Spain is a very ground breaking country in cooking matters. We have world reknown chefs and everybody has heard of the amazing qualities of the Mediterranean Diet.
The problem is that I was anything but interested in cooking when I was in Spain, so I never watched any programmes by these amazing chefs like Arguiñano, Arzak, Adriá, etc.
I have only started being interested in cooking since I am in England (and even more in particular, since I am living with Jon) Thank god (and only god knows why) there are hundreds of cooking programmes in the UK. It seems as if the British try to compensate for their bad cooking reputation by saturating day time and weekend television (and even some prime time, like The F Word) with cooking programmes. I don’t know about any other countries like France or USA, but I dare say that the UK has got more celebrity cooks than Spain (from Ainsley Harriot, Gordon Ramsey and Antony Worral Thomson, to Gary Rhodes, Rick Stein and Nigela Lawson)
However, one of the most famous ones outside the UK (apart from Ramsey) is Jamie Oliver, due to all the good work he’s been doing to improve the quality of the school meals and because he is probably the chef that most cooking programmes has had on telly. Some of these programmes have even reached the Spanish shores and are shown (dubbed into Spanish) in Spanish television.
So a lot more people than I would have thought know him. Even my mum knows him. The problem is that if you compare him to any Spanish cook, Oliver may not be the most skilled, inventive or even “higienic” of them all.
It’s a shame that some people won’t look past that. At the end of the day, recipes are to be followed, improved and changed to taste, and it will be you cooking them, so to label him as unhigienic simply because they don’t show a close-up of him washing his hands every five minutes, I think that’s a bit mean. He makes simple, easy to cook dishes and that works for me. Simple as that.
This past weekend I have cooked two of his recipes, and I must say that both of them were gorgeous, outstanding.
The first one (we have renamed it “spiced fish soup“) is the most delicious and tasty fish soup that I have tried in my life. And the second one (monkfish wrapped in bacon) was simply gorgeous and not difficult to make at all.
So from here I just want to “defend” Jamie Oliver a bit, as he is not getting the most deserved publicity from other fellow Spaniards (and who cares if he’s a dick or if he has a bit tongue, or else… Arguiñano used to go on live telly completely high on cocaine and people simply found it “funny”…)