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Something funny is cooking in Jamie Oliver's kitchen

PUBLISHED: 12:17 22 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:20 07 September 2010

AMONG the many hundreds of emails I received this week was one purporting to contain all the recipes from Jamie Oliver s new cookbook. Along with the 100 or so recipes was a note explaining that someone at the naked chef s publishing company had inadvert

AMONG the many hundreds of emails I received this week was one purporting to contain all the recipes from Jamie Oliver's new cookbook.

Along with the 100 or so recipes was a note explaining that someone at the naked chef's publishing company had inadvertently mailed them to a friend and that they were now being widely circulated in cyberspace, saving potential customers the £20 they would have to stump up for the recipes in book form on Amazon, or in Waterstones.

The recipes looked very convincing in a Jamie Oliver kind of way and I might well have fallen for the ruse but for the recollection that about five years ago, I received an almost identical email.

Again it purported to contain all the recipes from the same celebrity chef's book that was current at that time. The fact that the recipes are Jamie Oliver creations, but from old books, not new ones, merely added to the confusion.

A quick check confirms that the email was a hoax then, and is still a hoax now. But oh, the perils of the internet.

The mailshot has been sent to millions. Not everyone will be taken in, but there must be a fair few who will not buy the latest Jamie book because they think they've been sent the recipes for free.

Obviously someone is out to damage Jamie's stock, but whoever sent the email to me was wasting their time. The last cookbook I purchased was thicker than the Bible, and was gathering dust years ago in a charity shop when, on some inexplicable impulse, I rescued it for the princely sum of £1.

I've never used it, or any other cookery book for that matter, but it has proved an accidentally fine investment since the author was Isabella Mary Beeton, the first true celebrity chef.

I'm reliably informed that the yellowing 1,000-page tome is now worth in the region of £100. On that basis, Jamie's new book could be changing hands for about £20,000 by the end of the century, though my guess is that by then, even puffin-roaster Gordon Ramsay will be long forgotten. Heston Blumenthal might not be, though. There's a man who has really changed the art of cookery as we know it...

q I'll be at White Hart Lane on Saturday, not because I support Spurs, but because my wife supports Sunderland. I've always admired people who loyally support teams they've grown up with, even when they're useless.

Back in 2001 I could only empathise with the words of a fellow fan of my home town team, Ballymena United, who wrote that the Sky Blues (as they are known in those parts) were at last on the verge of a breakthrough following 'a bad century'. You can't deride that kind of optimism, can you?

Geoff Martin

Editor, Ham&High Series


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