside, DH runs a Foodbank in Essex so if you'd ever like to come along and talk to some people about food and spending in a non-shitty pr 'look at me and the poor people' way you would be most welcome.

limitedperiodonly Wed 28-Aug-13 14:45:57

Hi Jamie

Is it true that some of your staff are on zero hours contracts?

Trigglesx Wed 28-Aug-13 14:55:41

WilsonFrickett That's one of the shows I was talking about. Great British Budget Menu - The chefs CHEATED!! They all splurged and exceeded their budget, saying they wanted to "treat" the families. A bit condescending that, and not in the spirit of the programme. And James Martin shopping at Waitrose?! No wonder he couldn't stay within budget.

The other show was the one where they grouped up working people with non-working people and the workers proceeded to trash the non-workers - and one woman that owned a cleaning company was berating the poor woman telling her she was being ridiculous and spendy for buying a whole chicken (to roast and use for a few meals) instead of just boneless chicken breasts. shock That show had (I think) Nick from The Apprentice and the woman that was on The Apprentice awhile ago (NOT KH by the way thank god!).

OhDearNigel Wed 28-Aug-13 15:54:06

The media discussion overvthe last couple of days has brought up a topic close to my heart - lack of cookery teaching in schools. Instead of campaigning about school dinners would you lead a campaign to get proper cookery (not food tech) back on the curriculum ? I understand why you felt strongly about school meals, however these are only 5 meals per week in term time. Cookery lessons could set children up for life.

I am a pastry chef and would be happy to be involved in some sort of volunteering to help pass vital skills on to the next generation (or indeed onto young parents).

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Wed 28-Aug-13 15:59:14

Ds has no cookery lessons in his school. There is a cookery club at lunch time one day a week but he's never been as he has 'other things to do'. I remember my home ec 'lessons'; spaghetti bolognese using canned mince and canned tomatoes blush

ouryve Wed 28-Aug-13 15:59:14

OhDearNigel - given Jamie's foot in mouth problems, maybe you should do a namechange in his honour, this week grin

OhDearNigel Wed 28-Aug-13 15:59:38

Oh and PS. Your roasted veg vindaloo with chicken skewers is a big hit in my house

OhDearNigel Wed 28-Aug-13 16:01:19

Trigglesx, that made me hmm too and shout at the non plasma tv

I hate cooking. I never have the time so I am always open to new quick ideas for meals

However I always end up doing the same things because whenever I buy a recipe book and seem to find a new simple meal it invariably requires me to purchase some Moondust seeds or Dodo teeth extract.

I would like a cook book that just does simple, everyday stuff and doesn't require me to travel to Madagascar to source the essential herbs and spices.
That wasn't a question either just a rant from a lazy cook with not much in my cupboards.

BIWI Wed 28-Aug-13 16:20:06

YouveCatToBeKittenMe - Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course is the one that you want. Only 2.71 here - a bargain!

Thank you BIWI that looks good

We have survived on DH's pre marriage Cooking for one book by Delia so far, we just multiply the quantities!

MmeLindor Wed 28-Aug-13 16:26:42

Gosh, don't know whether to be impressed, or hide under the bed until the webchat is over. Hope MNHQ have got lots of hard hats ready.

I really like your books, and have used the recipes with great success in the past. Like many others, I was disappointed to read of your comments, and hoped that you might have been misquoted or misunderstood. If not, I do hope that the ensuing discussion has been beneficial to your understanding of a life in poverty.

We lived abroad for 20 years, and in that time I noticed a massive increase in ready meals available in supermarkets when visited UK on holiday. I do feel that the promotion of 'healthy' and 'gourmet' style ready meals have normalized this kind of nutrition, where it used to be a one-off quick fix, or an occasional treat. Added to this, there are often promotions of ready menu, with starter, main course and dessert to feed a family.

I worry that without decent home ec classes in schools, our kids won't learn how to cook. Would you consider putting your money where your mouth is and joining Mumsnet in campaigning to get kids cooking in school again?

snice Wed 28-Aug-13 16:27:45

re the cost of the new book there are usually a good selection of recipes on the JO website for nothing-just had a look and the new book has a section with 'recipes coming soon'

snice Wed 28-Aug-13 16:30:57

forgot my question:

Jamie-how much would you say was the minimum amount on which you could feasibly feed a family of four for a week (without exceptionally humungous store cupboard and no handfuls of fresh herbs which as we all know are only affordable in 'chef-land') ?

peanutMD Wed 28-Aug-13 16:40:16

As someone else asked:

What would you class as the store cupboard staples?

Vivacia Wed 28-Aug-13 16:42:30

I can understand Jamie's reluctance to get involved with school reform. The current governments programme of Academies and Free Schools has wiped out much of Jamie's previous work with school dinners.

TunipTheUnconquerable Wed 28-Aug-13 16:47:11

I would like to know how it saves money to use cheap cuts of meat that need slow cooking given that you can end up having to cook them for up to 4 hours.

Have Jamie's researchers calculated the fuel costs and demonstrated that it really will save money?

WilsonFrickett Wed 28-Aug-13 17:05:17

Triggles I saw that one too and was shock at that woman with the chicken! That programme was kind of what I meant about poverty porn though - neither side really learned anything. Whereas in the budget food programme I think the chefs really did 'get' it. Well, a bit, anyway.

SunshineBossaNova Wed 28-Aug-13 17:05:59

What is your opinion on Workfare? And do your staff at Fifteen and other establishments receive a living wage and sick benefits?

Jamie. I've been a long time fan.

However.... I'm not going to say anymore about the "poor in the UK" as have nothing to add.

But why oh why are you working at The Sun? Jamie! Page 3 is a sexist misogynistic anachronism. Would you work for a racist publication? Sexism should be no different.

Check out No More Page 3 / Every Day Sexism website if you're still unconvinced of the pernicious harm being done. You know what we consume matters. How women are portrayed in The Sun is detrimental. I'm a fan Jamie but you seem to have lost your way and turned all jingoistic and populist and found yourself on the Murdoch payroll.

Tell me it's not so.

mignonette Wed 28-Aug-13 17:14:48

Jamie plenty of research shows that standards of cooking, the purchase of fresh food, the ability to access it and changing demographic patterns has negatively affected what is cooked fresh and how and who by in Italy, Spain, France and Greece- all those lovely countries you romanticise as being full of kindly Grannies teaching the little ones to cook.

I have quoted on the other thread a document w/ statistics pertaining to this with regard to Italy. In France/Italy there have been massive increases in the availability and purchasing of supermarket frozen and convenience foods and real changes in how younger people eat. This is in tandem with increased poverty, unemployment and social unrest. Fast food outlets and pre- packaged food purchase is on the rise in Italy and correlates positively w/ lowered income, unemployment and social insecurity.

It is inaccurate and offensive to depict hard times as being positively correlated with the best food and present this as some kind of idealised state of living. Do you really think the People of Italy would have chosen to eat Cucina Povera if they'd have had the choice? Do you think those enduring war and subsequent deprivations would have chosen to grind acorns to make flour and drinks with if they'd have had anything better? How do you think this makes people feel who lay awake night after night knowing that one more bill (even for £5) will tip them over the edge? That buying cheap convenience food because of transport/where they live/availability/what their oen parents didn't teach them is depicted by you as a horrendous moral failing? And that the cheap TV, the cheapestsource of entertainment in a world where it costs £££ to do so many activities w/ children is now used as a stick to beat them with. The very TV that YOU have made your millions from. Shame on you.

Making these offensive comments to garner headlines cheapens you even more especially considering 1) You make a lot of your your money in part from selling poor quality ready prepared jarred food sold by supermarkets which have done so much to damage the supply of variety in food and 2) You are making television shows presumably to be watched on these flat screen TV's you are so scathing that 'poor eaters' have.

My Daughter is training to be a Patissiere and works long long hours in a teashop/patisserie where more than half of the staff are British. They take great exception to your rude comments about lazy British workers and suggest that perhaps you are an employer who would like to take advantage of foreign born labour prepared to work longer illegal hours. I assume you are happy to provide the media w/ full details of the ethnic make up of all your restaurants and copies of your rosters to back up your claims. We used to work Doctors half to death too with 90 hour weeks. Doesn't make it right. I could likely go to a developing nation and employ hundreds of locals on 50+ hour weeks on minimum wage. Doesn't make it right.

I await the publication of A Girl Called Jack's book. I will not buy yours, nor your products nor visit your restaurants. Shame on you.

expatinscotland Wed 28-Aug-13 17:51:48

Bravo, mignonette, and I'd like to see Crack's question: how many of your employees are on zero-hour contracts?

WilsonFrickett Wed 28-Aug-13 17:52:16

<applauds mignonette>

usualsuspect Wed 28-Aug-13 18:09:29

Great post,mignonette.

I think it covers everything.

SunshineBossaNova Wed 28-Aug-13 18:10:26

<more applause>

mignonette Wed 28-Aug-13 18:17:25

Thank you <<<takes an embarrassed bow >>>>

Yes to Crack's question too. Full disclosure Jamie seeing as you are in an honest kind of mind.

LaVitaBellissima Wed 28-Aug-13 18:33:36

I heard managers from Jamie's have great maternity pay which is unheard of in the hospitality industry.

usualsuspect Wed 28-Aug-13 18:35:53

Just the managers?

LRDPomogiMnyeSRabotoi Wed 28-Aug-13 18:37:31

I was already to come along and echo the comments that this is a bad idea.

But instead I'll be another one echoing greythorne and honeydragon.

Jamie, do you think making light of DV and prostitution is a particularly healthy activity?

Great post mignonette

LaVitaBellissima Wed 28-Aug-13 18:49:56

Usual, not sure, I worked for many years as a General Manager in Central London, so only heard it being talked about as if I had the same position working for Jamie. I would assume it would be all salaried staff head chefs, sous chefs, managers, assistant managers. Most waiters, commis chefs would be paid hourly so I would assume slightly different contract. This is all hearsay though grin
I would say that in my hospitality circles, Jamie's and the deli are considered well paid, a great place to work and there are a lot of staff perks etc in comparison to most chains

morethanpotatoprints Wed 28-Aug-13 18:54:33

As tax credit is now considered a benefit, I would like to know what efforts Jamie makes to ensure his employees don't have to claim benefit. After all, they may have a plasma tv and that would never do.

ivykaty44 Wed 28-Aug-13 19:00:26

dd1 works in catering and hospitality and has been in the last couple of months in a new venture - they have struggled to get staff and have had:

one parent phone up to try to talk to the boss about the work her dd was doing

two members of staff leave as it was to much hard work, both young men in their twenties

one member of staff text at 2am to say she was sick, only the following day it came to light she had been night clubbing and was out drunk at 2am as another member of staff saw her out the night before and was in for their shift and grassed her up by mistake

They are not employed on zero or low hour contracts above minimum wage pay. At the moment they have two full time positions available but no takers.

hearing this stories at home I can understand why these comments have been made.

MmeLindor Wed 28-Aug-13 19:07:52

[applauds Mignonette]

Difficulty is getting workers in catering industry is nothing new. My brother has worked as a chef for over 20 years, and we have seen both sides - the staff often feck off to another job cause they are treated like shit.

ivykaty44 Wed 28-Aug-13 19:17:31

Sometimes yes you are treated badly - I have also doing my years in pubs and hotels, but this is a decent boss in a nice area. I have what I consider an easy job now but my colleagues don't so ssh

I think though part of the problem with catering is that is is never considered as a trade or decent job, a bit like retails it is considered a bad career to enter at most levels.

if though you go to many countries in europe it is considered a good job to be in and ok to have as a carer.

I do think that needs to change, but whether it ever will I don't know?

Tulane Wed 28-Aug-13 19:22:44

My children really love your Young's frozen fish ready meals. Will you be adding to the range?

LEMisdisappointed Wed 28-Aug-13 19:26:59

Tulane grin

goforthejobular Wed 28-Aug-13 19:43:20

Do you pay everyone that works for you at least a living wage?

LaVitaBellissima Wed 28-Aug-13 19:53:27

Ivy katy I completely agree, I have had many parents call to say their child is ill or staff not coming in due to hangovers, I agree with some of Jamie's comments in regards to immigrants.

The real truth though is that hospitality and catering is one of the few industries that you can join at grass roots level, as say a KP (kitchen porter - pot washer) or a waitress and work your way up by hard work and learning on the job and end up in a senior kitchen position or management job with a decent salary.

SubliminalMassaging Wed 28-Aug-13 19:54:18

I agree with BIWI and LOL LOL LOL at all the people piling onto this thread to justify why they have big tellies. Hilarious.

GobbySadcase Wed 28-Aug-13 20:10:14

Sure you got the right thread?

It's more about the sweeping generalisations. Questioning abut JO's own staff pay and conditions. JO's previous associations with supermarket chains and ready meals manufacturers and how that might be a little hypocritical.

There was a bit about comments alluding to dv in the past, too.

Darkesteyes Wed 28-Aug-13 20:11:01

Great post mignonette and i would like to back up her points as half my family is Italian. My mum was born and brought up in Naples in poverty and was working in fields by the time she was seven years old.
She came over here in 1960,married my British dad in 1963 and me and bro came along in the 70s.
My mum is a fantastic cook but when i was growing up she simply didnt have time to teach me a great deal.
Because she had to work 12 hr days in a poultry factory so we didnt lose our home even though Dad worked full time too as a site foreman.
And mignonette is bang on about the changes now happening in Italy. My aunts,uncle ,cousins have seen it first hand.

Greythorne Wed 28-Aug-13 20:13:39

I wonder if Jamie thought the board would be full of questions such as: 'Hi, Jamie, I love your Ministry of Food book....any idea how to get my DC to eat more veggies?'

mignonette Wed 28-Aug-13 20:20:26

And the large amount of very old people living in and around my Father's town in France w/ badly bowed legs caused by Rickets when they were young. Back in the good old days of simple home cooking. hmm

Darkesteyes Wed 28-Aug-13 20:21:04

ivykaty In the interest of balance here is a copy and paste of something i wrote on another thread.

DarkesteyesWed 28-Aug-13 13:45:38

A couple of months ago there was an interview with a chef in Marie Claire. the way ppl are treated in some of these kitchens is appalling She talked about the time a co worker was deliberately burnt on the back with a hot palette knife.

CorrinaKedavra Wed 28-Aug-13 20:24:48

Greythorne grin

Must have confused us with Netmums.

It's going to be like when Nick Clegg (remember him?) came on just after he had formed the coalition and expected us to keep to the topic he wanted to discuss.

