Jamie Does Marrakech Review: More Mister Spice Guy

April 14, 2010 by  
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JAMIE DOES…MARRAKECH: Wednesday 14 April, Channel 4, 9pm ALERT ME

In 2003 Jamie Oliver ranked in the top 30 of a ’100 worst Britons’ poll, up there with Jim Davidson, Edwina Curry and Jordan.

For some reason (perhaps the mockney accent, his habit of calling everything pukka or his dodgy scrappy-mullet hair-do) just seeing the Essex-born chef was enough to ignite rage in a sizeable slice of the population.

Seven years on and he’s charmed himself back into the British public’s bosom, even bagging himself an MBE in the process. Now the face-of-Sainsbury’s is off to Marrakech in Morroco on the first stop of his new foodie tour of North Africa and Europe.

The school-dinners campaigner samples the city’s culinary delights, which at first look a bit dodgy, but by the O-faces he pulls must taste pretty darn good. A spice-loaded lamb carcus pulled from a underground oven and a stew cooked in a pile of ash for four hours are among the dishes that spark a string of near-orgasmic ‘beauuuutifuls’ and ‘lovely jubblys’ from Oliver.

It’s hard not be charmed by his puppy-dog enthusiasm for all things food and his passion for good grub helps him get in with the locals. Filmed over just a few days, the programme has a quick pace and is full of seemingly simple recipe ideas.

Olivers’ trips to the Marrakech markets provide some of the best bits. There’s a funny scene where he speeds around on a scooter pointing out “nice chocolate? and “lovely bit of meat? on the stalls he passes. He also finds a trader selling strange potions that promise to give you good luck and keep your wife quiet.

Few may bother to test his cooking tips but it’s good to see our boy doing something he clearly loves. You can practically smell the spices seeping out of the screen, all served up by a loveable food fanatic.