In his new six-part series on Channel 4, Jamie Oliver is taking to the road, travelling the length and breadth of Britain to find out what makes British food so great. He’s searching for new ideas and inspiration to create his own versions of British classics with a twist.
Throughout his travels, he discovers that many of the dishes we think of as typically British aren’t ‘British’ at all, but full of influences from around the world through invasion, exploration, colonisation and immigration.
Next Tuesday, November 22nd, the episode that will be aired on Channel 4 will focus on his trip to the West Country – not only looking for “traditional” food and drink such as pasties, Cheddar and scrumpy, but also less traditional fare.
As part of his journey, Jamie visits Chef Neufville at Jamaican restaurant Rice And Things in St Pauls, before visiting poet Miles Chambers and Social Entrepreneur Julz for a chat at local radio station Ujima 98FM. Jamie then goes on to join Julz and his family for a home cooked Guyanese dinner, lovingly prepared by Esme Davis/ Says Esme, “Jamie took a real shine to the Guyanese dishes that I prepared. He asked lots of insightful questions and was as interested in the ingredients as he was in the traditions associated behind the dishes. I really did enjoy his company and was pleased to see that one of my dishes had inspired one of his recipes in his new book. I really do hope he’s used the Tropical Sun dutchie pot I gave him so that he can authentically recreate my recipes at home. Jamie is a great guy and I’d have him round for tea any time.”
Jamie’s culinary tour of Bristol continued with a taste of the traditional, foraging for wild mushrooms with local chef Toby Gritten, cooking up a centuries’ old recipe of bath chaps (pigs’ cheeks) against a beautiful sunset backdrop. Jamie tries some local scrumpy with the Wilkins family at their apple farm in Somerset and ends his visit with a fantastic outdoor feast, inviting people he’s met throughout the week to join him.
Inspired by the week’s encounters, Jamie cooks some fantastic new classic British recipes, including jerk-dressed Bristol pork, with crunchy crackling and orchard apple sauce, alternative allotment pasties and an amazing apple pepper pot pudding using a combination of Caribbean spices.
Jamie said, “Bristol is such a wonderful city for food because, like many cities which are ports, you’ve got communities arriving from overseas and settling and then making their mark on the food of the city and surrounding area. I was spoilt for choice in Bristol, but I ended up eating some amazing Jamaican and Guyanese dishes.
“Just outside of Bristol, it gets back to what we think of as ‘West Country’ food – apples and scrumpy. The way the local communities have embraced all the new types of food and, in many cases, integrated them into what was traditional – it’s really inspiring. Food really is the perfect way to bring different communities together as it allows us to appreciate each other’s different gifts to what makes Britain great today.”
The programme will be aired at 9pm on Tuesday, November 22nd, on Channel 4.