Monday, November 15, 2004

The Naked Chef - Jamie Oliver - Talks at Copia in Napa

Jamie Oliver is currently on tour in the USA promoting his new book Jamie's Dinners

I unsuccessfully tried to persuade my friend, P, to take me snowboarding for the day in Tahoe in her very practical Subaru. When she declined, next best thing, I thought, was to get her to come with me to see Jamie Oliver give a talk at Copia . The tickets (a whopping $50 each) were sold out but we put our names on the cancellation list. Sure enough, at around 4pm the next day, Copia called to let us know there was a space for us at the Saturday afternoon lecture.

So, the next morning, a beautiful, crisp, Autumnal Saturday, off we zoomed to Napa where we saw Jamie being interviewed by Joey Altman host of local cooking show , Bay Café. To be honest, the interview itself wasn't as great as we were hoping. Joey and Jamie didn't quite seem to gel. Some of Joey's questions seemed a little banal and at other times Jamie seemed a bit lost for words when it came to answering them.

However, it was clear from what we heard, that Jamie has done wonderful and amazing things by using his skills as a chef and combining them with his skills as a 'people person'. His influence, it seems, has stretched out to both the community and society. He is changing the way people think, cook and eat. He has an amazing gift and it is so refreshing to see him put it to extraordinary use.

Jamie's Fifteen project aims to provide unique opportunities for unemployed young people to learn about the hospitality and catering industry through training and practical experience.

Jamie has also helped out improving School Dinners at a school in the Borough of Greenwich, London (which is where I lived for many years until I moved to the US). Read the recent news report here. I have such horrific memories of School Dinners from when I was a kid, so I am encouraged to hear that Jamie is doing so much to help improve the situation for the sake of the children's' health, even though, as Jamie recounted for us, one of the cheeky little blighters ruined some filming in the school playground by shouting out "Jamie Oliver is a Wanker" at the top of his lungs, just as the camera was rolling!
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When we met Jamie at the book signing, his adorable personality really shone through. His first words to me were "Awright, Sweetpea, 'owa yer doin'". How could I not be charmed? He picked up on my English accent and we chatted a little and had a bit of a larf.
jamie jamie
Jamie was really sweet and accommodating, letting us take photos. It's a real pleasure to see someone so young, using his fame to do a little good in the world, whilst staying faithful to his young family but never forgetting how to have fun and enjoy himself. Jamie! Good on yer mate...

You can check out Jamie's own moblog with pictures from his tour, all taken on his mobile phone here
The Naked Chef - Jamie Oliver - Talks at Copia in Napa


  • At 16/11/04 10:08, Blogger Estelle Tracy said…

    How cool! I wish he would come to Philly too! Which recipes are you planning on trying?

  • At 16/11/04 14:15, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    thats awesome. i went snowboarding this weekend, but i think i might have enjoyed copia more.

  • At 16/11/04 19:49, Blogger Sam said…

    Estelle - I have my eye on a few of the recipes already. I'll post them up if they are sucessful

    Anon - how was the snow? I am itching to go but I only have a 2-seater which is a bit impractical for driving to the mountain with.

  • At 17/11/04 08:53, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lovely pictures Sam! I'm watching Jamie right now on the Today Show. He is too funny! Copia can be such a great place not to mention ideally located across the Napa Farmers Market. I've found great deals there. Cheers! Viv

  • At 17/11/04 11:58, Blogger Delphine said…

    You're very pretty on those pictures Sam!

    I used to watch Mr Jaimie on the cable in France from time to time. What a chef!

  • At 17/11/04 12:10, Blogger Sam said…

    ANon - i didnt know about the farmers market (not that we had time). next time i will check it out.

    Shhh Del! don't let anyone know I don't really look that good in real life! Thank's to P for doing a great job with the photos even though she was ill.
    And, well I have the new Jamie book so maybe I can test out a recipe on you soon

  • At 18/11/04 17:15, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Heya! omg ur SOO lucky to have met Jamie! i didn't know he was in CA..caz i live in CA but not really close to COpia..neways awesome pics..and im so glad u said he was really sweet..caz i hate the actor peoples who act all cutsy..but in real life are mean craps


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