Darkesteyes Wed 28-Aug-13 20:30:58

Forgot to add My mum didnt really speak Italian directly to me and my brother when we were little and as we got a bit older she simply didnt have time to teach us the language.
My mums upbringing has left a its mark.
She is STILL working standing up in a poultry factory all day at the age of 77.
Because she has a terrible fear of poverty due to her experiences. That is why i become angry and upset when people attempt to romanticise these times. Post war Italy has left its legacy on my family and many others in lots of different ways. And most of it isnt good!

ivykaty44 Wed 28-Aug-13 20:33:54

darkeyes - I have seen a few things in kitchens - fortunately not actual bodily harm and more of the plate throwing from chefs when they have lost their temper.

Did the chef being interviewed cause this burn to a co worker?

Darkesteyes Wed 28-Aug-13 20:37:09

No she was a witness to the incident.

BoffinMum Wed 28-Aug-13 20:42:39

I am with Mignonette on all this. He obviously means well, but I don't think he's in touch with the real world any longer.

I think it's pretty easy for someone who grew up in a restaurant, and who is now a multi-millionaire, to lecture other people on how to eat, but his family always had access to wholesale bulk buy food and top quality ingredients, not to mention time on their hands and access to capital, that allowed them to run a pub and restaurant in Clavering.

I feel rather sad that this latest venture will further add to his coffers as well, while people are literally unable to afford a tin of tomatoes in some parts of the country. It's not that I envy him the money, but I genuinely do feel utterly frustrated that many of these very wealthy, uniquely privileged people fail to see any paradox whatsoever between their frequent TV appearances, engagement with advertisers, their profitable careers, and the very food poverty they are trying to address. It's all linked, people!

He is right on a lot of what he says, but the solution is so much more complex that the hidden agenda - 'it's the poor's own fault', is just not enough. Sorry Jamie. The real problem is a combination of ignorance, being knackered, limited funds, limited access to fresh food and social instability. That's why some people could only eat fish and chips and bought-in meat pies in the past, while others ate lobster, and why it happens now.

mignonette Wed 28-Aug-13 20:46:22

Darkest I am so sorry to hear that. Think Jamie owes you an answer. Seeing as he knows so much about Italy and all.

halfwayupthehill Wed 28-Aug-13 21:12:55

Hear hear boffinmum

limitedperiodonly Wed 28-Aug-13 21:26:39

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BoffinMum Wed 28-Aug-13 21:32:36

Oh dear, I fear he will be roasted like one of his very own vegetables on here.

mignonette Wed 28-Aug-13 21:34:00

This is very appropriate for JO from Doctor Seuss- (Borrowed from another thread)

"Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot."

BoffinMum Wed 28-Aug-13 21:36:22

BTW when doing my blog I costed up a 1910 diet recommended in a school cookery book of the period aimed at the working class, and just the meat part of it would cost about £50 a week now, for a family of four, let alone the rest of it. Yet that is a period held up as a golden era, with mums at home busy preparing food all day and so on.

KatieLily12 Wed 28-Aug-13 21:40:20

How do you expect to help families that you have openly judged and condemned? You have added to the many privileged voices who take an anecdote and use it to reason that those most vulnerable in our society only have themselves to blame.

So will you be continuing this journey to 'help' families or move on to your next cookbook/ series tie in now you've openly talked about your ignorance when it comes to poverty?

Perhaps you could do a follow up at the many many local food banks that are possibly the closest to that idyllic local market you waxed so lyrical about. Our local market is full of chi chi jams at £5 a jar. Not a mange tout in sight.

CorrinaKedavra Wed 28-Aug-13 21:47:25

BoffinMum are you the author of "Austerity Housekeeping?" I bought that and very reasonably-priced it was too.

I didn't know there was a blog as well. Reading now. Your Crisis Diet looks amazing but how sad it is that people have to cut back this much.

I would also be interested in the answer to how much Jamie spends on feeding his family and what percentage of his net weekly income it is.

BOF Wed 28-Aug-13 21:54:39

I'd contribute to the roasting, but I can't afford the vast quantities of olive oil required.

ouryve Wed 28-Aug-13 21:57:41

>>I would like to know how it saves money to use cheap cuts of meat that need slow cooking given that you can end up having to cook them for up to 4 hours.

As far as I can work out (I don't have one so can't check) a medium sized slow cooker uses under 1kw to cook a meal. A hob on a low setting would probably use a little more. I can't find the data for my own induction hob.

When I was a skint student, this sort of slow cooking did a wonderful job of warming up an otherwise icy cold house.

CorrinaKedavra Wed 28-Aug-13 21:59:01

Oh dear, BoF, there's that "can't do" mentality again. You obviously have to sell your computer, buy lots of olives and make your own olive oil. You could set yourself up in the Olive Oil Business in no time. I'm sure that's how they did in in Sicily.

BoffinMum Wed 28-Aug-13 22:01:04

Corinna, yes I am and glad you found it helpful. grin

One of the blog followers recosted the weekly Crisis menus a year later and they've all gone up a fiver or so. sad

BoffinMum Wed 28-Aug-13 22:03:10

Corinna, I was in Umbria a couple of Augusts ago and there was no bloody decent food anywhere. We lived on cheap pizza and entry level pasta with tomato sauce, including when we went out, as that was pretty much all there was locally. Luckily there were some fruit trees in the garden and I cooked up some bits and pieces from that, but if we hadn't had access to those, food would have been very boring indeed.

CorrinaKedavra Wed 28-Aug-13 22:14:43

Oh god, Boffin, that is bad. I know what you mean about entry-level pasta and sugo too. One of my favourite threads was from someone trying to make a decent sauce with no expensive store-cupboard ingredients, not simmering for hours to reduce and increase flavour because it uses a lot of electricity and it was very illuminating here

Still - never mind. Jamie Oliver will be along shortly to tell us all where we are going wrong.

Your book was marvellous in so many respects and still only 2.99! flowers

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Wed 28-Aug-13 22:23:12

Don't have a question, just marking my place 'cos I don't want to miss this!

BoffinMum Wed 28-Aug-13 22:30:34

I had a similar experience in Kyrenia where the only fruit and veg were in tins, imported from southern Cyprus, Tesco type of stuff. Bloody awful eating on that holiday.

CorrinaKedavra Wed 28-Aug-13 22:30:37

Deletions already.

I won't ask my question then.

Pan Wed 28-Aug-13 22:35:58

That will be about pt 4 of the 'rules' re polite and civil Corrina, with him being a guest and all.

SeaSickSal Wed 28-Aug-13 22:36:47

And Jamie, if you are so committed to improving the health of the nation how come the ministry of food you opened in Rotherham shut not long after the cameras stopped rolling?

Perhaps because few of the people living in Rotherham are the demographic you make your money from so it was not a good investment when it no longer brought national attention?

idiot55 Wed 28-Aug-13 22:37:27

Would you consider doing some publicity for research into the medical disorder my daughter has which means she is allergic to food and relies on a hypoallergenic formula to survive. It's obviously quite rare but becoming more common and we need to find a cure.

Can you imagine never being able to eat?

BoffinMum Wed 28-Aug-13 23:34:20

Here's a question for Jamie.
Why does the fruit and veg from Cambridge market go off so quick?

HoneyDragon Wed 28-Aug-13 23:41:46

Jamie would you consider backing Iceland instead of Sainsbury's as they are the only supermarket that haven't been involved in some sort of food scandal of late?

Dad's are allowed to go too, you know?

CorrinaKedavra Wed 28-Aug-13 23:49:57

grin at Dads going to Iceland. Good question. I buy all my veg from there, flash-frozen, not having access to a kitchen-garden bigger than Heathrow Airport.

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 00:02:16

See Jamie? Ain't no Shergar in Corrinas broad beans.

VileWoman Thu 29-Aug-13 00:09:31

Wouldn't you describe a business that expects its staff to work 80-100 hours a week as exploitative and, frankly, financially unstable?

Solo Thu 29-Aug-13 00:59:18

Hi I love you Jamie.

I'd like to know how you don't put on bundles of weight. I'd pile it on if I worked cooking food all day!

I've just ordered your new book. I cook on a budget mainly and hate wasting food, so I'm looking forward to receiving it soon.

Also, I ate at a Jamies Italian once and was completely disappointed!

ishchel Thu 29-Aug-13 01:07:18

Asking once more alongside the other posters. Is this a reality of your restaurants?

Sleepy Hollow Hedgehogs27 August 2013 15:18
I have a friend works for Mr Oliver on minimum wage at 44 years of age. I went to one of his restaurants and bought 2 drinks and 2 cakes and it came to almost £17 which is why Mr Oliver is a multi-millionaire and my friend uses payday loans to manage.

CorrinaKedavra Thu 29-Aug-13 01:09:36

"I'd like to know how you don't put on bundles of weight"

I'd like to know this as well.

I'm looking forward to the excuses.

MorphyBrown Thu 29-Aug-13 01:20:41

Your books taught me to cook.

I believe you've done a lot of good.

The harm you've caused with your recent comments more than outweighs that.

Are you planning to start a regular feature for the Daily Mail?

NonnoMum Thu 29-Aug-13 01:23:40


Just blimey.

MorphyBrown Thu 29-Aug-13 01:28:23

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expatinscotland Thu 29-Aug-13 04:44:59

Jamie, how much do you donate to charity per annum?

Where are the proceeds of your latest book and series going?

And again, how many of your employees are on zero hours contracts? How many, if on FT contracts, are paid below the threshold for working tax credits?

Jamie, why do you expect people to opt out of the EU working time directive to profit your business endeavours, because that directive was in place when you were still well below minor age?

DancesWithWoolEnPointe Thu 29-Aug-13 08:17:29

I'm just marking my place in this carnage - FWIW, I think the road to a MN roasting is paved with good intentions, but in the same week as making judgmental generalisations about "poor" people in the press, this really is the last place Mr Oliver would want to be.

I just hope that the inevitable public outcomes of this webchat focuses on the intelligent social commentary being put forward by all these MNers, and doesn't just descend into more nest of vipers commentary.

sybilfaulty Thu 29-Aug-13 08:18:35

Dear Jamie, love your books and have made most of your thirty minute meals. Brilliant ideas and loved by my children thanks.

Would you ever do Strictly? Other commitments permitting of course.

Pan Thu 29-Aug-13 08:28:14

sybil - I think Strictly is for those with faultering careers.........so including this thread, "Every little helps".

JakeBullet Thu 29-Aug-13 08:34:21

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BoffinMum Thu 29-Aug-13 09:11:38

That New Statesman article hits the nail on the head.

Empty vessels do indeed make the most noise.

BoffinMum Thu 29-Aug-13 09:17:08

If you find yourself suddenly rather poor, why not sell your telly and try rustling up Cucina Povera dishes like The Cricketers Antipasti on the menu at Jamie's parents' pub. wink

Cricketers Antipasti

HepsibarCrinkletoes Thu 29-Aug-13 09:20:16

I think your recent comments were at rather ill-judged at best, and for those you are getting a sound roasting. But, TBF, I agree in some ways with BIWI's earlier post.

I love your books and have them all I think. Good solid recipes that are tasty, relatively cheap and easy to prep. I have sent my two older daughters off to their respective universities with a couple of your books and they have been a great success, thank you.

Now, of course, I live in London, close to one of the best local markets around where I can buy herbs and spices for tuppence and good and cheap fruit and veg from the humble spud to the exotic that I'm never quite sure what it is.. We do have everything on our doorstep, cheaply and fresh and I agree that locally to me (and other parts of large towns and cities), there is no excuse NOT to buy fresh food - to paraphrase you 'why not buy 10 mangetout and a carrot, a 1lb of lamb mince etc' and whip up something cheap, healthy and tasty. I CAN do that every day and I do.

But for people living in the arse end of nowhere, reliant on public transport/careful with heir fuel, they can't do that; and if they can get a supper for 4 of sausage and chips from the one food outlet near by for less than, say, £5, I can see why they do, and have to sometimes. The size of their television is neither here nor there.

My question is: how do we tackle this? I feel very strongly, like you, that food education needs to start early. My four children (aged from 4-20) are all keen cooks because they have been involved from the moment they could stir or crack an egg. What do you think are the best ways to teach the basic skills that we all need to be able to cook cheap, nutritious and tasty food? I'm not sure that an expensive book is the answer for thousands of families as they simply do not have the money spare to buy it. Would you consider making (as you have a not insignificant bank balance) copies of your book to be distributed among the many thousands of families who could really benefit from it?

Sorry for the length....

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 09:20:23

Mumsnet Antipasti

Bread ham bread

Voila! Hamwidge grin

Sorry HQ

<<gets coat>>

Plus3 Thu 29-Aug-13 09:21:21

Hi Jamie I hope that you do come in for the webchat -I am going to ask a question.

- I thought the Ministry of Food was a brilliant idea, and wonder if your latest venture should have really continued along those lines? Are the MoF pop up stalls still in use?

I also loved that the fact that you took on school dinners - so thank you.

I would rather people tried to make a difference (even clumsily) rather than sit on their arses and did nothing.

good luck grin

MrsDeVere Thu 29-Aug-13 09:25:36

This may have been covered but I have terrible Internet at the moment and I can't read the whole thread.
If you really want to help the Telly Watching Poor may I suggest you do this?
Put a free leaflet of recipes together using only the ingredients that can be 'sourced' from your average Estate shop.
You know the ones.
They sell twenty types of energy drink, fags, papers and have two small chest freezers, a chiller cabinet and a few bananas out the front.

If you can show a parent how to feed their kids well on the money they actually have available and the resources they have available, I will totally and completely change my opinion of what your latest rant is about.

Because at the moment it all just looks suspiciously about selling stuff. To people who can't afford it.

Prove me wrong.

Trigglesx Thu 29-Aug-13 09:45:46

This demonising of the poor based on their eating habits, which is based on stereotypes, is just not on. Not the very least because it doesn't address the middle class and wealthy people that also eat junk and cost the NHS just as much money.

I wonder if it would work to link MN, MSE, and JO together for a huge campaign to put cookery lessons back in the schools. I think a decent cookery class that includes information on nutrition, meal planning, budgeting and cooking would be of so much use. (I know that on MSE there is a huge push to get children taught about basic budgeting in schools) And it would be available to all children, regardless of the financial status of their parents. Even better would be to put information together, such as a recipe book and information booklet that goes along with it, that the children can take home and use (as well as making it available then for the parents to use).

If JO wants to REALLY make a difference, that would do it IMO. That is something I could actually get behind and support.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 29-Aug-13 09:47:12

Our local market sells knock off CDs/DVDs and cheap skanky perfumes mainly. We have a farmers market on the last Sunday of every month, which sells decent fruit and veg and meat cuts but I don't have a freezer big enough to store a months worth of food for 4, nor do I have space for a bigger freezer.

