From cymbals to blenders, chef Jamie Oliver’s ingredients for life

Jamie Oliver got his start in the kitchen at age 8, cooking in his parents’ pub in Essex, England — which is where his “Naked Chef” nickname may have first emerged. “According to legend,” Oliver posted on Instagram, “I used to dance naked on the windowsill to welcome the customers!” Since then, the (fully clothed) 43-year-old has served up a restaurant empire, multiple hit TV shows and more than 20 best-selling cookbooks. His new “5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food” (also a TV series now airing on PBS stations) offers 130 recipes that — despite their stripped-down approach — pack a flavorful punch. Oliver and his wife of nearly two decades, Jools (a children’s clothing designer), are parents to five children. Those chefs-in-training helped inspire Oliver’s charity work — including the “Feed Me Better” school-lunch program he launched in the UK and his Fifteen restaurant in London, which helps unemployed young people launch careers in the food industry.

Here are his most beloved tools of the trade.

“Not only is every recipe in this book quick and easy, but every single one uses just five key ingredients, cleverly combined to deliver maximum flavour, with minimum fuss.”

“I’ve been drumming since I was 11 years old. Get a little one, and just whack it when you get excited.”

“The pestle and mortar is one of the best bits of kit you can have in the kitchen. Use it to bash up amazing spice combinations and muddle together homemade pastes to kick off fragrant homemade curries.”

“A dirty weekend in Iceland? Iceland is a really cool corner of the earth. I’ve been a few times, and I love the people, the food, the music, the culture.”

“I love the classic designs and quality pieces from this British  brand.”

“For me, it’s all about the vinyl. I love my record player.”

“A friend introduced me to this whisky society, which gives you access to some amazing bottles.”

“Jools and I were about to celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary and I had no idea what to give her. We share an obsession for old-school, vintage hi-tops and I thought how cool it would be to design a bespoke pair for her!”

“My Bamix blender is always out on the kitchen top at home. I use it for so many things – blitzing up salsas, blending dressings, making punchy pestos. It’s brilliant.”

“This is just the nicest after-shave I have ever smelled in my life — also the most expensive. Key ingredient: whale vomit [ambergris].”


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