Jamie Oliver is back on Channel 4 with a new series called Jamie’s 5 Ingredient Meals, where he claims to show viewers how to make delicious dishes with only five ingredients each. The concept is simple: less shopping, less chopping, less hassle. But is it really as easy and satisfying as he makes it sound?
The first episode featured recipes such as chicken and chips, sweet pea orecchiette, spinach and feta pie, and zorongollo salad. All of them looked appetizing and appealing on the screen, but some of them also raised questions about their nutritional value, originality, and practicality.
The pros and cons of five-ingredient cooking
One of the advantages of using only five ingredients is that it can save time and money for busy people who want to cook at home. It can also reduce food waste and encourage creativity with limited resources. Oliver says that his recipes are designed to be “quick, easy, and delicious”, and that they can be adapted to suit different tastes and preferences.
However, there are also some drawbacks to this approach. For one thing, it can limit the variety and complexity of flavors and textures in a dish. Some of the ingredients that Oliver uses are pre-packaged or processed, such as jarred peppers, frozen spinach, or shop-bought tzatziki. These may not be as fresh or healthy as homemade versions. Moreover, some of the dishes seem too simple or basic to warrant a TV show. For example, the sweet pea orecchiette is essentially pasta with peas and cheese. Is this really worth watching or making?
The critics are not impressed
The reviews of Jamie’s 5 Ingredient Meals have been mostly negative so far. Some critics have accused Oliver of being lazy, patronizing, or repetitive in his style and content. They have pointed out that his recipes are not very original or innovative, and that he uses the same words and phrases over and over again. They have also argued that his show is not very informative or educational, and that it does not address the real issues of food poverty or insecurity in Britain.
One reviewer from The Guardian wrote that Oliver’s shows “get bleaker by the second” as he tries to cater to the austerity-stricken masses with cheap and cheerful meals. Another reviewer from The Telegraph said that Oliver “sticks to the same old bish-bash-script” with his gimmicky concept and his predictable language. They both suggested that Oliver has lost his touch and his relevance as a chef and a TV personality.
The verdict: watch it or skip it?
Jamie’s 5 Ingredient Meals may appeal to some viewers who are looking for simple and quick recipes to make at home. It may also inspire some people to experiment with different combinations of ingredients and flavors. However, it may not satisfy those who are looking for more sophisticated or diverse dishes, or those who are concerned about the quality or sustainability of their food. It may also annoy those who are tired of Oliver’s formulaic and over-hyped presentation.
Ultimately, Jamie’s 5 Ingredient Meals is a show that tries to make cooking easy for everyone, but it may end up being too easy for some and too hard for others.