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Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Bookshops

14 December 2000
... Can You Take the Heat? (HarperCollins, £14.99) – near the cafe, under the implied general designation ‘food’. Perhaps this prime position accounts for some of the mouth-watering success of JamieOliver. Penguin recently held a party to celebrate sales of The Naked Chef and The Return of the Naked Chef passing (between them) the two million mark. At the party, the cheeky chappy’s mother ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Literary Prizes

10 May 2001
... into the new WHSmith Book Awards, most of which were decided by a public vote, as an allegedly democratic gesture against the elitism of literary prizes. Zadie Smith won in the New Talent category; JamieOliver was best for Home and Leisure and Simon Schama for General Knowledge; J.K. Rowling wrote the best children’s book and Maeve Binchy’s Scarlet Feather won the Fiction Award. These results ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Dinner at the Digs

20 March 2008
... in foody matters – which might also explain why she allows McDonald’s to take out advertisements on her website – but it might be even simpler than that. Delia wants to get down with the kids, JamieOliver style, and the best way to do that is to tell them their bad habits are kind of cool. The last chapter of her new book is called ‘Sweet Cheats: Ending on a High’, which might ...

Stick in a Pie for Tomorrow

Jenny Turner: Thrift

14 May 2009
Make Do and Mend: Keeping Family and Home Afloat on War Rations 
Michael O’Mara, 160 pp., £9.99, September 2007, 978 1 84317 265 9Show More
The Thrifty Cookbook: 476 Ways to Eat Well with Leftovers 
by Kate Colquhoun.
Bloomsbury, 256 pp., £14.99, April 2009, 978 0 7475 9704 9
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The Thrift Book: Live Well and Spend Less 
by India Knight.
Fig Tree, 272 pp., £14.99, November 2008, 978 1 905490 37 0
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Jamie’s Ministry of Food: Anyone Can Learn to Cook in 24 Hours 
by Jamie Oliver.
Michael Joseph, 359 pp., £25, October 2008, 978 0 7181 4862 1
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Eating for Victory: Healthy Home Front Cooking on War Rations 
Michael O’Mara, 160 pp., £9.99, September 2007, 978 1 84317 264 2Show More
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... my Polish friend had no cosy feelings about a time of terror. Most people, in most countries, see things her way, not mine. Now everybody’s favourite millionaire tellygarch has been at it too, in Jamie’s Ministry of Food. ‘During and after the First World War terrible food shortages meant many people were malnourished. So when the Second World War broke out the government knew they’d have to ...

Jade Goody Goes to Heaven

Laurence Scott: OK! and the uncanny

28 March 2009
... about her weight and intelligence before others could make fun of them. Britain likes its public figures to be aware of their own shortcomings, and thus Jade became a soothing antithesis to JamieOliver’s confident over-achieving. Suspicious of tireless do-gooders, the country embraced its Goody. But happiness, as the melodrama goes, was short-lived. Jade’s decline began, we irrationally feel ...

When Men Started Doing It

Steven Shapin: At the Grill Station

17 August 2006
Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker and Apprentice to a Butcher in Tuscany 
by Bill Buford.
Cape, 318 pp., £17.99, July 2006, 9780224071840
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... of practical information – how to make a wild mushroom risotto – but as windows onto both the skills and the emotional life of a celebrity cook. Not just how to cook a mushroom risotto like JamieOliver or Nigella Lawson or Gordon Ramsay or Anthony Bourdain, but what it’s like to be Jamie or Nigella or Gordon or Tony: Happy Days with the Naked Chef, How to be a Domestic Goddess, In the Heat ...

Institutional Hypocrisy

David Runciman: Selling the NHS

21 April 2005
Restoring Responsibility: Ethics in Government, Business and Healthcare 
by Dennis Thompson.
Cambridge, 349 pp., £16.99, November 2004, 0 521 54722 9
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NHS plc: The Privatisation of Our Healthcare 
by Allyson Pollock.
Verso, 271 pp., £15.99, September 2004, 1 84467 011 2
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Brown’s Britain 
by Robert Peston.
Short Books, 369 pp., £14.99, January 2005, 1 904095 67 4
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... slaves. Institutional hypocrisy can coincide with personal hypocrisy, but it doesn’t have to. It is also consistent with deep personal sincerity, and such sincerity will often be one of its causes. Oliver North, for instance, was not a hypocrite in any conventional sense, in that his behaviour was neither primarily self-serving nor inconsistent. It was North’s sincerity that enabled him to subvert ...

