Cookbook Review: Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver

Must Read: Jamie's Food Revolution

As someone who's followed Jamie Oliver throughout the years, I was intrigued when I heard about his plans to overhaul the eating habits of Americans on a new TV show. But apparently his latest project is even bigger than that: he's also come out with his ninth cookbook, Jamie's Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals ($35). The premise of the title, which hits stores next week, is that cooking good food from scratch saves money and your health. Hoping to transform takeout-lovers into home cooks, this book is studded with real-life testimonials. But is it revolutionary? Find out when you read more.

Pros:

  • Perfectly shot, close-up photos detail each step of every recipe.
  • Covers a wide range of dishes from breakfast to dinner that take inspiration from the East and the West.
  • Includes Jamie Oliver's take on standby dinner courses, such as paella, roast beef, and salmon en croute.
Cons:

  • Steps aren't numbered or listed; they're written in paragraph form, so recipes are harder to navigate through in the kitchen.
  • One part is dedicated to 20-minute meals, but few of the recipes would actually take 20 minutes for a true beginner.
  • For a healthy food revolution, many of the recipes aren't actually so wholesome — like the pasta that calls for an entire block of Camembert cheese.

Recipes: The tome includes sections dedicated to stir-fries, pastas, curries, and — my favorite — simple, straightforward roasts. Some eye-catching recipes include ground beef wellington, creamy baked leeks, and a chocolate fruit and nut tart.

Imagery: With the exception of the index and credits, there isn't a single section in the book that hasn't been graced with vivid and realistic photographs.

Overall Rating: As convinced as Jamie Oliver is about starting a nationwide food revolution, I'm not so sure. Non-cooks may find a number of the recipes overwhelming. I will, however, keep the book handy to reference refined versions of classic dinner dishes.

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