I am lucky in the area I live in, in that I have a decent butchers and a greengrocers on the school run route just minutes away from my house, a fish mongers not much further away and live within walking distance of Tesco which I buy all my 'store cupboard' things from. If we lived further from the center of town, as many people who are worse off than us in my town do, then I'd have access only to local Co-Ops and discount freezer shops, so I understand why people believe that eating frozen, ready made stuff is cheaper, for many people who cannot drive/afford to run a car/don't live centrally etc it is cheaper, by far.

I agree with MrsDV that it would be helpful if you could show people how to create healthy, quick and cheap meals prepared only from ingredients that could be found in a small Co-Op type shop.

I do have a question. I work split shifts and my partner is not a good cook despite us owning every recipe book known to man he has not managed to extend his repertoire further than pasta and a jar of sauce, omelets and poultry based stir fries (with jars of sauce) - whoch to be fair to him is a great improvement on struggling to make a pot noodle hmm.

My children get bored of this quickly so when I have time I'll prepare something for them to reheat/be left in the oven/slow cooker for DH to finish and serve.

However, I get stuck for ideas so even these meals are limited to things like shepards pie, bolognaise and home made chicken curry with micro rice. Any ideas on meals that can be prepared quickly, cheaply, using ingredients I can get from the few shops we have very close to us (butcher, grocer, Co-Op - so no fancy herbs and spices I might not have because Co-Op don't sell them) that can be left in the oven or slow cooker and need only simple things (steamed veg or pasta) to 'finish' them?

Trigglesx Thu 29-Aug-13 09:47:29

REAL nutrition info, I might add, not this simplistic "good food v bad food" that is being handed out in primary schools and making children refuse to eat cheese because it is a bad food high in fat. hmm

Snapespeare Thu 29-Aug-13 09:50:30

Do you suggest using ethically produced meat in your recipes, yet still consider that this is achievable on a budget?

For example, sainsburys mass produced water, hormone full & accelerated growth 'basics' chicken = £2.50 for 1kg - Sainsburys organic chicken £6.39 a kg.

Might I suggest that you direct your ire at the mass supermarket chains who 'employ' shelf-stockers on benefits, (including sainsburys who raked in pre-tax profits of £788m for the year ending 2013) as opposed to people who are doing the best they can to feed their families on very limited budgets.

MmeLindor Thu 29-Aug-13 10:04:08

I agree Triggles. Already my 11yo daughter is weighing up which pizza to order, based on the calories stated on the menu. (the one and only time that we have been to Pizza Hut. I will never go into a restaurant that has nutritional info on the menu again)

WilsonFrickett Thu 29-Aug-13 10:06:06

The difference between living in the not-hugely-wealthy, immigrant-rich centre of a vibrant city and living where I do now, in a commuter belt town with a big Tesco and a slightly smaller co-op is phenomenal. I wouldn't actually have believed it if someone had told me my food bill would go up around 40% through lack of choice, lack of smaller shops, etc etc.

It's all very well to say 'buy the cheaper cuts of meat' which I did when I used a proper family butcher. I refuse to buy Tesco's 'cheaper cuts of meat' because essentially they're the shavings from the slaughter house floor.

Luckily I have the skills and time to manage this. But I'll be very disappointed if you come on here and tell me all I need to do is pop down my local market... Because there isn't one.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 29-Aug-13 10:13:08

Triggles, dd1 has been doing this lately. We took her out for a meal at the weekend, she ordered a Hawaiian pizza and then proceeded to pick off all of the pineapple because the rest of the pizza is "bad" while I am sat there going "But the cheese would be better, it has protein, calcium and less sugar than the pineapple, plus pizza is essentially just bread, cheese, tomato and veg" Apparently bread and cheese are "bad" hmm confused This was proper italian pizza too, with the thin, crispy base and decent quality cheese.

I have asked my trainer/nutritionist to make time to speak with her one day about 'real' nutrition.

noobieteacher Thu 29-Aug-13 10:14:12

I have been cooking meals for 4 for 15 years now, even taking off 5 years for toddler meals that equates to 3650 days I have shopped, cooked and produced meals. I know what I'm talking about.

I can cook most things but only if I want to. I find the cheapest good food and sometimes add up how much it costs. Normally this is a £4 pack of protein plus another £2 for pudding, carbs and veg. Recently I have had to accept that I can't get decent pudding, carbs and veg for less than £4 and protein is going up, leaving little after £10 for a meal. And that's just for one meal a day.

Now if I didn't pay this for food in a supermarket I would have to go to the market and do things like bulk cook overdue veg, get discarded cuts of meat or fish. There is something very depressing about having to forage around, when you have a decent average income that ought to be able to cover the cost of a decent meal every day. The truth is it can't any more. Food, housing, transport and fuel bills have ALL shot up and we can't get an overdraft any more so have to be extremely careful about extras. All around people are putting up prices as far as they possibly can because they are afraid of what might be around the corner - even Lidl and Aldi prices are creeping up, knowing that there is nowhere else for us to shop and knowing that they have to line their coffers to cover their own costs.

Subverting this by using alternative sources of food is a great idea in theory but for most people it's a desperate and depressing solution which chips away at our dignity.

mignonette Thu 29-Aug-13 10:16:21

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LEMisdisappointed Thu 29-Aug-13 10:20:39

THIS is the most important question you will be asked today!

I haven't been shopping this week - my store cupboard is deplete and even though im pissed off with you about the whole poor bashing thing, I need to know what to cook for dinner tonight and you are clearly my best bet! From scratch - for three, fussy DD aged 8 so nothing too spicy, she likes an olive or six though so you tell me what to fetch and how to cook it? Oh, and a have a tenner in my purse. Thanks

alikat724 Thu 29-Aug-13 10:21:04

Just want to offer my support to Jamie - he is exactly right, the chips/cheese/tv comment may have put a few noses out of joint but it's the REALITY of the situation! It doesn't cost any more to cook healthy food, but it does take time, forethought and intelligence which most of the lard-assed chips/cheese brigade find all too much trouble. And for the record - I am not middle class, I grew up very poor (was brought up on benefits), by a mother who could literally burn water, and taught myself to cook in adulthood - so anyone can do it for him/herself and their family - and Jamie is just trying to HELP!

We love Jamie's cook books and enthusiasm for family fun in the kitchen.
We are in the process of publishing our first language learning cookbook and would like to ask which UK Recipe we should not miss out that should be introduced to Spanish people.
A simple but scrummy recipe that they may not have heard of ... thank you! ¡Gracias amigos!

I have read his original comments and think that they were misjudged but also taken out of context.

But my question is around what can we do to change the situation. An expensive book isn't going to help, given that a large number of those who need help have low levels of literacy, have no role models, and will not be able/know how to cook even basic food, such as a bolognese sauce.

Do you think that there should be some sort of charity that Mumsnetters can donate old/unused kitchen equipment too, in order for it to be distributed to those that can't afford it? I have a decent set of knives, but tend to only use 3 of them. The other 5 could go to someone who wants them but can't afford good knives. Instead of just donating food to the food banks, could we also donate kitchen utensils, old mis-matched crockery, good quality pans?

For info, I live in a street where only 2 out of 20 families work (and one of those is me!) We don't have a big TV, but everyone else does. They are all unemployed because they don't know life can be any different, and let's face it, if someone has been out of work for 20+ years, very few employers are going to give them a job. But I understand the frustration.

p.s. more 20 minute veggie recipes would be fab!

Trigglesx Thu 29-Aug-13 10:28:46

It doesn't cost any more to cook healthy food, but it does take time, forethought and intelligence which most of the lard-assed chips/cheese brigade find all too much trouble.

You might want to actually READ the thread. Loads of people struggle with this for various valid reasons. Calling people "lard-assed" is not necessary. And if he wants to help, there are better ways than slagging off the very people he claims to want to help (and then pricing his book out of their orbit anyway).

BoffinMum Thu 29-Aug-13 10:30:18

Corner shop meal suggestions.

1. Chilli and rice. Take fresh, tinned or frozen mince, or quorn, and fry up with a chopped onion. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, preferably with garlic and herbs already in if they have those, and add a slug of Worcestershire sauce or HP sauce. Add a tin of baked beans or red kidney beans (or indeed any other pulse in a tin or packet you have to hand) and a bit of curry powder or turmeric/cumin and boil up until the mince is cooked through and the chilli smells edible. Serve with any old rice, or pasta if you have no rice. You can also use this to top baked potatoes.

2. Macaroni cheese. Take some macaroni or another similar pasta such as penne or fusilli (i.e. not spaghetti). Boil up and while it's cooking make a cheese sauce out of a bit or margarine, a handful of grated cheese, a couple of tablespoons of plain flour, and a pint of full fat milk. Add a bit of chopped bacon or ham, possibly a bit of chopped onion (great for using up a leftover half) and some ground black pepper if you have some. Pour the sauce over the pasta. Can be improved by sprinkling breadcrumbs made from a leftover loaf on top and sticking it under the grill for a couple of minutes.

3. Convict curry (stole this recipe from a film, Stuart, A Life Backwards)
Get a load of cheap frozen chicken, defrost (he doesn't in the film), mix up with a chopped onion and a tin of chopped tomatoes, add curry powder, and stew for a bit on the hob or in the oven until the chicken is cooked through (use the rest of the oven to cook other things at the same time to save fuel). If you have some, stir some thick yoghurt through at the end for a thicker sauce.

4. Fish stew. Get some cheap white fish fillets (eg coley) and some cheap frozen prawns and defrost the prawns. Cook up with, yes you guessed it, another tin or ubiquitous chopped tomatoes and a chopped onion, as well as a bit of fresh or dried garlic. If you can add some Schwartz dried tarragon this will help. This dish is best served with bread or rice.


Tinned rhubarb crumble
Banana split yoghurts - plain yoghurt topped with chopped banana and a bit of chocolate ice cream sauce
Baked tinned apricots with crushed or flaked almonds on the top, served with custard

HorsePetal Thu 29-Aug-13 10:30:22

My question is totally unrelated to cooking or flat-screen TV's grin

Jamie, a few years ago you did that Zombie Mall thing in Reading. My husband and daughter did it there a few days after you and they LOVED it.

Still talk about it to this day. I'm not sure that my middle aged bladder would cope with the excitement however.

Would you do it again? Was it really really scary or just really scary?

If you prefer to answer a different question of mine then can I ask instead about your wet tea towels (the ones you place under your chopping board on 30 Minute Meals).

Its a really great tip but doesn't Jules flip out with all the wet and mouldy tea towels everywhere? smile

BoffinMum Thu 29-Aug-13 10:33:05

I do wish we had a national cookery book for schools.

alikat724 Thu 29-Aug-13 10:35:56

Trigglesx - sorry about the "lard-assed" comment - I just get really cross that so much of the comment on this issue is around doing things for people who, essentially, are too lazy to do it for themselves; i.e. unemployed 20 years, etc. I am NOT disparaging the working poor, who are as noted time-poor as well. If someone is not working they have, by definition, a lot of time on their hands to research and seek out healthy options with the small income that they do have, and have no excuse whatsoever for being overweight or unfit as they have more than sufficient time to combat both problems! The working poor, with little time and little money, are genuinely in need of help and I fully support this.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 29-Aug-13 10:39:14

Alikat, many people on very low incomes do not drive/cannot afford to run a car and most supermarkets do not have a bus stop right outside of their door that will drop you off at your front door. Which leaves them with the option of doing small three times weekly shops (as much as they can carry) ime, this costs more and you end up wasting more, internet shopping, again this costs more as you miss most of the bargains and are limited to one or two overpriced local shops or they shop at one of the many bargain freezer shops that are sprouting up like weeds all over my town (mainly in the poorer areas) where they can buy a family sized frozen lasagne for £4.

I agree, if you have the time, access to fresh produce from grocers/butchers/markets etc as I do and the know how, then cooking from scratch can be as cheap as (but not cheaper) than living off of frozen nuggets and mashed potatos in the shape of faces, but a lot of people do not have access to these things, as proven on this thread. Accessing cheap food is something a lot of people find hard.

alikat724 Thu 29-Aug-13 10:47:29

BoffinMum - love the recipes, and yes, I agree, cookery book/classes in schools should definitely be a factor in any campaign. Come to think of it, that's where I learnt my initial cookery skills as I would never have learnt them at home!

Dooinmecleanin - why would a bus that drops you at the door be in any way necessary if you are unemployed and have about 10 more free hours a day than someone who works? WALK TO THE DAMN STORE, and guess what - carrying home your shopping will help your fitness!! I come from a very small country town in the middle of nowhere (yep, I'm an immigrant - Australian, actually, so when I say in the middle of nowhere I actually mean it!) and the trials and tribulations of those who do not have a bus to the door will unfortunately receive little sympathy from me.

toniuk Thu 29-Aug-13 10:47:32

Any chance you could write a recipe book for people who are just lactose intolerant i find it hard to find / buy ckes etc that are just milk free ps sally hello to my uncle freddy kindall next time you see him for me

BoffinMum Thu 29-Aug-13 10:49:08

Alikat, the problem is that there is no 'pride in the job' for these groups of people - they are not particularly house proud, not bothered to make home cooked meals, not bothered to sit their kids down and make sure homework is done, and so on, but this is not a new thing - this type of family has existed throughout history. Shouting at them to make an effort to better themselves doesn't work, because they don't see the point. The 1910 home management book my blog is based on came about for exactly the same reasons as Jamie is wading in to the debate, concerns about health/neglected kids/social decline, yet we are a century on and still worried by all this.

The core of the solution clearly lies in how to make healthy living easier than unhealthy living, how to make getting an education easier than not getting one, how to make good parenting easier than crap parenting, how to make working the line of least resistance. Some current policies nod in this direction, in fact at one stage we had a whole nudge unit in the Government working on developing this type of approach, but even this is not enough, as changes need to be more radical. Corner shops need to be restocked with better food, developers need to pay more towards infrastructure, schools need to offer better services and longer hours, and home and financial management need to be taught throughout school, in fact drilled into pupils at all levels. And ultimately there needs to be a better spread of wealth throughout society, something a lot of vested interests are working hard to prevent.

But if it was easy, we would have fixed it already. And telling people off is like pushing a jelly - you may get a result for a while but it will soon flop back in place.

mignonette Thu 29-Aug-13 10:49:45

Fact is JO used lazy umbrella journalism to promote his latest money making scheme. Donate all profits from this to local food banks, school culinary initiatives and occupational therapy kitchens in hospitals, MH units and he'd regain some credibility.

But JO you are trying to make money out of the poor this time.