The Great Neurotic Art

Steven Shapin: Tucking into Atkins

5 August 2004
Dr Atkins’ New Diet Revolution: The No-Hunger, Luxurious Weight Loss Plan that Really Works! 
by Robert C. Atkins.
Vermilion, 542 pp., £7.99, January 2003, 0 09 188948 0
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Atkins for Life: The Next Level, Permanent Weight Loss and Good Health 
by Robert C. Atkins.
Pan, 456 pp., £7.99, December 2003, 0 330 41846 7
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The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss 
by Arthur Agatston.
Headline, 278 pp., £10.99, May 2003, 0 7553 1129 9
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...  Spinach Phyllo Triangles (with spelt or wholewheat phyllo dough) or Broccoli, Rabe and Sausage over Penne (low-carb soy pasta) – and, spelt phyllo and soy pasta apart, you can almost see JamieOliver . . . No, I suppose not. In any case, Dr Atkins had now become a corporate institution. He was no longer a well man. He had a heart attack in 2002, which, his office stipulated, was the result of an ...

Ghosting

Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange

6 March 2014
... On 5 January​ 2011, at 8.30 p.m., I was messing about at home when the phone buzzed on the sofa. It was a text from Jamie Byng, the publisher of Canongate. ‘Are you about?’ it said. ‘I have a somewhat left-field idea. It’s potentially very exciting. But I need to discuss urgently.’ Canongate had bought, for £ ...

Cosmic Interference

Dinah Birch: Janet Davey’s Fiction

7 October 2015
Another Mother’s Son 
by Janet Davey.
Chatto, 296 pp., £12.99, August 2015, 978 1 78474 022 1
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... into a casual sexual encounter with Abe, who is irresponsibly young and attractively careless. Richard, like Sylvie and Jo, is scarred by a loss enacted outside the novel’s timeframe: the death of Jamie, his first partner, from meningitis. Richard’s restless unhappiness as he tries to find Abe again, without being able to admit to himself that he is seeking a different life, is sensitively evoked ...

What We’re about to Receive

Jeremy Harding: Food Insecurity

13 May 2010
... food shortages, famine and civil panic.’ An influential minority of consumers have responded to the call for a new food consciousness; environmentalists, media personalities (led by the heroic JamieOliver), nutritionists and food analysts are optimistic that it’s on the rise. Yet vast numbers of us still require nudging and guidance, and, if the food observatory is right, we will have to ...

Upriver

Iain Sinclair: The Thames

25 June 2009
Thames: Sacred River 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Vintage, 608 pp., £14.99, August 2008, 978 0 09 942255 6
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... Marshall’s Our Island Story, originally published in 1905 and glossed as ‘A History of England for Boys and Girls’. With its royal-blue cloth and heraldic shield, its text broken down into JamieOliver-sized portions suitable for juvenile digestion, this book is remembered for its illustrations by A.S. Forrest, a succession of poignant tableaux like a village hall pageant. The Thames ...

Speaking British

Thomas Jones

30 March 2000
The Third Woman 
by William Cash.
Little, Brown, 318 pp., £14.99, February 2000, 0 316 85405 0
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Greene on Capri: A Memoir 
by Shirley Hazzard.
Virago, 149 pp., £12.99, January 2000, 1 86049 799 3
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... But I kept all this quiet knowing there were things he envied about me too. I think each of us treasured this envy, longing to know how the other had changed but disdaining to ask. His friend, Jamie, tells the narrator that he has seen the woman who works in the chip-shop swimming naked in the sea. At night they go down to the beach to watch her. ‘We waited for hours, till Jamie’s face ...

Maybe he made it up

Terry Eagleton: Faking It

6 June 2002
The Forger’s Shadow: How Forgery Changed the Course of Literature 
by Nick Groom.
Picador, 351 pp., £20, April 2002, 9780330374323
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... it becomes at one point a kind of scriptive equivalent of such programmes, as Groom portrays himself rambling around Bristol in search of Chatterton’s ghost (‘I paced about, in the footsteps of Oliver Goldsmith, Samuel Johnson, James Boswell and many others . . .’), for all the world like a print version of Simon Schama. One can almost see the make-up and microphone. It is a smart rather than ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Allelujah!

3 January 2019
... Call Me by Your Name, which has been much lauded, so much so that when we come to watch it this rather gets in the way. And it’s somehow all too easy. Both the 17-year-old Elio and his older lover, Oliver, are flawless, but with no anguish to their affection. Nor is there any lack of understanding from the boy’s parents, his father particularly, with this being singled out as evidence of the film ...

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