I’m a Jamie. But first, let me explain.
Delia Smith, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay all have two thing in common. They’re all very popular British-based TV chefs and they’ve all sold zillions of recipe books. But apart from that, they’re worlds apart in terms of style.
Let’s start with Delia Smith. The one thing I know about Delia is that if you follow her recipes precisely, with no variation from the instructions, then the recipe is very likely to work. Oh, and it’s also very likely to tasted excellent and make you proud. From what I know of her she puts a huge amount of effort into finding recipes that are – provided you follow them precisely – going to work, time after time after time. That’s a good thing. She has taught thousands of Brits to cook and, no doubt, saved many a middle-class dinner party.
Jamie also produces recipes that give very good results time after time. He taught me to cook risotto. But his style is very different to Delia’s. He’s a add a bit of this and a bit of that, then stir it around, and taste it, and smell it … does it smell good? does it need more spice? if you’ve got some coriander then chuck it in now sort of guy. You’ve got more room to deviate if you’re cooking Jamie style. But that doesn’t mean you can deviate too far or that you can put in poor quality ingredients and end up with good results. Nope, Jamie doesn’t skimp on quality, he just picks different style of recipes to Delia – recipes that cope better with variation – variation in skill level, experience, available ingredients and expectations. I suspect that Jamie’s key strength is that he is likeable and get’s things done by lifting people’s ambitions, as well as their skills.
Gordon is an arse, comes across as an arrogant, self-centred bully and a tyrant. I don’t cook his recipes or buy his books because I don’t like the man’s style. That said, I have read his recipes in the Times and others do buy his books and eat in his restaurants. My interpretation of his cooking style is that it is very precise - not suitable for beginners. His restaurants are manned by extremely well trained, gifted and professional chefs; his food is apparently wonderful.
Each style has it’s own virtues - I imagine, for instance, that if I was going to war and I’d prefer to be lead into battle by Gordon; that' I’d want Jamie writing the speeches and rallying the allies, and I’d hope that Delia was responsible for all the logistics.
Now, forgive my attempt here at amateur psychology by analogy, but of the three I’m a Jamie. I can think of several other Jamies who read this blog. at least 2 Gordon’s and many Delias. What chef-style are you?
[Oh, and I imagine that Jamie’s not very good at spelling or grammar either.]