LackaDAISYcal Thu 29-Aug-13 10:49:49

I don't think there is anything I can add to the questions and comments already made, other than I used to love Naked Chef, but think that Jamie has totally sold out by signing his name up to anything remotely food related that will sell and add to his coffers. Which is fair enough; if I had had that opportunity I might do the same, however trying to dress it up as righteous do gooding and hoping that people don't see through it is pretty naive. I'm also very disappointed in the cheesy chips/plasma TV comments and wait Jamie's response with interest.

Oh, just to pick up a point made earlier about handfuls of fresh herbs that cost ££££. A packet of seeds costs around £1.50 and will give you an endless supply of aforementioned fresh herbs for a good few years or herb plants from a garden centre about 80p each...just takes a tiny bit of time and effort. I'm lucky enough to have the space for a herb garden now, but when we lived in a flat with a manky strip of concrete outside we used cheap plastic pots and any container we could lay our hands on and had hardy herbs outside and things like basil and coriander on the windowsill. However, it's surprising the number of people who don't realise that things can actually be grown at home (we used to always get comments about it) and this is, in part, due to a lack of education about where our food comes from in schools.

Any chance you could provide a weekly menu for a family of six that costs under £50 including breakfasts, lunches, dinners & snacks all in?

Cooking from scratch is affordable a few times a week but just isn't economical 7 days a week. Could you provide some realistic ways of getting around this. I do not have a car so everything would have to be bought in one supermarket.

Cas1980 Thu 29-Aug-13 10:52:37

Hi Jamie,

My son is 20 months old, loves fruit, veg, bread and dairy BUT will not eat meat, fish or eggs. Can you recommend a dish that is easy and cheap to make but which I can 'hide' some meat or fish in? He loves finger food but doesn't like messy food I.e. things in sauce!

Many thanks,

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 29-Aug-13 10:54:31

I do carry my shopping home, I am lucky enough to fit enough and able bodied enough to do that, a lot of people are not (disability/old age/a pram to push and a walking toddler to keep an eye on etc)

Yes, they could spend one of their days walking to Home Bargains for all of their cleaning things and herbs and dried things, take it all home and then walk back to the cheap butchers and carry all the meat home and then walk back to the cheap veg shop etc. but really who is going to do that!?? Even the unemployed have children to collect from school, homework to help with, meals to cook, a house to keep.

As I said I can do this and do when I have the time, simply because I like having extra cash to spend on crap, but I live a stones throw away from a butchers/greengrocers and a 5 minute walk to town. Most people on lower incomes live much farther out than me, this would be impractical for them.

And FWIW, carrying shopping home has gotten harder because carriers have gotten thinner, so now you have to stock up on bags for life etc before you go shopping and remember to bring enough of them with you or you end chasing your tatties down the street when your bag splits (bitter experience)

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 10:56:24

MNHQ .... When could you do a big ahem and direct people to the 8.6million other poor people bashing threads so there is room left on this one for Mr Oliver?


ImATotJeSuisUneTot Thu 29-Aug-13 10:58:19

Don't know if its been asked already, there's a lot of pointless posts to plough through.

I'm a low carber, I don't eat bread, pasta, or rice - if I was your guest, what would you feed me?

blondieminx Thu 29-Aug-13 10:58:27

Hello Jamie,

I really admired the work you did on school dinners, under the last government.

My question is, why haven't you pushed Gove and co to maintain the good work you put in and as others have suggested, to get cookery lessons/meal planning/budgeting being taught in all schools?

Second question if you get time: what did Jools say about your chips/TV comments? Can you understand why people who have been made redundant etc are so offended by the crassness and contempt of your comments?

I always liked that you were trying to improve schools/food education. I feel very let down that you've allowed yourself to be drawn into the nasty, divisive strivers versus scroungers agenda being pushed by the current government. You are very naive if you think that carrying on with zero hours contracts and taking money from promo deals with stores who use Workfare will make people think you are a good geezer hmm - doing so is NOT pukka, it's exploitative and morally repugnant. Take a long look at yourself please!

Thank you for coming to Mumsnet. If you haven't already heard of her you should check out Jack Monroe

alikat724 Thu 29-Aug-13 11:06:10

(Aside - just bought the new book on Amazon for £9.99. As an investment/by way of support for JO.)

So it's tough to remember to take enough bags for life when going shopping to carry the amount of groceries one can comfortably carry home....

I think I'm just going to offer one more comment in that I think I missed a memo that said life was supposed to be easy?!?

LEMisdisappointed Thu 29-Aug-13 11:07:43

Honey - im sorry but "Mr" oliver has made some pretty sweeping statements in the press lately, i would hope that he would appreciate that opportunity to put that right. there are 240 posts on here, thats a lot of interest, would you rather he just answered questions on whether oil should be virgin or slutty?

Ooh loving this, I love Jamie's recipes. One pot fish pie from the old books is a house favourite. But like everyone else I'm sceptical about these types of books - a boy called jack blog seems to be the only truthfully costed and practical.

My question is - Many have to use a food bank when they are in a crisis. Have you looked at the typical contents and advised/devised recipes the families can use? I have used a food bank twice ( don't worry I have no plasma TV, or goat, am not on benefits and am a fully signed up boden wearer - life just has a habit of being shit sometimes) and they said often the ingredients are difficult to make into meals.

Also do you realise there is a middle ground? I don't use ready prepared meals, not even oven chips but still sometimes struggle to feed 2DC (my other DC is tube fed) and myself. For me its keeping them satiated and still being healthy. I feel most cheap recipes are carb loaded or too unhealthy for active DC.

johnworf Thu 29-Aug-13 11:13:53

Hi Jamie,

I'm diabetic. Have you considered writing any books/telly progs for people with long standing medical conditions e.g. coeliac disease, diabetes, lactose intolerance?

Apols if you already have and I've missed them smile

Vast numbers of people struggling with current food prices are working. People on job seekers allowance are expected to spend most of their time looking for jobs (fair enough) they haven't got 10 hours a day to walk with 5kg bags of potatoes to get the best price.

I'm not sure how this slips people's attention unless they are actually hugely loaded, there were lots of people on my facebook yesterday talking about properly cheap recipe ideas - all of them work, are good cooks and struggle to afford the kind of food they used to eat prices have gone up so much.

sallyst123 Thu 29-Aug-13 11:16:32

have to agree mn, the comments Mr oliver has been chucking about recently havent made him the most popular person around, and he wont be answering questions about food, he will end up defending his glibe generalizations about low income families instead.
personally as a mum of 3 where both adults work, we couldnt afford to make half the reciepies in his book anyway. try bringing a budget meals book out for people who have to stick to a real budget, not middle income groups that can afford the 25.00 essentials to pre buy 1st!

I also agree with blondie why have you gone along the government route with your views?

I was a very avid fan but not so much now. My partner was made redundant and for 11 months we relied on benefits, we had no other choice, and yes we had a big telly, which was bought whilst he was WORKING!

You do such good work so it is a shame you are going down the route of taring all benefits claimants with the same brush. I hope you can apoligise about those things you said.

And also what sally said even workers have trouble affording the food that goes into your recipes.
It's hard times for us all at present.

Trigglesx Thu 29-Aug-13 11:22:15

I think I'm just going to offer one more comment in that I think I missed a memo that said life was supposed to be easy?!?

I never expected life to be easy, but neither do I expect people to be shitty about those of us who may struggle in certain situations. I'd love a bus to come to my door, dammit, so I don't have to push one child in a wheelchair and drag another younger child along (thank god at least he is walking distances now - having one in a wheelchair and one in a pushchair is NOT possible to go anywhere practically!) to the market or different shops to get better bargains is horrendous. Don't even get me started on people with prams on the bus who won't fold them for DC's wheelchair. But that is why we have the food delivered - even though I'm not working. For some people, simply walking to the market or shops can be a hellish ordeal.

mamamidwife Thu 29-Aug-13 11:27:36

Hoping there is room left on this thread for some sensible culinary questions rather than debates about the other press related comments, can't that be left for another thread?

I hate anchovies/fish sauce, if I want to make a salsa verde, is there an alternative I can use?

What's your favourite veg of the moment and how would you cook it?


blondieminx Thu 29-Aug-13 11:30:46

Thanks pumpkin I just can't understand how a fella who did so much good with school meals and who has tried to help with the Fifteen initiative etc can have somehow let those words come put of his mouth. sad

Unless of course it's because he has no clue about the realities and costs of feeding the family in modern Britain?

anklebitersmum Thu 29-Aug-13 11:31:40

Any chance of an 'all nations' curry cook book in the future and would you & yours consider coming round for dinner with hubby, the four biters and I if we cooked?

LEMisdisappointed Thu 29-Aug-13 11:32:20

mermaid, i think the comments and questions are perfectly valid and sensible actually and if it wasn't for the glib publicity seeking comments made by the chef himself then i guess it would be a thread about sensible boring culinary questions, but I think the other stuff is far more important. I think he is supposed to be here to discuss cheap alternatives so yes, maybe he will be able to offer an alternative to anchovies hmm

blondieminx Thu 29-Aug-13 11:37:04

Quite, LEM.

Some people will want to talk about the chef's work and ideals, others will want to focus on purely recipes/food queries. Both equally valid and IMHO it's rude to say that one or the other set of questions are somehow not worthwhile hmm

MorphyBrown Thu 29-Aug-13 11:37:25

Just leave out the anchovies. Tweak the amount of capers.www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/sep/25/nigel-slater-classic-salsa-verde

Trigglesx Thu 29-Aug-13 11:38:25

I think the point here is that while he is selling a book, he also started the firestorm by his very public comments. We're simply playing by his rules.

blondieminx Thu 29-Aug-13 11:38:44

I do hope we can focus on the debate and the questions raised, rather than this thread turning into a bunfight which of course the media would love.

<where's Olivia and her ahem?>

alikat724 Thu 29-Aug-13 11:39:43

Trigglesx - again, my apologies. The practicalities of your situation sound very tough indeed and you have my sympathy. My comments were aimed at the able-bodied but unwilling, and no offence was intended for those like yourself dealing with their own or their loved ones' disability, non-obesity-related-illness or age-related infirmity.

MoominMammasHandbag Thu 29-Aug-13 11:40:01

I just want to say, I think you are very brave; you didn't have to do a campaign like this, you could have done "tasty food from around the world" cookbooks for the rest of your life.
Yes I think some of your recent comments were ill advised, but I think you are a bright enough bloke to take on board what people are saying and adjust your point of view accordingly.
The world is full of people who whinge about the problems rather than looking for solutions. Good luck to you Jamie, at least you are trying.

Pantah630 Thu 29-Aug-13 11:41:24

Steering clear of your controversial foot in mouth recent comments and talking about your recipes, a few of us on MN recently started a Cookery Book Club to encourage us to cook new things from the many, many cookbooks lining our shelves not buy more books, oh no

Back in June we took your 30 minute book thread here and had a go. My question is, despite the deliciousness of most of the recipes, even leaving out the copious amounts of olive oil, how can a recipe only take 30 minutes when you need to factor in getting ingredients out and prepped, dragging out the food processor to save minutes chopping and the enormous amount of washing up created? For me to work a recipe from the book the same way, my kitchen ended up like a bombsite! I get that they're mainly aimed at poorly taught twenty something's rather than middle aged Mums who can cook but still it does appear the title is false advertising grin

Oh, and an idea for your charity work. How about you bring together a store cupboard essentials box, salt, pepper, spices, flours, vinegars, oils, tin toms, etc.. That can be given to families that take part in the free cookery programmes in the community that you're going to head up as your next campaign ( I may have just invented that for you). Many of the current crop of Celebrity Chefs have tie ins with the major supermarkets, the ones that don't have an inflation rate in line with the official figures, that's all of them by the way, how about using your influence to lobby them to provide teaching for those on low incomes/no income so they can provide good, nutritious food for their families and getting the price of everyday essential food prices down without hitting the farmers that produce it. Supermarkets could do with a drop in profits, the farmers can't.

Owllady Thu 29-Aug-13 11:41:33

I have a small tv, is it okay for me to cook super noodles for my children?

Trigglesx Thu 29-Aug-13 11:42:48

But the point, alikat, is that there are LOTS of people with various valid reasons why they can't just "pop" down to the market or shops. And rather than lumping everyone in the "lazy unemployed" stereotypes, perhaps a bit of compassion and realism might go a long way.

Tearing people down is not going to encourage them to make changes - encouragement, making things accessible, education. THESE things make positive life-long changes. Not ridicule or nasty comments.

shenasseeds Thu 29-Aug-13 11:43:01

I admire all Jamie has done raising awareness of poor eating habits. Firstly the recent furore ref TV v healthy food may have alienated some of those people it is most necessary to reach. Is there a point where 'all publicity is not good publicity'? and is there a different more positive way that Jamie can engage with these people.
Secondly what are Jamie's views on 'The School Food Plan' and how does he see his Kitchen Garden Project working with the plan.

mignonette Thu 29-Aug-13 11:44:05

I think honest addressing of people's questions will avoid a bun fight. Just hope he has cleared his diary for the rest of the day and that MNHQ has the Gin on ice (although poor Jools will have to stay sober throughout the ordeal if she accompanies him).....

MorphyBrown Thu 29-Aug-13 11:46:36

And it is ok for a 20 month old to not eat meat, fish and eggs. He's getting what he needs from bread, dairy, fruit and veg. He will try other stuff in time. You could try him with eggy bread or a slice of tortilla if you want.

Hi, I used to live where you grew up smile hmm

Anyway, I have £30 a week for a family of seven (only for a few months, and the circumstances came about after we had the children!) and I wondered what cheap substitutions you would suggest for some meals in your cookbook?

Trigglesx Thu 29-Aug-13 11:49:17

Oh, and an idea for your charity work. How about you bring together a store cupboard essentials box, salt, pepper, spices, flours, vinegars, oils, tin toms, etc.. That can be given to families that take part in the free cookery programmes in the community that you're going to head up as your next campaign

This is more helpful and positive. smile And as people will automatically ask about funding, perhaps the supermarkets can all contribute to funding the leaflets and recipe books as well, as it's good advertising for them. Maybe even a voucher provided in the books for £5 worth of free produce when purchasing £25 worth of groceries as well - to encourage the use of fresh produce.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 29-Aug-13 11:49:39

Obesity related illness, once it has taken hold is still limiting. A obese person cannot simply decide to get up one day and walk 5 miles to the local market and five miles back with 5 heavy shopping bags, because a TV chef has told him to, they simply would not manage it.

