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Don’t like all that angry, shouty stuff in the kitchen: Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver talks about the best and worst things about being a celebrity chef and why he is excited about opening a restaurant in India.

brunch Updated: Oct 12, 2015 01:40 IST
Satarupa Paul
Satarupa Paul
Hindustan Times
Jamie Oliver,food,Celebrity chef
Meet celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver talks about the best and worst things about being a celebrity chef and why he is excited about opening a restaurant in India.

If you weren’t a chef you would’ve been...

A carpenter, maybe.

Two things you can do better than cooking.

I’d say being a dad and a slightly annoying but pretty good husband.

The worst thing about being a celebrity chef.

Being judged and scrutinised.

The best thing about being a celebrity chef.

That I’m able to say something and people seem to listen. That’s something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Some of the best chefs are known to be tyrants in the kitchen. What are you like?

I don’t like all that angry, shouty stuff. I don’t know what people think they’re getting from their teams by doing that.

Which do you prefer: cooking at home, at your restaurant or on a TV show?

It is relaxed and creative at home, buzzing and exciting at the restaurant and slightly bonkers on a TV show.

How old were you when you first cooked? What did you make?

I was probably six years old. It must have been while helping mum with a Sunday dessert. I loved apple crumble!

The best people to have around your dinner table.

It will probably sound cheesy, but it has to be my wife, Jools, and the kids.

A recipe in one sentence.

Baked sweet potato topped with yoghurt, feta and avocado. Easy and really tasty.

What’s your favourite Indian dish?

I’m learning loads about Indian food at the moment and discovering new dishes all the time, so come back to me in a couple of months on that one.

Three things about opening a restaurant in India that excite you.

1) Sourcing incredible ingredients. We’ve found some beautiful local produce for the menus, from cheese to some lovely free-range meat and locally ground flour.

2) Getting a new team onboard is always brilliant. No matter how big we grow, we’re always a family. The culture of Jamie’s Italian is really important to us.

3) Lastly I’d say, it’s the anticipation of waiting to open the doors and hearing what our guests think.

Your perfect way to destress.

Gardening. I have big veggie patches at home and we get some great produce from them.

Your favourite food destination.

That’s tough. The UK would be up there, as would be Brazil and Sweden. India may topple them, though!

How often do you have your cake and eat it too (literally)?

Not often, to be honest. If I’m going to have something naughty, I wouldn’t normally choose cake — so maybe four or five times a year.

One dish that always picks you up when you’re low.

A really nice warming soup.

Comfort food for you is...

Like a great big hug.

One Indian topping you’d want to put on your pizzas

Without a doubt, chilli

The most expensive thing you carry.

Probably my phone. Nothing very exciting.

Style for you is...

Still a bit of a mystery.

Your idea of a holiday is...

Cornwall with the family — great seafood and beautiful scenery.

Who’s a better cook at home: you or your wife?

Well, I’ve had a little more practice! Jools is great, though.

One dish you cook that your kids love.

They love spicy chicken fajitas. Anything they can get messy eating!

One celebrity chef you admire and why.

My mentor and great friend Gennaro Contaldo. I owe a lot to him.

One Indian chef you like and admire

I’ve been working with a young Indian lady called Maunika Gowardhan on Food Tube and I love her style.

Jamie’s Kitchen

The meatiest meat is…

Maybe some lovely English game

Your favourite fast food is…

A really colourful, fresh, zingy stirfry

Indian spices that we can find in your kitchen

Cumin and turmeric

The most versatile vegetable is…

At the moment, I’d say sweet potato. They’re also a brilliant source of vitamin A and are very good for you

From HT Brunch, October 11

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First Published: Oct 10, 2015 20:28 IST