Let's rewind the clock a bit to 1998, when I was first introduced to a skinny young man with shaggy blonde hair and a charming smile, who occasionally banged the drums and rode on a red scooter. Oh, and who also cooked on the side. Just a little.
When I say introduce, I mean via a little square box also known as the television, and that young man with the boyish charm has since grown up to become one of the world's most recognized chefs, Jamie Oliver. With countless books, television shows and a couple of restaurants under his belt, the man doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon. He has a new show premiering this Thursday on Food Network Canada (Jamie's American Road Trip) and is promoting the accompanying cookbook, Jamie's America.
What I've loved about Jamie since day one (okay, aside from how cute he was and still is) is his "easy-peasy", down-to-earth, no-fuss approach to cooking. And that's the philosophy that Jamie continues to preach and advocate to home chefs and families everywhere—that cooking doesn't have to be fussy and difficult to look and taste good. Let the ingredients do the talking and it's happy days, mates!
I own three of Jamie's cookbooks: Jamie's Kitchen, Jamie's Italy and Jamie At Home. I love his books, not only for the great recipes and the gorgeous photos, but I absolutely love Jamie's writing style. Informal and personal, it's like he's inviting you into his own home and you're cooking side by side with him as he regales you with some crazy culinary or travel stories. So what if it's a glug of something here, a dash of something there? It's about improvising, cooking in the moment and trusting your instincts, the way cooking should be.
Jamie certainly has come a long way since his Naked Chef days (although I really do miss those early episodes when he was still a relatively unknown. That was a great show!), from helping disadvantaged kids get a jump-start in a career in the kitchen (Jamie's Kitchen), to his campaign to improve Britain's school meals (Jamie's School Dinners), to improving how and what we eat by promoting cooking with fresh foods (Jamie's Ministry of Food). Jamie is truly a food advocate, a "culinary crusader", and he'll be back in Toronto next Thursday, November 18 as part of The Art of Cooking series.
Join Bob Blumer (host of Food Network’s Glutton for Punishment) and Jamie as he makes his long-awaited return to Toronto for one night only of live and unedited action. Jamie will outline his "pass it on" cooking campaign, put on a highly interactive live cooking show with recipes taken from the past 10 years and introduce his latest book, Jamie's America. The event starts at 7:00 pm at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Thanks to The Art of Cooking, I'm able to offer my readers a special offer to save $10 off the regular price of tickets for the Jamie Oliver event. And if you register 5 or more people, you'll save an additional $10 ($20 total) off each ticket. Click here for the special promotional code to be applied to your ticket. Hurry, as VIP tickets are already sold out!
PLUS—I'm also thrilled to offer an EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY to my readers. Leave a comment below by November 14 before midnight EST for your chance to win 1 ticket to see Jamie Oliver at next Thursday in Toronto.