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Q&A  •  1 September 2022

 

Jamie Oliver – ONE Q&A

Jamie talks us through creating his latest cookbook, One.

What’s so special about your new book ONE?

ONE is my ultimate homage to making your life simpler – everything is cooked in just one pan or tray. So, it’s perfect for those days when you need convenient solutions to getting good food on the table, fast. Think minimal ingredients but big flavour, and – of course – less washing up! Who doesn’t love that?

Why is this book particularly relevant right now?

For a lot of us, I think returning to the daily chaos of life and work routines after being stuck at home for so long was a big shock. Getting back into the groove of cooking around a busy schedule can take a bit of readjustment. That’s where I hope ONE comes in – I want it to help you fill your weekly plan with big-hitting dishes, with no stress, whatever day of the week it is. It’s also convenient as you don’t need a lot of equipment to create great food, and that can be really useful, too. Ultimately, I hope ONE makes your life easier and more delicious.

Who is this book for?

I really hope that everyone can take inspiration from this book because these recipes celebrate ease. From delicious lunches that won’t break the bank and quick dinners the whole family will love to easy meals for novice cooks, there’s something for everyone in ONE. When 5 Ingredients came out a few years back, I was surprised and delighted that it appealed to a really broad range of people – from students and total beginner cooks right through to experienced foodies, who just wanted easy inspiration midweek. I think ONE has that same potential, which I’m really excited about.

What would you like people to take from it?

I hope it reminds readers that cooking doesn’t have to be complicated. The process of creating the recipes reminded me of how we often over-complicate things, and to be honest it challenged me to approach things in a different way. I’m really chuffed with the result and I hope it will bring some new recipes into people’s repertoires.

How has this book changed the way you think about building a recipe?

As with all my solution-based books, I’m trying to solve a problem and, with ONE, the focus was obviously on reducing the amount of cooking vessels you need, so you can dish up great food with minimum fuss. I definitely had to approach recipes with a one-pan lens, and frankly, some dishes we all know and love just didn’t make the one-pan cut. But there are so many that did – and some of the expressions are really fun, like my Upside down fish pie – and I’ve even discovered some new styles of cooking, like the whole frying pan pasta chapter, which is one I am very excited about.

With lots of people worried about their household budgets this year, is this book for them?

Look, I’m not going to pretend that every recipe in the book will work for every household budget, but I am confident that there’s a really broad range of options and lots of the recipes are coming in at a really decent price per portion. Half of the book works out at under £2 per serving, with a lot of recipes well under that, and I’ve tried to make sure that the majority of ingredients can be found in any supermarket. I’ve also got a great little chapter on batch cooking, which is a really budget-friendly way to cook, as scaling up often works out a lot cheaper per portion, and means you can stock the freezer with delicious home-cooked food ready and waiting for another day. I’ve got a gorgeous Sweet potato chilli, for example, that when we costed it was coming in at just 66p per portion. And you just know those leftovers are going to be good – I’ve shared some ideas for how to mix it up with the extra portions, too.

What is the one kitchen item you can't live without?

Well for this book, am I allowed to say a really good pan?! Also a decent sharp knife is essential when it comes to being both safe and efficient in the kitchen. Otherwise I’d say either a speed peeler, for adding delicate texture and interest to salads, or a pestle and mortar, which is key for adding big flavour. Think everything from bashing up fresh herbs, garlic and nuts for a beautiful pesto, to making gorgeous rubs, marinades, flavoured salts and spice pastes.

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

I actually came up with the idea in early 2021, when the UK was back in lockdown and everything was feeling a bit bleak. Food can bring so much joy, but when you’re stuck in a rut and going through the same motions every day I know cooking can sometimes also feel like a chore. I wanted to find a way to make putting together good food really easy and convenient, so that if you do want to cook when things are busy or you’re not feeling too motivated, you’re armed with simple, no-fuss options. The one-pan concept felt perfect for that.

What is your favourite recipe in the book and why?

The big question! I have to say I’m most proud of the frying pan pasta chapter. It was a real revelation to me and I just think it’s going to be so useful to so many people. Each recipe serves one, so it’s perfect for all sorts of scenarios – a quick working-from-home lunch, a simple but luxurious-feeling supper, or if you’ve got a chaotic housefull like mine, you can just bang out portions to order to fit around after-school clubs and the general whims of teenagers! The Chicken & mushroom puff pie went down a treat with my lot in testing, too – it looks impressive, but is actually really simple to put together. If I’m home alone, I’m partial to one of my Speedy folded flatbreads. Chuck a little fresh salad on the side and it’s happy days.

One pan means minimal washing up, but who does the washing up in your house?!

Now that would be telling… All I can say is that my missus is not a washing-up fan, which is one of the reasons I’ve dedicated the book to her!

Feature Title

One
A book to rival 15-Minute Meals and 5 Ingredients in its smart simplicity - a one-pan cookbook from Jamie
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