Now, I actually believe Jamie Oliver when he says his meals are created in 15 minutes – the only problem is that chef has more gadgets than Batman.
Also, his kitchen is big enough to have everything out on the work surface at once, all plugged in and ready to go.
Whereas if I was going to cook the same meals as Jamie, half my time would be spent with my head stuck in the pan cupboard desperately trying to find something big enough to fry four large chicken breasts.
What really had me stumped was when Jamie sliced up a number of potatoes and onions in his food processor until they were ‘wafer thin’.
My simple food processor doesn’t do that. I’ve never seen it slice anything – although the poor thing does get a bit neglected and I’d have to give it a really good dusting before I used it.
So, if I was going to cook up the tasty looking potato gratin that Jamie did I would have to do it the old fashion way – with a knife.
The only problem is, I’m not one of these cooks who can slice really thinly and at super-fast speed.
It would take me at least a good 10 minutes and ounces of concentration to achieve the same wafer thin slices as our Jamie.
Anyway, we may not have the same gadgets as Jamie, but we are happy to forgive him anything as he teaches us that you don’t have to be a perfectionist – especially in the kitchen.
Last night Jamie whipped up two great meals in minutes, and Channel 4 even managed to fit in a sizable commercial break as well between the courses.
The trendy chef has spent years talking to the British public about food and he must have heard the line ‘I haven’t got time to cook’ dozens of times, and this programme is his way of kindly proving us wrong.
He started off with crispy filo pastry stuffed with camembert and it was teamed with cranberry sauce and an autumn salad.
It looked great and the important thing is that it didn’t look perfect.
How scary is it when you look in a cookery book and see the photos of what the finished product should look like, and then look at your own concoction and feel like you are a disaster zone in the kitchen.
The cheese was oozing out of the sides of the filo pastry as Jamie cooked it and he didn’t mind, in fact he loved it.
With his second recipe – golden chicken with braised greens and potato gratin – you get the feeling that Jamie has got eyes in the back of his head.
While he is busy sprinkling rosemary on his chicken breasts and then bashing them until they are flat he also remembers to keep his eyes on the frying onions – whereas it would be the smell of burning that would tip me off to check the onions.
Jamie, who made his television debut 15 years ago on the BBC as the Naked Chef, looks so at ease in the kitchen and he isn’t bothered too much about weighing and measuring, yet his meals come out looking delicious.
Also, he doesn’t seem to make much mess – at one point he is squeezing a pomegranate with his hand to get the juice out.
Everything seems to go on the plate just as he wants, but for most of us half of the fruit juice would end up on the walls or the floor.
Anyway, as he takes a bite of the finished dish all you can feel is envy for his camera crew who probably get to feast on the delicious food at the end of the day – no wonder Jamie’s favourite catchphrase at the moment is ‘happy days’.