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“Bollocks”, says Jamie PDF
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 00:00
 

Exclusive by Paul Whitelock, for the Olive Press, 22 July 2009

Jamie Oliver learned how to cook a giant paella last week in the biggest paellera (pan) in Andalucía.

The small village of Benaoján in the Serranía de Ronda, famous for its hams, played host to the famous TV chef last Wednesday evening.

As well as paella, he was shown how to make gazpacho, the cold Andalucían soup, Spanish omelette and borrachuelos, a local sweet cake, by villagers in their houses.

Dolores Sierra, 75,  said:  “He was lovely.  My kitchen is tiny and I don’t speak English, but we got on very well and he seemed to like my cakes.”

Oliver, in the area filming a new cookery programme, was also filmed helping to make a 500-portion paella under the expert tuition of Salvador García Domínguez, official paella-maker in the village for the last 18 years.

He said:  “We’re delighted he has chosen to come to our village, as we all love his programmes, which we watch on the cookery channel.”

After cooking the massive paella, García told the Olive Press: “Jamie was a very nice man.  He worked hard and learned fast.”

Oliver didn’t shirk.  He helped set the logs under the 2.5 metre wide pan, as well as chucking in the ingredients and stirring the mixture for nearly four hours as he talked to camera.

As he helped to serve the huge crowd that had turned out to sample his cooking, Oliver told the Olive Press: “It’s bollocks, mate.  It takes four hours to make and only five minutes to serve!”  Oliver added that he’d had a great time filming in the Ronda area and learning new recipes.  

The village used the excuse of Oliver’s visit to put on an extra fiesta.  They hosed down the streets, built a stage in the square and the 500-strong crowd enjoyed music by local duo Café Latino.  The village mayor, Isabel Soraya García Mesa, coincidentally the daughter of Salvador, the chef, himself a former mayor, led the initiative.  Her secretary, Mariola Castaño Gómez told us: “It was too good a chance to miss. The TV company paid for the paella and we paid for the fiesta. A good arrangement.”

The star also filmed in Ronda, in Estepona and on the Costa de la Luz.  The programme, in the series, “Jamie Does ...” airs on Channel 4 in 2010.

©  Paul Whitelock

 Update: For a review of the programme Jamie does Andalucía, click Jamie does Ronda!

 

 

Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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