Believe me, I was there myself a few months ago (not because of poverty but depression, lack of time, and laziness, I ate good wholesome food most days, just too much of it and too much snacking from boredom along with not enough self worth to bother trying to change it) and whilst now I can walk to Tesco and lug bag half a weeks shopping on my own, I couldn't even have dreamed of doing that 3 months ago. I'd have passed out halfway home and/or had an asthma (genetic, not weight related, but was exacerbated by weight)

If JO genuinely wants to help then he needs to understand the challenges every day people face, even with 'simple' things like sourcing food from suitable outlets can be a challenge if you have health issues/live in the wrong area/are on a very tight income/have no time.

Surely it is the obese Jamie is aiming his books etc at? The challenges those people face with day to day living should be considered.

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 11:50:21

lem I was referring to the posts not asking pertinent questions but telling everyone else what they should be doing wink

There are enough threads elsewhere telling people to get a job and buy more lentils elsewhere without this one going that way too. ((Hugs)) lem <<doesn't care who sees>>

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 11:52:04

lem see my question up thread that I want addressing, it's the one about BBQ sauce.

mamamidwife Thu 29-Aug-13 11:53:34

LEM, not sure who mermaid is winkbut I'm not trying to diminish the other debate, it's just dominated this thread when there are already comments elsewhere and I was just adding in some cooking questions, after all he is a chef. Sorry to bore you so with my culinary questions

Morphy thanks for the linksmile

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 29-Aug-13 11:56:52

good grief, 11 pages and he's not even here yet. Best of luck Jamie! I for one feel a Scheherazade coming on.................

Trigglesx Thu 29-Aug-13 12:01:09

Yes, he is a chef. But a chef that has intentionally made some very inflammatory public criticisms lately, and you cannot convince me that he wasn't fully aware of what he was doing.

MorphyBrown Thu 29-Aug-13 12:02:57

The decent, cheap (compared to supermarkets) generally brilliant fruit and veg stall I use is in a place half an hours drive away. The cost of the bus would more than erase any price savings. It's in a place that has a poorer section but outside of that is bloody pricey uber upper middle class. The reason I use it is that the nearest place to me, which has a much more mixed population and an average house price £200k less than the first, also has one fruit and veg stall. It is a) no cheaper than the supermarkets and b) sells stuff that looks like it's been sitting there for a fortnight and wasn't that great to start with. This isn't a small village. It's a town. The first place is a city. They don't have markets.

NonnoMum Thu 29-Aug-13 12:04:01


A question - it may have already been asked...

Do you think the major supermarkets (at least one of which you have had a very productive and, dare I say it, very profitable relationship) should take some responsibility for the closing of markets and small scale shops, thus preventing many of us from picking up only ten pieces of mange tout on our way home from work, as the supermarkets packet up fruit and veg in large quantities resulting in us NOT buying the products or over-buying and creating food waste?

Thank you in anticipation.

Laura1999 Thu 29-Aug-13 12:09:21

Hello Jamie

Don't, whatever you do, loose any of your fighting spirit ..

Foodbanks - hoping to work with mine, through an environmental group, to provide fresh fruit, herbs and veg. So far, largely cos of storage probs, it's all cans and tins - and very often lots of sweet stuff.

Do you have any connection with Foodbanks and do you think that a next step might be to encourage clients to get involved in cooking the fresh stuff - creating recipes - sharing them - enjoying good, nutritious good and, of course, growing it? A bit like your Pass It On campaign (which my kids and I signed up to many moons ago!).

AllyJU Thu 29-Aug-13 12:13:34

Do his kids ever refuse to eat the food he gives them, if so what techniques does he use to encourage them to eat them, and also to try new things?

gherkingirl Thu 29-Aug-13 12:14:14

Dear Jamie, what do you say to this blogger who took your advice and bought 25 mussels and 10 cherry tomatoes in the market and doubled her daily budget? I'm pretty sure she can cook...


AngelsWithSilverWings Thu 29-Aug-13 12:20:18

Hi Jamie grin

Your Ministry of Food book is simply one of the best I've ever used.The stew's are particularly brilliant!

My DS age 7 cooked a stew , a curry and the mince beef and onion pie, reading and following the recipes himself and just having a little help from me with chopping and handling hot stuff. He was so proud!

I would love to see a second Ministry book as I've cooked most of the recipes in the first one already! Any plans to write a second?

quietbatperson Thu 29-Aug-13 12:21:30

I would like to second the request for a clear recipe book for children/teenagers with no baking (unless it involved basic flatbreads maybe, there's only so many muffins we can eat).

My ds1 is 6 and loves homemade dinners. What age do you think I could present him with a recipe for eg spag bol and expect him to cook it from scratch, maybe with a bit of assistance draining pasta, lifting heavy pans etc.

Bonsoir Thu 29-Aug-13 12:23:10

I live in Paris and do a lot of popping to my local market (almost daily, in fact) to buy fresh seasonal produce which I cook from scratch. We eat very healthily and my cooking skills are sufficiently developed that I can imagine a meal when I spot a special offer at the market.

The reality of my domestic catering arrangements is that we eat exceedingly well - but at a cost in both time and money that us right up at the luxury end of the spectrum. What is more, on my regular trips to the UK I find myself unable to produce meals of equivalent quality to those I produce in France - the range of fresh produce is not available.

I love my family's way if eating but I don't think it is easy for time and money pressed people in the UK to replicate and they shouldn't be berated for not managing to do so.

ishchel Thu 29-Aug-13 12:27:11

The equivalent to Jamie's mussels and tomatoes may be winkles with a nettle jus as the North East (where I am) equivalent. The long term problem with that plan is that there are so many working poor and the undeserving up here that soon there would be no winkles left on the rocks and we'll just have to eat nettles instead.

However, nettles and earthworms may be more sustainable long term. Maybe cut the price to nearly nothing by farming our own earthworms too. Can someone devise a recipe for that?

Mammylu Thu 29-Aug-13 12:31:58

My 3 year old starts full time nursery next week. I can't afford to pay for school lunches, and will be making him a packed lunch. I'm already stuck for ideas for healthy, vegetarian, packed lunches - do you have any?

Laura1999 Thu 29-Aug-13 12:36:13

Jamie - don't ever loose your fighting spirit - OK?

Foodbanks - a local environmental group that I'm in is keen to work with our local Foodbank. Largely cos of storage problems, the foodbank only provides tins, cans and lots of sweet stuff. We want to encourage local growers and providers to help us supply the foodbank with fresh fruit, veg and herbs.

Do you have a connection with Foodbanks? Do you think that a next step, after providing the fresh stuff, might be cookery classes, sharing recipes, ideas, growing projects? In other words, not only providing good food but empowering people to use it well and creatively and to grow it, too?

Bit like your Pass It On campaign - which my kids and I signed up to many moons ago!

BrokenSunglasses Thu 29-Aug-13 12:37:22

Jamie, I'd like to apologise for being part of a group of people that have posted such vitriolic, nasty bullshit on this thread. It's shameful. I like the work you have done, and I especially like a sausage meat pasta recipe you put in a magazine my Mum read years ago, and the lovely waiter in your Guildford Italian restaurant that let me see the pasta machine.

Anyway, I'd like you to answer the question about the 10 store cupboard essentials you would choose to make the widest variety of meals.

mamamidwife Thu 29-Aug-13 12:40:45

Good question broken sunglasses, I would like to see this question answered too

Pinupgirl Thu 29-Aug-13 12:43:14

Hi Jamie
Thanks for joining us on mn. Your wife is a very famous sahm(stay-at-home-mum)-what do you think about the government putting pressure on parents to return to work asap? Thanks again.

mignonette Thu 29-Aug-13 12:44:22

Nothing more vitriolic than his own comments Broken. If he wants smiley happy 'Lurve you Jameee' comments only then he should go to Nethuns.

becscertainstar Thu 29-Aug-13 12:45:32

Dear Jamie, Can you recommend any cheap meal ideas for coeliacs? I cook from scratch, on a budget of £50 per week for the family. I generally make casserole, soup, or roast dinner. It's quite boring... But gluten free pasta etc. and gluten free flour are all pricey, and if I get gluten free things on prescription I need to pay the prescription charge - £7.85...

Thanks in advance!

noobieteacher Thu 29-Aug-13 12:46:39

I think instead of food banks, have a food hall where people can go and eat a meal that is healthy and cooked. Set them up at schools so working parents picking up after the after-school club can eat with their children - better still, get groups of parents to cook the meals together.

This shouldn't be seen as a way out of poverty, more as a sensible way for some people to have a good sociable meal. If they are one parent families or if Dad doesn't get home until bedtime anyway, this would be a good way around it.

School kitchens sit empty after 5pm - people could be cooking together in there rather than going home to scrape food out of a few tins they got from the food bank.

Yonihadtoask Thu 29-Aug-13 12:52:21

I loved the TV series (and have the book) Jamie Does: where you visited Spain, Italy, France etc.

Any plans to do anything similar?

I love foods from other countries- so find it all good watching/reading and of course eating.

milk Thu 29-Aug-13 12:58:05

Hello Jamie smile Your children are super adorable! grin

I am bored of potatoes. How can I make them interesting again?

somersethouse Thu 29-Aug-13 13:01:13

I posted a question a few days ago. Just want to add today, to try and balance things out a bit by all the unpleasant posts, that I have made your veggie chilli today the one with sweet potatoes etc

It is absolutely delicious and cost about 2 euros to make. The most expensive thing was the coriander!

Thank you again for your great and healthy recipies.
Hope you and Jools are not put off mumsnet by some of these posts.

BoffinMum Thu 29-Aug-13 13:03:37

I watched the programme where Jamie went to Sweden, and it was bloody brilliant. He had me in stitches. His face was a picture when he was gearing up to eating the rotten fish, and it was very funny when he was coming up with excuses not to leap naked into the lake after the sauna with all the Swedish lovelies. He's at his best when he is doing that kind of telly, IMO.

BrokenSunglasses Thu 29-Aug-13 13:05:39

Can anyone tell me how one of these webchat thingies work please? Is he just going to appear on this thread at 2.45 or do I have to look somewhere else?

mignonette Thu 29-Aug-13 13:07:16

He will appear at the time stated (probably). You stay on the thread and keep refreshing and the responses will appear in front of your eyes.

Hi Jamie,

I'd like to ask if using Sea Salt rather than ordinary cheap table salt really makes a difference to the end result.


aristocat Thu 29-Aug-13 13:12:33

Hello Jamie, what would you choose as your last supper please?

Love your books and TV shows smile

Greg121 Thu 29-Aug-13 13:13:38

How can I feed my family of 4 - two adults & two children three square healthy meals a day, with a budget of £50 a week?

FunLovinBunster Thu 29-Aug-13 13:22:35

Afternoon, Mr O.
FWIW I have read your comments on UK diet, big TV etc and you are entirely correct. I think the vitriol from some of the posters here shows that you have hit a raw nerve!
I gather your wife is a SAHM, (I am too). What are your/her opinion on current government policy with regard to our dying breed?!

mignonette Thu 29-Aug-13 13:30:59

Size 8 working Mother here with good health and bank balance. I however care about those less advantaged and do not fight only the corner of self interest Fun.

Jamie, do you believe that all those who are appalled by your comments are only appalled because they are fat, lazy and feed their children on styrofoam chips? Or maybe that people like to advocate for others less advantaged?

Interesting also that of all the pro Jamie comments, nearly all are requests about what to cook. Maybe that is what you should stick to as clearly it is what you do best.

i've had to skip lots of pages in order to get to the end in time.

jamie - my question is have you actually read this thread and the other thread on here about you and your comments about televisions? if so, have you learnt anything from them? or is it just jolly pukka hilarious that you've upset so many people and added fuel to the already hideous fire of misinformation that is aimed at burning poor people at the stake?

i really, really hope you have actually bothered to read stuff with an open mind and reflect upon it.

as a subquestion i'd ask whether you think it is really appropriate for multi millionaires to lecture the poor on how they should spend their money or whether you can see that that might be, at least, in poor taste?

and yes for the record i am not fat, i don't feed my child endless processed food and i don't have a big screen tv. i just happen to have empathy and a few brain cells.

somersethouse Thu 29-Aug-13 13:42:19

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

mignonette Thu 29-Aug-13 13:43:33

The one chance I get to make my views heard and I am not preventing anybody else from doing the same.


limitedperiodonly Thu 29-Aug-13 13:44:14

Oo-er grin

Hi Jamie, I do admire your enthusiasm in everything - it's good to be passionate! I spend a lot of time in Abruzzo, Italy and have learned a lot about Italian cooking. I'm not sure what your new series and recipes are like, but I have found with previous shows you have too many flavours sometimes! Sorry, I'm being picky (Italian rule of no more than 4 or 5 flavours) and I don't have more than a certain amount of ingredients in the fridge/cupboard at a time. Are your new recipes simpler (in terms of ingredients)? grin

noobieteacher Thu 29-Aug-13 13:48:15

Only an hour to go...

I hope he can type fast.

BoffinMum Thu 29-Aug-13 13:48:34

SomersetHouse, she's not alone in being cynical and a bit fed up with this approach to social reform.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 29-Aug-13 13:49:51

I'm not skinny (still overweight despite losing almost 4 stone up to now) nor am I poor. I can afford to do all of my food shopping in the local supermarket and bring it all home in a taxi if I chose to. I don't because a) it's pointless spending the extra money for poorer quality food when I get better and cheaper on my doorstep and b) I like the exercise factor of lugging back from Tesco huge sacks of pasta and other things I can't get locally.

I am annoyed because what he said is patronising and insulting to my peers. The people I live and work with each day who are less fortunate than me. Speaking about people that way won't help anyone, it will only cause them to become defensive and more determined that their way is right and yours is wrong.

We've recently changed our diet from being mediocre (health wise) e.g a fairly balanced mix of convenience foods, take aways and good home cooked food, to mostly home cooked fresh food and it is more expensive, despite me having access to a great family butcher (who even gives me cooking and recipe tips) and a grocer who knows how much dd2 loves her bananas and will save the almost out of date ones for us because he knows she'll eat them all before they go off. Ditto strawberries, if I go in early he'll let me buy yesterday's strawberries for half the price of today's fresh strawberries.

Even with all of that help, preparing a meal for 6 children from scratch is still more expensive than sticking a 99p Tesco Value frozen Pizza in the oven with a half a bag of 99p Tesco Value frozen chips and a 6p fromage frais, which is what they are all eating today, as I am on a tighter than normal budget this week and unexpectedly ended up with 4 more mouths to feed when I had to mind my sister's children this afternoon.

somersethouse Thu 29-Aug-13 13:52:08

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JustBecauseICan Thu 29-Aug-13 13:53:11

Rather serendipitously following Abruzzen here with my question....(which I suppose isn't really one)

You are always going on about Italy, and ingredients, and how wonderful it is etc.....I have lived in the south of Italy for the past 19 years (outing myself here under my newish mumsnet id possibly grin) but everything COSTS A BLOODY FORTUNE! (OK, so peas cost about a penny a kilo for the 2 weeks they are in season......but you get my drift) So could you be a bit more realistic about Italian food? It's not cheap, and it's not always perfect either. I have yet to find any meat in Italy comparable to British meat.

