I was going to buy a new barbecue last weekend (a Weber Smokey Mountain since you ask), but didn’t for obvious reasons - a decision I slightly regretted come Monday, when Jamie’s Summer Food Rave Up (8.30pm, C4, 2 July) reminded me how much fun cooking outside can be when the sun does put in an appearance.
Partly filmed during last year’s Big Feastival in Clapham, it was a bit happy clappy “aren’t we all having fun, kids?”, but in between the shots of pretty middle class gals waving their hands in the air to Soul II Soul and the Guillemots, Oliver was doing what he does best - cook.
And boy was the food sigh-worthily great. After whipping up a mean Indian dosa, Oliver drafted in Levi Roots to rustle up some real jerk chicken (while he made jalapeno flatbreads) Gennaro Contaldo to cook steak on hot rocks and fish over a fire and chocolate wiz Willie Harcourt-Cooze to whisk up some chilli chocolate (to accompany his churros).
There was lots of the usual banter as well, with Oliver declaring he was “feeling a bit camp” having had a couple of beers (a new one on me) and proclaiming: “This ain’t cooking with Delia!” as Roots deblinged before getting stuck into the jerk.
Granted, the prospect of cooking anything outside, let alone on a hot rock, looks a tad remote at the moment, which is frustrating given how simple the recipes looked. But for those who prefer the pukka to the preachy Oliver - and are eternally optimistic about the British weather - this is the programme for you.