Jamie’s Summer Food Rave Up, or JSFRU for short, sees Britain’s favourite tousle-haired mockney chef cooking up inventive al fresco food in his festival camp kitchen (basically a tent in an abandoned field) with various showbiz pals. As well as this, we were also promised music from Soul II Soul and the Guillemots.
The idea appears to have been part cookery show, part matey banter and part music festival, clearly playing to Jamie’s frustrated inner rock star. Although quite where the ‘rave up’ part came in though is anyone’s guess – I was slightly disappointed that Jamie didn’t start cooking whilst wearing white gloves and blowing a whistle.
He did, however, wear a stupid hat.
We started off with a voiceover about how Jamie loves to cook outside over the top of a montage seemingly cropped straight from a cider commercial.
Then, we were plunged straight into the first recipe, Indian Dosa pancakes, which are also the first vehicle for Jamie to hit geezer-banter overdrive:
“I’ve had a couple of beers, so who knows what’s going to happen”, he ponders. You get arrested by the hat police, Jamie? We can only hope.
Following a pointless cut scene with Soul II soul’s Jazzy B, who talks about his favourite moment cooking outside, we then head on to spicy jerk chicken accompanied by jalapeno flatbreads. Admittedly, they look delicious, but any cooking tips appear overshadowed by Jamie’s attempts at matey banter with Levi Roots.
“This ain’t like cooking with Delia”, says Jamie.
Too right, she’d probably be pissed by now.
Next, we get a brief musical interlude with Soul II Soul that lasts all of about 20 seconds (I’m not kidding), but long enough to get ‘Back to Life’ repeatedly stuck in my head for the first time since 1992. Thanks a lot, Oliver.
The Guillemots popped up too, with another blink-and-you’ll-miss-it musical performance that also featured Jamie doing some awkward ‘dad-dancing’.
The final recipe- churros and chocolate- was described by Jamie as a ‘legal and natural high’ at least 3 times, making him sound like a gawky teenager desperate for the approval of the cool festival-goers.
Once again Jamie’s food, although basic, looked gorgeous, but it all smacked of a promo for the Jamie section on the Channel 4 website or an advert for Jamie’s magazine, books, restaurants etc. It feels a bit like a culinary version of Abercombie and Fitch – selling the idea of a lifestyle as a marketing ploy. As my wife put it: “What does this really have to do with food?”
Having said that, it is mildly diverting for a Monday night and, personally, I would choose Jamie every time over the humourless, macho posturing of Gordon Ramsey.
Now, where did I put that turkey twizzler..?
Check out the related post icons below for other TV reviews