I am also bored rigid with Italian recipes. Can you go to Spain please next and do a big fat book? (I know Rick got there first but I do like your bish bosh recipes) I could come along as a researcher

social piss take, not social reform.

honestly i don't believe he is really aiming anything at the people he claims to be. it's aimed at raking in the audience and attention of people who enjoy a good old fashioned 'freak show' form of entertainment which in modern times generally involves tutting and knicker hoisting at the poor and uneducated.

the vast majority of 'poor' people in this country are hard working, decent people with a good level of education compared to what we'd have had 50 years ago and good ethics and morals. they are normal people stuck in low income traps.

but hey lets focus on the JK style shockers and continue with the pretence that poverty is self inflicted and deserved and the domain of the lazy, feckless, thick and preferably fat wide screen tv owners.

somersethouse Thu 29-Aug-13 13:54:04

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ExcuseTypos Thu 29-Aug-13 13:57:13

Summerhouse I think you might be being rather rude too.

somersethouse Thu 29-Aug-13 13:59:04

MN WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus a follow-up question if appropriate, ie once you've had a response. 2. Keep your question brief 3. Don't be disappointed if your specific question doesn't get answered and do try not not to keep posting "What about me?". 4. Do be civil/polite. See guidelines in full here.

LovesBeingOnHoliday Thu 29-Aug-13 13:59:15

Hi Jamie love your work!

Quick question abouthe book, are these ones that can be done after work quickly?

pukka !

mignonette Thu 29-Aug-13 13:59:53

I don't care if he replies actually. I am stating my views and the opinions of the patients from the young persons group I run w/ my patients. He (or his PR team) may read the,m or they may not. Replies are irrelevant and I won't even be 'here' for the chat as have D/V's.

It is something I feel passionate about and I am not blocking anybody. Don't be silly.

And 'she' was the cats Mother.

ubik Thu 29-Aug-13 14:01:27

I was wondering how the school dinners campaign was going. I feel that in a bid to be 'healthy' catering companies have cut portion sizes to lower calorie content, rather than providing hearty meals.

I live in Glasgow and my daughters have school dinners everyday. They have a boiled egg and soldiers or cereal for breakfast and school lunch is either a single hot dog, a small chicken/beef/halal burger or a sandwich with tuna/cheese/ham. They get a small pot of jelly for afterwards. Fortunately they can also get a small cup of vegetable soup.

They are so hungry when they finish school, i have to appear with fruit and a cheese sandwich.

When i was at school we had mince, tatties, cabbage followed by enormous bit of sponge and custard. We were not hungry. This was the 70's. Why can't we do this in 2013?

What is your favourite cheese ??

ouryve Thu 29-Aug-13 14:01:54

alikat - if the damn store is 3 miles away and you have small children, or arthritis or ME or the path is thick with snow and ice for 6 weeks of the year then all the time in the world isn't going to make it any more accessible. angry

googietheegg Thu 29-Aug-13 14:12:51

Why is everyone going on about the big tv comment? He doesn't have to make his cook books accessible for everyone. All this 'can the poorest ever person cook all your meals for one grout?' guff.

lucymq Thu 29-Aug-13 14:13:06

Hi Jamie,

I'd like to which ready made grocery items are the biggest rip off in your eye - which it would be easy to swap for something much cheaper without too much effort (my friend has saved £40 so far by growing her own salad this year rather than buying it bagged - any other tips like this?)

Thanks . smile

somersethouse Thu 29-Aug-13 14:18:42

Exactly googietheegg, JO is not responsable for world poverty.

Bloody ridiculous everyone blaming him for the state of the economy, the weather, their income and the number of children they have and whether they have time to cook.

If you do not like it, do not read it, but some of us do and like JO and have enjoyed countless healthy recipies because of him and appreciate the things he has done to change things for the better.

JumpMagEd Thu 29-Aug-13 14:19:26

Do your kids cook with you, and would you consider doing a cook book with basic recipes for preteens?

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Thu 29-Aug-13 14:19:47

Has Jamie arrived yet? My question is this - do you employ a PR company at all? Just wondering what the intended strategy is with the inflammatory comments, given the huge backlash over the TV comments and now the 'lazy Brits' comment too.

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Thu 29-Aug-13 14:21:07

If you are genuinely interested in helping people below the poverty to line to make healthy food then where are the free resources for them?

usualsuspect Thu 29-Aug-13 14:21:47

<places handbag on front row seat>

ExcuseTypos Thu 29-Aug-13 14:22:46

Lucky you Usual.

I've got to go out with my Dh in 10 minutes.

I'm seething!

usualsuspect Thu 29-Aug-13 14:26:30

Can't he go on his own? Excuse.

How very inconsiderate of your DH.

Doesn't he know it's all going on on MN

AFishWithoutABicycle Thu 29-Aug-13 14:26:56

I love your recipes and wanted to know if you might do a

vegetarian book? or if you have done already what's it

called? coz I couldn't find one.

GingerBeerAndTinnedPeaches Thu 29-Aug-13 14:27:12

Can you admit that your book is not at all aimed at the struggling workers and unemployed who are trying to survive on less than a fiver a day, but is in fact aimed at the thrift-chic middle class market which has sprung up since the recession?

TeamEdward Thu 29-Aug-13 14:27:16

<settles down next to Usual, wearing tin hat>

HotCrossPun Thu 29-Aug-13 14:27:31

What is Jools's(!) MN nickname? grin

i don't think he has been blamed for the plight of the poorest in society or told he has to have the answer for them - he's been called on commenting on them scathingly without showing any real understanding of their situation.

if he hadn't commented on the poorest in society no one would be holding him to account for what he has said. if he was hands up saying here i'm writing a book for the 'squeezed' middle classes to make their balsamic vinegar and sea salt stretch further of a week no one would have an issue.

instead he has pointed at the poorest and given them solutions that completely ignore the fact they're in an entirely different boat to the one he's selling paddles for.

poppingin1 Thu 29-Aug-13 14:30:00

But his comment was poor bashing and mis-informative irrespective of whether the poorer members of society are his target demographic.

No he does not have to make himself accessible to 'the great unwashed', but why bash those in society who are already down? And he did it in such a condescending way.

Even from a basic economical angle, his comment doesn't make sense. Buying a flat screen telly (and they come pretty cheap nowadays), is a one off payment for a product that would usually last a fair few years. Food on the other hand, is an ongoing daily expense.

Healthy food is NOT cheap. I live in London and it is bloody expensive. Luckily for me I have a great local mini market that provides fresh fruit and veg at very competitive prices, but stores like these are few and far between. Good meat and fish, as well as healthier options in other food stuffs, is very costly. I am trying to improve my health by going gluten and lactose free for myself and my DD. My food bill has almost doubled, but it is necessary for us and becoming more and more necessary for the growing number of people realising they have previously undiagnosed food intolerances that are affecting their everyday lives.

oh exactly ginger! timely.

HootShoot Thu 29-Aug-13 14:31:49

This is all a bit unfair I think, JO's projects come from a good place I think, he changed school dinners in this country which is amazing, if he made money along the way good on him. As for the poster worrying about Buddy dancing to blurred lines - really?! Unless he was twerking I don't think it's that outrageous. I'm not a fan of the song kids will dance to any old crap - Mr Tumble is living proof of that.

Jamie would you consider a BLW cookbook to help mums expose their kids to different food types and textures at an early age?

jellyfl00d Thu 29-Aug-13 14:32:26

Some groups of people do work harder than others and not whine about it, it's true. Some people do have big TV's and a low income and could spend their more wisely. Some people have low incomes have a small tv and work really hard without complaining. Some people have big incomes, big TV's and probably never turn them on.

So what.

Some people want to chat to Jamie Oliver, to ask him a few questions about the state of the nation/cooking/ingredients or his last supper, please let them get on with it.

Stop being so vitriol (nice word someone used earlier) just cos a guy who does a bit of cooking passed a couple of opinions, its just tedious!

ouryve Thu 29-Aug-13 14:32:48

Just time to turn off the tv and go make some popcorn grin

LaurenHdyson Thu 29-Aug-13 14:35:09

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 14:35:55

Psssst you mean Vitriolic wink hth

jellyfl00d Thu 29-Aug-13 14:36:45

Very true, thanks smile

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 14:37:35


BuskersCat Thu 29-Aug-13 14:39:18

What would you say to a single mum (who owns a 15year old tv) whois trying to feed her and her child on £15-20 a WEEK? What would you suggest she buy, when she has little to no store cupboard ingredients? What would suggest she cook for her and her 2 year old?

(This was me last year by the way)

Tonna57 Thu 29-Aug-13 14:40:06

Jamie. School dinners are still of poor quality. Any chance you could wade in again and help ??

Hi Jamie!

I'm a massive fan of yours and have been using your recipes since back in the 'Naked Chef' days. smile
I also happen to agree with a lot of things you say. <it's ok I have my flame proof suit on!>

I would love to see some more slow cooked meals from you and please also please do another series of 'Jamie at Home' it's my favourite series of yours.

I am keen on getting my children into cooking so here is my question.

If you had to pick 3 dishes to teach a child to carry on through life with, what would they be?

I just wanted to say that I think you rock and your recipes have always worked well for me so thank you for sharing them. smile

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 29-Aug-13 14:41:45

Hi we're in jamie's office and he's ready to kick off. Welcome to Mumsnet Jamie...

Vivacia Thu 29-Aug-13 14:42:11

Puts some popcorn in the microwave (10 inch screen)

bundle Thu 29-Aug-13 14:42:49

I think you have fallen heavily for the myth of the peasant whipping up a gourmet pasta for £1.20. On my holidays supermarkets in Spain, France and Hungary were full of processed junk and fat consumers.
Why on earth do you think people would listen to you and cook from scratch (as I do) when you talk about them so negatively?

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 14:43:10

Ooooh Rachael. <<Waves>> Are you in charge? grin

usualsuspect Thu 29-Aug-13 14:43:38

<takes out knitting>


LtEveDallas Thu 29-Aug-13 14:44:31

he's ready to kick off

think we already have...

Hi Jamie.

It's the end of the week, I have blackberries from the garden, half a melon and some puff pastry plus usual general baking cupboard stuff. What can I make with the kids for pudding today that doesn't involve buying anything else and is safe for my lactose intolerant daughter?

RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 29-Aug-13 14:45:04

<pulls up deckchair>

BoffinMum Thu 29-Aug-13 14:45:16

<Sits next to UsualSuspect>
<hoists bosom>
<folds arms>

DearPrudence Thu 29-Aug-13 14:45:30


RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 29-Aug-13 14:45:40

<makes note in Woolly Hugs notebook that usualsuspect is knitting>

BuskersCat Thu 29-Aug-13 14:45:44

On a side note I was disappointed that The Naked Chef wasn't entirely accurate winkblush

PS I would also like to see your answers to questions about your recent comments. I hope you have read them and recent press responses and rethought your ideas.

RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 29-Aug-13 14:46:36


HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 14:46:40

<<sits next to Boffin and Usual with a bottle of Tizer>>


ChrisG29 Thu 29-Aug-13 14:47:10

Jamie, please don't stereotype us single mums. We don't even have a tv in our house and enjoy baking, cooking, art and nature. We're building a clay kiln later today and my girls have spent the day painting.

However to further support those families who have little access to cultural and community based activities due to poverty, would you consider donating a number of your books to charities such as Homestart and a percentage of the wodge in your wallet from profit of sales from your books to food banks?

If you donated to charities then I'd be impressed enough to even buy a book!

slug Thu 29-Aug-13 14:47:10

Hi Jamie. Do you pay your workers the minimum wage? If so, how do you expect them to live in places like London without working excessive hours?

P.S. I've eaten at your new Greenwich restaurant twice. Both times the service was dire.

DearPrudence Thu 29-Aug-13 14:47:51

<starts a Cliff Richard-style sing-song to pass the time>

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 14:48:02

I'm hoping the comments will be explained too. I'm a lover not a fighter and willing to forgive, all based on this web chat. I'm feeling reasonable smile

BuskersCat Thu 29-Aug-13 14:48:23

Jamie, how do I make this <popcorn> bacon flavour?

snice Thu 29-Aug-13 14:49:13

we as a country spend a smaller proportion of our income on food than most of the rest of the world-aside from the USA, presumably because of housing costs are so high

unless this is addressed I can only see food poverty getting worse-what do you think?

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 14:49:14

Crush a packet of bacon fries over it?

Oh I should add, the Gunwharf branch of your Italian is my favourite place to eat ever, the staff are lovely and the food is always a real pleasure to eat and they give my other half a large wedge of Tiramisu which makes his night grin

BoffinMum Thu 29-Aug-13 14:49:28

<swigs Tizer>
<vomms as hasn't drunk Tizer for about 3 decades and had forgotten how disgusting it was>

Plus3 Thu 29-Aug-13 14:49:41

that's kind HoneyDragon smile hoping JO can talk himself out of this one, cos I do like him

milk Thu 29-Aug-13 14:49:42

BuskersCat Bacon powder?

AFishWithoutABicycle Thu 29-Aug-13 14:49:50

Please don't tell me I took the day off called in sick for nothing??

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 14:49:57

<<moves closer to usual>>

Pascha Thu 29-Aug-13 14:50:11
usualsuspect Thu 29-Aug-13 14:51:05

<hides behind Honey>

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 14:51:32

Pascha - I actually did an actual LoL blush at that grin

Plus3 Thu 29-Aug-13 14:51:45

taps feet impatiently


Empress77 Thu 29-Aug-13 14:52:06

Jamie, id never watched any of your shows or bought any of your books before these mad threads came up on MN so it has at least shown me the excellent work you do. Fifteen in Cornwall is excellent. (Although has perhaps done to Watergate Bay what Rick Stein has done to Padstow and massively increased the traffic jammage by increasing the profile of such a small place!)

I have bookmarked your webpage of vegetarian recipes and will enjoy giving some of those a go. Id like to ask if you can do a vegetarian book or show please?

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 14:52:12

So I'm here and ready to go. Lovely to be on Mumsnet.

A lot of people on Mumsnet have asked about this so i hope goes some way in answering it. It's been a couple of noisy couple of days in the press with some comments from the interview I did with the Radio Times. There was one in particular talking about priorities - poverty & big screen TVs - that's the one that's probably divided people and annoyed people the most, and I guess if I'm really honest: if i'm sitting there doing a nice cosy interview with the Radio Times, I thought it was a real comment from observations that baffle me and things I've seen many times and I've talked to people who've discussed the same things. I guess it's just an opinion about how do you prioritise feeding your kids on the one hand and family lifestyle choices.

