It was when I started to study and work in gastronomy that I came across a very curious figure: Jamie Oliver. A brand-new English cook, who spoke in an idle way, was quite stripped down and a little distraught. The first time I saw him was on his cooking show The Naked Chef, on the GNT channel and it was sympathy at first sight. There is no way not to be enchanted with him! Always very humorous, he propagates good cuisine in a jovial way and, best of all, in an accessible and very unpretentious way. In your eyes, everyone can be a good cook! For Jamie Oliver, cooking is easy and necessary to cultivate a healthy life.
Watching your programs was always an inspiration as it allowed me to think that professional gastronomy could be something lighter, more fun, creative and different from the rigid techniques I learned in college. However, Jamie Oliver has always been criticized a lot by other more classic chefs, and my teachers, because of his attitude and “lack of technique”. Some say he is not even a chef. I prefer to think that things in gastronomy tend to be a little subjective and there is no right and wrong. There is only personal taste. For each of us, the food is either good or not. It does not matter if the onion was cut into medium cubes, instead of brunoise, if the fish cooked 1 minute longer than it should have or if the brigadeiro was left with grumes (I love it!). Reviews aside, I could watch the evolution of Jamie Oliver’s career. He has done several TV cooking shows, published several cookbooks, has an association that helps underprivileged young people to train cooks, works to improve the quality of school meals in the UK and has opened several That said, you can think that all criticism is pure disdain, size is your commercial success, and years later, your philosophy and sympathy remain the same.
Going to a famous chef’s restaurant always seems a bit unattainable. It is always necessary to make a reservation well in advance and it is expensive. In the city of London, England, we have at least two great examples of great internationally renowned chefs and their restaurants: Heston Blumenthal from Fat Duck and Gordon Ramsay, the naughty and hot chef from Pétrus. However, I visited London on a tight budget and did not put great restaurants on my list. I went to see two friends in this city and one of them is living there because of her work and she already knows London very well. In the middle of a conversation I commented that I would love to have dinner at a Jamie Oliver restaurant one day. That’s when she told me that she knew Jamie’s Italian at Covent Garden in London, that it was a very good, affordable restaurant and that we wouldn’t need to make any reservations. I almost didn’t believe that I would finally meet Jamie Oliver’s restaurant! I came across the program right away!
The Jamie’s Italian I visited (as there are other units) was Covent Garden, very well located and close to Covent Garden and Leicester tube stations. We went on a Monday around 8 pm and it was necessary to wait for about 15 minutes only. The first impression was very good because the environment reflects Jamie Oliver’s philosophy very well. Jamie’s Italian is cozy, has a cheerful and cheerful decor and it is noted that the details were very well thought out.
When I arrive at a restaurant the first thing i do is ask my companies for permission to go to the toilet. i think inappropriate and dirty toilets for customers scream that the manager and / or chef don’t give a shit about the establishment. Jamie’s Italian, besides being beautiful, was impeccable .
Soon our waiter arrived with the menus and wine cards. The wine list offers options by the glass and, of course, bottles at fair prices. I ordered a glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo which cost about £ 5, but the rest of the options cost between £ 4 and £ 7. At the beginning, my friends and I asked to snack on “Pumpkin Nachos with Parmesan and Spicy Salsa”, which were actually very thin pasta ravioles, stuffed with pumpkin puree and fried by dipping, sprinkled with grated Parmesan and served with a grated parmesan pepper sauce aside (about 6 pounds). It was delicious and was an excellent choice to share.
For my main course I ordered a Black Truffle Risotto, because I can’t see anything on the menu with “truffles” that I don’t think of anything else! The menu also had meat and fish options, for approximately 12 pounds a dish. My risotto was very light, at the correct cooking point (“al dente”) and creamy. My taste just lacked a little salt, but one of my friends ordered the same dish and she thought it was ideal for her. Risotto and pasta can be ordered in two different sizes, small (about 6 pounds) and large (12 pounds). We ordered the small one and found the size optimal. The other friend was on a lighter footprint and asked for a rocket salad with pears with raw ham (about 11 pounds), which was beautiful, well served and was very well approved.
For dessert, we share a mousse of chocolate with Vin Santo, with zabaglione ice cream and almond cookies. For those unfamiliar, Vin Santo is a traditional Italian liqueur wine from the Tuscan region, usually made with Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes that when harvested are put on mats to dehydrate and concentrate the sugars, resulting in a very sweet and much appreciated wine, excellent to be served as a dessert accompaniment, although Italians also use this wine to make more exquisite desserts. The mousse was very dense and tasty, but it it was covered with a cream very rich in fat, which I found dispensable. The zabaglione ice cream was delicious and very light and the almond cookies, called “biscotti”, were divine and I could have eaten a whole box!
But, as nothing is perfect in this life, the service was a little inattentive. The waiter was doing great until the end of dinner, when he bumped into my friend’s glass of water and spilled half the water on the table. An accident, of course, but the problem is that at no time did he come to dry the table! And he stayed with us all the time. My friend didn’t complain or anything, but I found a hell of a ball. However, the experience was very positive, I highly recommend a visit to Jamie’s Italian and I will definitely visit you again the next time I go to London!
The Jamie’s Italian I visited was 11 Upper St. Martin’s Lane, in Covent Garden.