Cooking with the Naked Chef

I can’t cook … not well anyway. Sure I can do the basics – boiled eggs, beans on toast, pizzas etc but if you asked me to cater a dinner party for adults I would struggle.

So when I was invited to take a cooking class with the Naked Chef himself – Mr Jamie Oliver – I said ‘Yes’ quicker than you can take the cover off a frozen dinner.

My husband Mr Bean was a happy man, ‘Yee ha, she’s learning to cook, she’s learning to cook,’ he sang.

Didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d be one of 20 in the class, being conducted infront of an audience of 500. Not sure how much of an effect the class was going to have on that night’s dinner plans, but hey I’ll give anything a go.

So on Saturday I rolled up to Jamie’s Ministry of Food in Ipswich. It’s a centre that runs low-cost cooking classes for people like me … and for people not like me. I mean those who can cook but want to get better. And those who’ve never even boiled an egg before. And all of the people in between.

It’s been open for about a year and is run by a small staff and a huge group of volunteers. It’s all about equipping people with the skills they need to cook healthy, balanced meals.

Great idea, great centre, great day.

After the class – which was also attended by the Premier Anna Bligh (I’m in good ‘can’t cook’ company) – I met Jamie, who despite being horribly jetlagged was lovely and generous with his time.

I made a not bad chicken fajita and have signed on for a 10 week class starting May. Until then I have my new love – my Thermomix aka the Miracle Machine. That’s a post for another day.

Here’s some piccies from the day. Scuse by bedraggled look – I got absolutely drenched while on the hunt for caffeine (addiction is bad … for your health and your hair) … and yes I’m currently in my ‘pink phase’ as evidenced by the glasses, the necklace and the watch.


Here’s a great music/photo mashup of the day by Destination Food.

Jamie Oliver Ministry of Food Australia, Ipswich 2012 As it happened from Destination Food on Vimeo.

  • amanda richmond

    well done! looked like fun.

  • Amanda

    Looks like you had a great time Alice! I was in Ipswich on Saturday but didn’t brave the crowds for a glimpse of Jamie. Went to Fourthchild for breakky and shopped instead! Good luck with the classes!

  • sheila higgins

    How awesome Alice. Glad you shared some photos.