But to be honest i think it's fair to say it was a misguided generalisation from my part. Extreme poverty is incredibly complex and of course through a lot of the work that I do with 15 and various campaigns i've done, you dip in and out of seeing and observing stuff, but I apologise if it's upset anyone and it clearly divides people, the issue of what we choose to feed our kids will always be a source of debate.

has he decided to go home instead of doing the web chat?

WilsonFrickett Thu 29-Aug-13 14:52:38

ooops. Maybe the questions weren't quite as expected...

OI! JO! There are some nice ones around post 354!

<may be a made up number>

Missing the point already then...

He's probably thinking where the bloody hell does he start as he thought he was coming on to talk about his book.....

HootShoot Thu 29-Aug-13 14:53:30

Flipping heck - its taking a long time to type an explanation isnt it? By the way I don't think JO specifically commented on single mums did he?

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 14:53:46


Hi Jamie.

It's the end of the week, I have blackberries from the garden, half a melon and some puff pastry plus usual general baking cupboard stuff. What can I make with the kids for pudding today that doesn't involve buying anything else and is safe for my lactose intolerant daughter?

First up thanks for giving me a really complicated brief. If you're lactose intolerant the puff pastry will be a problem unless it made with veg oil. I'll presume it is made with veg oil and a v simple and lovely desert is simply to roll out the puff pastry and make little cornish pasties with your blackberries, macerated in sugar, a tiny bit of herb, mint or basil sprinkled on top, a drop of elderflower cordial and a little drizzle of olive oil and the flavours that come out will be phenomenal and their fairly portable and they'll love them. On the melon, delicious and ripe, as it is is already good, or removing and skin and popping it in the freezer in chunks and then literally just whizzing it up in a food processor to make a refreshing sorbet, or lollies but fresh as it is is always brilliant. Sorry it's not more exciting but lactose intolerance must be a real grind for you. Hope that helps.

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 14:53:48

Has he got a book coming out?

BoffinMum Thu 29-Aug-13 14:54:02

Well flipping heck, talk about taking the wind out of our sails and charming us straight off. wink How on earth can we have a full on satisfying barny now?? He is being really quite nice and reasonable.

Hello Jamie.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 29-Aug-13 14:54:05

Hides behind everyone.

Trigglesx Thu 29-Aug-13 14:54:41

But you DO understand that just because someone has a big TV, it's got nothing to do with how they feed their families? I have a big TV that we bought YEARS ago - before we separated and before I ended up on benefits. It would get nothing if sold, but provides cheap entertainment.

Stuff people have often means NOTHING. It's irrelevant.

Vivacia Thu 29-Aug-13 14:54:48

That's wise, address it head-on first thing. Seems he's sticking by the original comment though.

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 14:55:00

What Boffers said

BuskersCat Thu 29-Aug-13 14:55:01

Jamie, how much do you pay your workers, and are they on zero hours contracts?

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 14:55:17


Imagine your cupboard was bare, and you wanted to buy five brilliant flavour-giving ingredients that could be found cheaply and used in lots of meals.

Which five would you buy?

Thanks Thamumatrope, good question..!
Where would we be without olive oil? i think vinegar, probably balsamic, even cheap balsamic is still brilliant. You know me, chillies would have to be there, whether they're dried or in a paste or in oil form, it wouldn't really matter. Currently I'm having a bit of a love affair with cloves and fennel seeds, so I'm using them a lot in the cooking i'm doing at the moment.

SeaSickSal Thu 29-Aug-13 14:55:25

Platitudes r us.

Auntfini Thu 29-Aug-13 14:55:30

the issue of what we choose to feed our kids will always be a source of debate


Thanks Jamie, we'll give that a go grin the pastry is dairy free don't worry (and shop bought!)

Is your wife a mumsnetter Jamie?

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 14:56:52


What is your favourite cheese ??

That's a toughie. For the last week and a half, a cheese that became extinct and came back about two years ago, made by a lovely family. It's a fresh cow's milk cheese, yoghurty for first few days and then develops more depth and firmness, and then after that you can grate and use on pasta and salads. Made in a little farm in Nottingham, it's called Colwick.

AFishWithoutABicycle Thu 29-Aug-13 14:57:13

the issue of what we choose to feed our kids will always be a source of debate
Never creates any debate on here?? We are all in total agreement. Fruit shoot any one?

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 29-Aug-13 14:57:29

So, do you and your wife meal plan each week? Well am assuming its your wife who does the majority of the cooking to be honest.

And what are your children's favourite meals and are any of them fussy?

Pom Bear anyone?

BrokenSunglasses Thu 29-Aug-13 14:57:43

Ooh, would the melon/freezer/sorbet thing work with the mango that is currently in my fridge?

BuskersCat Thu 29-Aug-13 14:57:50

What's your favourite biscuit

snice Thu 29-Aug-13 14:58:13

what junk food do you secretly eat?

limitedperiodonly Thu 29-Aug-13 14:58:14

Here's a hard one for you but you might want to answer it: what's your favourite colour?

usualsuspect Thu 29-Aug-13 14:58:27

<wanders off>

BoffinMum Thu 29-Aug-13 14:58:45

I feel we need to know Jamie's views on a) biscuits and b) ham, naice and otherwise. Don't you?

Helium321 Thu 29-Aug-13 14:58:46

My pre-schooler requires a packed lunch but doesn't like sandwiches. What foods would you include in a packed lunch that would provide enough energy excluding a sandwich?

Pascha Thu 29-Aug-13 14:59:07

What do you grab to eat at the end of a long hard day of cheffing? Is it beans on toast like the rest of us?

milk Thu 29-Aug-13 14:59:14

I'm off to the village of Colwick... smile

SeaSickSal Thu 29-Aug-13 14:59:17

What's your favourite cheese Jesus wept. One Direction fans come up with more hard hitting and relevant questions than that.

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 14:59:34


Jamie, id never watched any of your shows or bought any of your books before these mad threads came up on MN so it has at least shown me the excellent work you do. Fifteen in Cornwall is excellent. (Although has perhaps done to Watergate Bay what Rick Stein has done to Padstow and massively increased the traffic jammage by increasing the profile of such a small place!)

I have bookmarked your webpage of vegetarian recipes and will enjoy giving some of those a go. Id like to ask if you can do a vegetarian book or show please?

Top question. Actually i've done one, it's secretly locked in a vault, hoping to come out next year. It was going to be this year and i was ever so happy with it and it really focussed myself and my team on taking meat completely out of the equation and having clarity and using cooking methods to develop amazing dishes, but we felt that money saving was very relevant to right now - certainly people online were demanding tasty food that didn't cost an arm and a leg.

I'm really proud of the veggie book and really hope you'll like it, fingers crossed it'll be out next year! And I promise if i do it, I'll back it up with a series.

BuskersCat Thu 29-Aug-13 14:59:42

Agreed BoffinMum. Ham, biscuits, pombears and fruit shoots?

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 15:00:02

I asked a question about BBQ sauce

BoffinMum Thu 29-Aug-13 15:00:04

Do you like One Direction? winkgrin

lookoveryourshouldernow Thu 29-Aug-13 15:00:23

...What makes your new Cook Book offering any different from other Chefs that have published under the "Eat Cheap" theme ??

ShadeofViolet Thu 29-Aug-13 15:00:33

I bet Jamie secretly loves Turkey Ham Boffin

shenasseeds Thu 29-Aug-13 15:00:49

Any cheaper alternatives to Olive oil?

AFishWithoutABicycle Thu 29-Aug-13 15:00:56

And a healthy homemade flapjack

SeaSickSal Thu 29-Aug-13 15:01:00

Can you twerk?

ImATotJeSuisUneTot Thu 29-Aug-13 15:01:12

seasicksal three threads of you getting close to heart failure over this whole thing. chill out

Empress77 Thu 29-Aug-13 15:01:25

Awesome news, i will look out for it smile

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 15:01:27

Oh, so this year your cashing in on poverty then and next year it's vegetarians?

Trigglesx Thu 29-Aug-13 15:01:31

Don't you think that a push for more cookery/budgeting/mealplanning/nutrition education in schools would benefit far more people than a book that is too highly priced to benefit much of the target audience (that you've kind of alienated publicly already)? Just curious..... confused

Vivacia Thu 29-Aug-13 15:01:52

we felt that money saving was very relevant to right now - certainly people online were demanding tasty food that didn't cost an arm and a leg.

There have been some good questions earlier relating to truly budget cooking, i.e. those that don't require a store of "basics" which aren't factored in to the costs.

limitedperiodonly Thu 29-Aug-13 15:02:43

Actually i've done one, it's secretly locked in a vault

Aah! So you do have a vault. Someone speculated on that the other day. She thought it might be full of Turkey Twizzlers.

Munxx Thu 29-Aug-13 15:02:47

Hello Jamie

If you,Jools and the kids are having a night in together what comfort food would you be eating in front on the TV?

cuckinfunt Thu 29-Aug-13 15:02:48

Lol at real questions vs selected !

Now he is here it has turned into inane fan girl comments and bumlicking

magimedi Thu 29-Aug-13 15:03:01

I'd like to know why you are always urging people to go to their local market (I don't have one) when you spent a long time being the face of a famous supermarket?

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 15:03:10


Can you twerk?

I've tried but not knowing what I was doing. Not a good look. No one impressed. Specially not the kids.

crazynanna Thu 29-Aug-13 15:03:27

Completely missed the point.

Sod this...I'm off

RunningMa Thu 29-Aug-13 15:03:54

That was a complete non apology- what are you going to do Jamie, to bring attention to the issue that many people don't have access to locally produced food that's cheap. There isn't a market I can access outside of my working hours where I can 'buy 10 mangetout' within 4 miles of my house!

Empress77 Thu 29-Aug-13 15:04:00

HoneyDragons! Cashing in on vegetarians? Really? because we dont have to buy the books you know.

Greg121 Thu 29-Aug-13 15:04:05

Hi Jamie
How can I feed my family of 4 - two adults & two children three square healthy meals a day, with a budget of £50 a week?

He hasn't missed the point - he just has a different viewpoint

Could you answer one of the ones from the beginning about how much a food budget for jamie's budget meals would be/are (including store cupboard stuff)?

Snapespeare Thu 29-Aug-13 15:05:05

would you volunteer at a food bank for a day and advise recipients on how to create nutrionally valid menus for their families on the basics they are given?

LEMisdisappointed Thu 29-Aug-13 15:05:14

Im eating fish and chips on the beach

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 15:05:15


What do you grab to eat at the end of a long hard day of cheffing? Is it beans on toast like the rest of us?

I actually really like beans on toast, know the rest of the world think we're barmy. I don't remember doing that for a late night snack for a while. Honestly a quick spaghetti arrabiatta heavy on the chilli or more than often, grab some apple, some lettuce, feta cheese, olives, dress it and I'm eating it in 2 mins. I eat it straight out of the bowl like a heathen - but it saves on the washing up! wink

A little trick: for odds and ends of cheese, you know the annoying bits that go smelly in your fridge. Before they go off have a grate up of random cheese into a tupperware, freeze it, have packet of tortilla in freezer too, and you can make super quick mexican cheese on toast in minutes. Cook it dry in a pan - no washing up! - add a little chilli. Has been done many times. Delicious.

AFishWithoutABicycle Thu 29-Aug-13 15:06:16

I'm glad he didn't do a big apology. Stick to your guns Jamie. You think one thing we'd be tolerant of here is strong opinions!

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 15:06:23


Any cheaper alternatives to Olive oil?

Yep - groundnut oil, sunseed oil, sunflower oil.

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 15:06:26


Hi Jamie.

I think it's important that schools should fund basic cooking lessons again. What are your thoughts?

I also think its important that new families and existing are made aware of basic store cupboard ingredients and utensils to help them cook from scratch.

Without doubt, with mum and dads hard at work teaching kids the life skills of being able to cook and feed themselves, from opening a tin safely, boiling water, cooking eggs to proper meals, and it's essential, really essential.

The recent food plan given out by Mr Gove says schools will now be making that a reality, fingers crossed with don't just do it, we do it well, back up teachers with support and training and equipment, to make it one of the most exciting lessons in the week.

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 15:06:36

I just reread that and thought

Hmm that looks a bit rude to my vegetarian friends and then saw your Post grin

HepsibarCrinkletoes Thu 29-Aug-13 15:06:42

Oh give him a bloody break. Half the posts on here are infighting and there are a gazillion questions within those and the rest. It's only been going for 20 minutes FFS.

usualsuspect Thu 29-Aug-13 15:06:48

I'm off to shoot a deer.

JulesJules Thu 29-Aug-13 15:07:18

Really happy to hear that there is a vegetarian book on the way smile (as long as there aren't too many mushrooms in it. God I hate mushrooms and everyone assumes vegetarians want to eat them at every meal)

Gherkinsmummy Thu 29-Aug-13 15:07:38

Oh come on Jamie, answer some of the harder hitting questions.

BuskersCat Thu 29-Aug-13 15:08:12

There is strong opinions, and then there is spouting Daily Mail type crap, that basically demonises the poor even more, and creates a bigger rich/poor divide.

Jamie, what newpaper do you read?

jellyfl00d Thu 29-Aug-13 15:08:16

Yes like, what's your last supper, cos with this lot you might have one smile

Home economics back in schools would definitely be the best thing because not everyone has parents who can or would teach them how to cook.

noobieteacher Thu 29-Aug-13 15:09:20

Fish - he did do an apology, just not a very big one. Big enough for me, it's a 'debate' after all.

HepsibarCrinkletoes Thu 29-Aug-13 15:09:42

Im off to shoot a deer

I'll have the haunch please Usual. Ta.

Darkesteyes Thu 29-Aug-13 15:09:42

To the poster who said some of us were making vitriolic comments. I dont see how they can be vitriolic when some of us were posting from experience.
Ive explained upthread my experience and knowledge of Italy is based on the fact that half my family is Italian and the fact that my mother is still working full time at 77even though shes too ill to because that is what her upbringing has done to her THAT is what poverty AND the fear of it does to the mind.

ishchel Thu 29-Aug-13 15:09:47

Has JO answered the one about how he pays the waiters, commis chef, kitchen porter et al yet? You know zero contract/minimum wagey Q yet?

alikat724 Thu 29-Aug-13 15:10:25

LittleAbruzzenBear - hear, hear!!!

