Happy Days with The Naked Chef

Interview with Jools

Jools Oliver, Jamie’s ‘missus’, reveals her new culinary talents and how Jamie’s obsession with food even extends to the bedroom!

Penguin: Jamie has mentioned in previous interviews that you’re a pre-packed food fan, but you’ve recently got into cooking, how did that happen?
Jools: Basically when we got married, my mum and my mum-in-law encouraged me. I'd also given up my job to help Jamie out, then he got a PA so I had a bit more time on my hands. I actually started to think cooking was quite fun and Jamie was so chuffed every time I made something from his books I thought 'anything that makes him happy'.
Penguin: What are your new specialities?
Jools: I started with Chili con carne and Spaghetti Bolognese - it's really embarrassing but I didn't know how to make them. Then I moved on to roast chicken and fish pie - I'm really good at that. I've cooked from the first two books (The Naked Chef and The Return of the Naked Chef), but I haven't looked at the third one yet. My next thing is to start on the bread and pasta. I'm not sure why, but I'm a bit scared to make the bread, and I haven't tried the pasta because we haven't got a pasta machine at the moment.
Penguin: Has Jamie been a good teacher?
Jools: I've done it all myself because we'd drive each other mad in the kitchen together.
Penguin: When you first moved to London Jamie used to make ready-made 'boil in the bag' meals for you to cook - how did that work?
Jools: Jamie used to go to work at 4.30pm, so before he went to work he would put all the ingredients in foil and I'd cook it later. He was the ultimate boyfriend, I don't know anyone else who would do that. That was when we lived in a tiny basement flat with a really small kitchen so instead of using all different sauces he just put all the ingredients in a pack. They were the inspiration for some of the recipes in Happy Days like the Chicken Breast Baked in a Bag with Mushrooms, Butter, White Wine and Thyme and the Chicken Breast in a Bag with Cannellini Beans, Leeks, Cream and Majoram.
Penguin: Is Jamie 110% obsessed by food and cooking? He mentioned in a recent interview with Penguin that he talks food in his sleep!
Jools: I think he's 150% obsessed! At first I didn't know whether he was doing it as a joke, but he really does talk about things like utensils and saffron in his sleep!
Penguin: What's your favourite meal cooked by Jamie?
Jools: I like his Thai stuff, and the broths with chicken and noodles. My favourite dessert is the crumbles, they're really simple but Jamie does quite different combinations.!
Penguin: What is Jamie's favourite meal cooked from your repertoire?
Jools: Fish pie.

Links to

Happy Days with The Naked Chef

Tour snaps

Interview with Jools

Interview with Jamie's Mum


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Fruit Cobbler

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