Even my more-Conservative-than-Maggie dh understood why a family would have a decent tv - even with a sky package, it is still a very cheap way to entertain and inform a whole family.

snice Thu 29-Aug-13 15:11:23

not possible in most primary schools though-no space for cookery other than in school kitchen which is used all morning then left clean for next day.
We manage a bit of cooking(biscuits, mini pizzas, cheese scones) with reception using portable mini ovens but thats it

soapboxqueen Thu 29-Aug-13 15:11:26

Although funding is helpful with any endeavour in schools, a bigger issue is time. I'm a primary teacher and there just isn't enough time to get through everything that people want covered. There just isn't. I agree that working with food is a very important skill but something has to go to make room for it on any meaningful scale. Many people have really good ideas for things that should be covered in school time, many are really valuable, but something has to give somewhere.

Vivacia Thu 29-Aug-13 15:11:41

He didn't apologise. He didn't modify his position. He acknowledged it's a complex situation and one many of us feel strongly about.

BerryLellow Thu 29-Aug-13 15:11:51

Hi Jamie,

Really love your books, we have a favourite meal from nearly each one.

I'm a bit baffled though, your new 'Save With Jamie' Has an RRP of around £25. I know while it's new you can pick it up in a lot of places for about £10, but that's not really the point. Are you planning to make it available to families/people at a discounted rate long term? Even £10 is a lot for some, and possibly the people who could most benefit.

All that said, my copy is on pre order wink

Agree with your post BIWI and your question to Jamie.

Cleanandclothed Thu 29-Aug-13 15:12:31

Please answer HoneyDragons question on barbecue sauce. It is on p4.

shenasseeds Thu 29-Aug-13 15:12:47

Great ideas for oils....and glad to hear you are backing 'School Food Plan' . We're hoping too that it will be implemented properly. Austere times demand investment in this sort of thing.

alikat724 Thu 29-Aug-13 15:13:14

BerryLellow - I just bought it on Amazon for £9.99, so it's very affordable!

noddyholder Thu 29-Aug-13 15:13:39

What is the easiest meal i can teach ds for uni?

Hi jamie I have been looking into a gluten free diet for my daughter who is autistic. Have you got any recipes that are quick and easy? (I'm no master chef) thanks

Not if your entire food budget for the week is £50...

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 15:13:57


Oh I have a better question! (Sorry MNHQ!).

When you say that your new hideously expensive book is all about value and budget, what exactly do you mean by value and budget? I have £35 a week to feed a family of four. I know families who have less. Can we afford your recipes?

Some of them. The brief of the book was to develop really delicious tasty food that doesn't feel like a compromise on a tight budget. My brief on a tight budget was to be at half the price of an everyday take-away. So the average price of a meal in my book is £1.38 per portion, and that's still using higher-welfare meat, which you can easily save money on if you switched.

It's also about waste, the national average for waste is something like 40% of all we buy ends up in the bin, so we've really tried to find ways of dealing with that, lots of tips and tricks of using things up and turning things that don't look great into things that taste good.

To be honest the book's not based on being a super super tight budget cookbook. You can see from the average price where I'm positioned and I'll promise you nice delicious meal. But if you're on really tight budget, then I hear there are super threads on Mumsnet and other websites for this.

LEMisdisappointed Thu 29-Aug-13 15:14:04

Its gone quiet!

milk Thu 29-Aug-13 15:14:10

BerryLellow I'm waiting for Amazon Christmas Lightening deals when it will be a fiver smile

ah well if 'mr gove' is on the case we'll all be grand then smile

noddyholder Thu 29-Aug-13 15:14:39

he has the basic basics but he loves a restaurant and i don;t think he will be going to many of those! I mean impressive but basic {smile]

alikat724 Thu 29-Aug-13 15:14:44

shenasseeds - rapeseed oil (aka canola oil where I come from) is also really good, cheap and heart friendly!

Trigglesx Thu 29-Aug-13 15:14:47

Sorry, but to a lot of people £9.99 is not affordable. That's why I'd rather see it implemented in schools or information given in schools somehow so everyone that wants to access it can.

BerryLellow Thu 29-Aug-13 15:15:03

I know alikat - I've done the same. I think you missed my point. £10 isn't affordable for everyone.

Gherkinsmummy Thu 29-Aug-13 15:15:04

To be fair to Jamie, he doesn't set the price of the books. That will be his publisher.

noobieteacher Thu 29-Aug-13 15:15:20

Good point soapboxqueen - there won't be time in the school day for it, but GOVE THE SEER OF ALL KNOWLEDGE WILL MAKE TIME WITH HIS ALIGHTY POWERS.

LEMisdisappointed Thu 29-Aug-13 15:15:46

So your book isnt for folk on a budget then?

soapboxqueen Thu 29-Aug-13 15:15:58

What swallowedafly said smile

AndiMac Thu 29-Aug-13 15:16:05

BarryLellow, you can always borrow it from the library for free.

Jamie, I have to say I think you 15 Minute Meals is brilliant for families. I can't usually squeak it down to 15 minutes, but to have a fully-rounded, healthy meal ready in as much time as it takes to make something mediocre, I'm happy to do it. Is your new cookbook full of familiar favourites, or will it require a bit of a stretch for young conservative taste buds?

Vivacia Thu 29-Aug-13 15:16:12

£1.38 per portion for 4 people eating 3 meals a day works out at £115.92 per week.

HotCrossPun Thu 29-Aug-13 15:16:17

To be fair to Jamie, he is donating free copies of the book to library's, according to his twitter.

BuskersCat Thu 29-Aug-13 15:16:17

£2 per portion? So what, £6 per meal? That is not cheap.

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 15:16:37


Love Jamie, have all the cookbooks, love his ethos, love how he has changed, against much adversity, the way people think about food. He has made the world healthier. I also love his enthusiasm and can't bear the negativity he has received on a thread today - it is utter bollocks.

My question: Hi Jamie - I live in Spain, my question is: what is your favourite Spanish food? smile

I love the approach, the simplicity, the seafood, oil chilli lemon juice parsley - you know, cooking over wood or charcoal, and of course the love affair of a million and one versions of tapas with a little sherry is no bad thing. Love Spanish cuisine.

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 15:16:38


Hmm, I do want to ask a serious question in light of todays headline re the flatscreen TVs (I`m hoping you will say you were mis`quoted completely, as a tv would be handy for watching your show)

I do think teaching good cheap easy cooking is a great idea, but I do wonder about costs as most recipies do not take into account the `store cupboard` (have built mine up over a long period and can cheaply replace items weekly or monthly) and gadgets needed for cooking (ie, mixers, good quality saucepans, processers etc.....), so for a lot of people building up a well stocked store cupboard is really expensive, do your new recipies take this into account? (so not using too many items that are quite unusual) I think this puts a lot of people of trying to cook from scratch.

I think you make a really good point. The good thing about building up your store cupboard is that certainly most of it doesn't go off and won't end up being wasted. You've almost answered one of the best tips which is if you build it up and buy bigger quantities of oil, rice, vinegar. Generally the best places I find are ethnic supermarkets, where there is demand, and a fraction of the price of supermarkets.

Not only are these exciting places to be but you can get rice at a quarter of the price, spices at a tenth of the price and the list goes on.

At the same time having a certain amount of these store cupboard items does make a good dish great. Being keen about cooking and having constraints and a vulnerability, I've only ever seen friends, family, work colleagues try that little harder to sort you and lend you stuff. And if you're a student or mums on the same street that general theory of a kitty and sharing equipment works well.

I can see my food question being lost amongst all the other stuff going on.....

MmeLindor Thu 29-Aug-13 15:16:59

Oh, sorry, Jamie. I was still feeling quite supportive but jeez. ANYONE could come up with recipes that are half the price of an average takeaway.

I doubt that any of the meals I make cost more than that, and I am not particularly frugal.

Greg121 Thu 29-Aug-13 15:17:14

Hi Jamie,
How can I feed my family of 4 - two adults & two children three square healthy meals a day, with a budget of £50 a week?

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 15:17:16

Alikat thanks. I bloody knew I'd missed something off my shopping list for tomorrow you STAR!

<<never throw at the bottle before you've wrote it down!>>

Polly786 Thu 29-Aug-13 15:17:17

Hi Jamie,

I work in communnity bakery in Fife, we are trying to recruit more volunteer bakers and increase our bread subscriptions. We have a converted horse box wood fired oven to make pizza at local events. We are trting to set up a project to offer supported work placments learning bread making skills. My question is what advice can you offer to enable us to increase our of bread orders, and start an outreach project.



Trigglesx Thu 29-Aug-13 15:17:19

No, Gherkinsmummy, that is true. But I would think he is the one making decisions as to what ventures to pour his time and effort into.

shenasseeds Thu 29-Aug-13 15:17:24

Cooking involves a lot of life skills and can also incorporate a lot of stuff that you have to tick a box for...it's important for the UK.

BuskersCat Thu 29-Aug-13 15:17:44

£1.38 per portion for 4 people eating 3 meals a day works out at £115.92 per week.

How can you call that budget cooking?

BerryLellow Thu 29-Aug-13 15:18:11

I am trying to be fair - I just know when the promotion of the book is over, the prices go back up. Not necessarily to the full £25, but high enough that it feels prohibitive. I know this from trying to get a friend the 30min meal book.

EmpressOfTheSevenOceans Thu 29-Aug-13 15:18:41

Jamie, you clearly disapprove of supermarkets and ready-made foods. Doesn't that clash with your ready-made products and your link to Sainsburys?

Your suggestion for the leftover blackberries sounds fab, but I don't have elderflower cordial in my cupboard (and I cook from scratch in the main so do have tons of stuff others might not, have a vegetable patch, herb garden, but only a small TV smile).

I think people would really appreciate suggestion that utilise what your 'average' store cupboard always has in. Then the cost really is the cost iyswim?

AintNobodyGotTimeFurThat Thu 29-Aug-13 15:19:04

What is one of the first/easiest recipes to teach to your children?

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 15:19:27


Dear Jamie, love your books and have made most of your thirty minute meals. Brilliant ideas and loved by my children thanks.

Would you ever do Strictly? Other commitments permitting of course.

Never, but my wife would have a go.

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 15:19:33


Do you like One Direction? winkgrin

Love those boys

grin at a kitty and sharing equipment.

also laughing my socks off at £1.38 per head, per meal being cooking on the cheap.

Trigglesx Thu 29-Aug-13 15:20:37

£115 per week? Where'd that come from?

I have £50 per week total for a family of 3 and that includes all cleaners, pullups, and toiletries. And a friend of mine has an even lower budget for her groceries for same size family.

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 15:20:39


Hi Jamie!

I'm a massive fan of yours and have been using your recipes since back in the 'Naked Chef' days. smile
I also happen to agree with a lot of things you say. <it's ok I have my flame proof suit on!>

I would love to see some more slow cooked meals from you and please also please do another series of 'Jamie at Home' it's my favourite series of yours.

I am keen on getting my children into cooking so here is my question.

If you had to pick 3 dishes to teach a child to carry on through life with, what would they be?

I just wanted to say that I think you rock and your recipes have always worked well for me so thank you for sharing them. smile

Probably in my life, jut the philosophy of an amazing ragu that could go into spag bol, cannelloni, lasagne etc getting that recipe down will look after you no matter what your budget, through good times or bad.

Second is the full monty roast chicken dinner. We all deserve to have one of those a few times a month. It's not just the food, it's getting the timing right, the perfect roast potatoes, a delicious gravy, the chicken, veggies that are delicious. That's essential.

Third is probably a really banging curry with all the trimmings that could take veg or different meat, and look after you and make people smile.

BuskersCat Thu 29-Aug-13 15:20:58

You can buy tubs of spices and herbs in Tesco from their value range for 80p(ish) so you can buy one every week if you can. But they have only just started this, and the range is limited

AintNobodyGotTimeFurThat Thu 29-Aug-13 15:21:02

Am grin at 1D likeage.

I preferred JLS myself.

<<semi cool, I hopes>

not to mention 'ethnic' supermarkets being 'exciting' places to be.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Thu 29-Aug-13 15:21:21

£1.38 per portion for 4 people eating 3 meals a day works out at £115.92 per week

I doubt this includes breakfast as a bag of oats to make porridge is less then £1.80 per portion. A bag could last a family of 4 for a week. Add some milk and fruit and it's still less then £1.38 per portion.

I think it's a little unfair to use the £1.38 for 3 meals a day, when most people have either cereal or a couple of slices of toast for breakfast, and maybe a sandwich for lunch. For evening meals it works out at £38.64. Of course there will be some who have a tighter budget than that, but Jamie hasn't suggested people have to eat his recipes every single night.

JamieOliver Thu 29-Aug-13 15:21:45


Is your wife a mumsnetter Jamie?

Jules is on Mumsnet, and bounces between ASOS, Topshop online, but don’t think she goes on Netmums.

I don’t know what she really does on that laptop maybe I should start looking.

In the light of some of these comments, maybe Jamie would consider going a free cookbook, that could be made available via food banks, schools, GP surgeries/HV clinics, focusing on really low budget, healthy, tasty recipes that allow you to gradually build up some store cupboard basics - but don't demand 10 different store cupboard ingredients for one dish.

BerryLellow Thu 29-Aug-13 15:22:21

To balance my question, I would just like to say that I love going to Fifteen here in Cornwall, and I genuinely believe that you are trying to make a difference, which you aren't obliged to do, Jamie!

BuskersCat Thu 29-Aug-13 15:22:43

Jamie, if you started checking up on her then we would tell her to LTB grin

Trigglesx Thu 29-Aug-13 15:22:46

In the light of some of these comments, maybe Jamie would consider going a free cookbook, that could be made available via food banks, schools, GP surgeries/HV clinics, focusing on really low budget, healthy, tasty recipes that allow you to gradually build up some store cupboard basics - but don't demand 10 different store cupboard ingredients for one dish.

That would be good to see.

missmartha Thu 29-Aug-13 15:23:14

You can't call £!.38 per person per meal budget, thats just taking the piss.

I would have refused to write a book like that and aim it at the frugal market.

Jeez, it's really poverty sightseeing at it very worse.

TallulahTT Thu 29-Aug-13 15:23:28

I Can imagine the AIBU reasonable threads about the kitty and sharing equipment, does that actually work in real life?

Vivacia Thu 29-Aug-13 15:24:00

I don’t know what she really does on that laptop maybe I should start looking.

Oh my God no. I'm only just learning about RED FLAGS but I'm pretty sure that might be one.

HoneyDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 15:24:03

If Jules is here bet she did a total face palm when she found out about the TV comment grin

AintNobodyGotTimeFurThat Thu 29-Aug-13 15:24:42

Oh I see my question has kind of been answered already.

OK then another question:

What is your favourite healthy starter, main meal and dessert to make/eat?