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Restaurants, recipes, books, kitchen utensils, campaigns; Jamie Oliver is all these things, but more importantly, Jamie Oliver is a brand. His look, personality and attitude are injected into everything he does, instantly setting his recipe site apart from others in this category. As well as a healthy collection of recipes, Jamieoliver.com has sections on his restaurants, campaigns, product range and T.V shows. As soon as you visit the website you’ll get the feeling that it is well designed and easy to navigate.
The recipes on this site are organized into the following categories; Jamie’s recipes, chicken, vegetarian, pasta, beef, fish, video recipes, member recipes, and SMS recipes. Lacking the advanced search engine and with numerically less recipes than other sites in this category, Jamieoliver.com may not provide you with the most precise results. Rather, this website is better suited to browsing for ideas without anything too specific in mind. Whilst all the recipes on the site are adequate, and members’ recipes can be a great source of hints and tips, it is Jamie’s Recipes that are unique. Not being found anywhere else apart from in Jamie’s cookbooks, these recipes really convey Jamie’s unique and innovative attitude to all things food. All recipes can easily be shared by Email or Facebook or can be printed out. The video recipes are great for observing technique and we liked the idea of the SMS recipes; while many sites in this category boast Apps, Jamie’s are amongst the best designed and the SMS service allows those of us without smart phones to access recipes on the go. Overall, although we did find a couple of Jamie’s recipes to be slightly ‘hit or miss’, Jamie’s personality and attitude to food throughout this site make cooking a pleasure. Although many of the recipes will not be suitable for beginners, even experienced cooks will find a lot to learn.
In fact, Jamieoliver.com is the only website in this category that pairs food with campaigning. From small scale projects such as 15 to nationwide campaigns to improve the way we eat, Jamie’s projects are designed to “empower, educate and engage as many people as possible to love and enjoy good food”. The aims and results of many of these projects are inspiring and really get you thinking about how and what we eat.
Jamieoliver.com is a very diverse website, and the forums are no different. As well as recipes, hints and tips, members can discuss anything from growing your own vegetables to how you can help change the way you and others around you eat. These forums are lively spaces in which you can learn a lot about the food you eat. Similarly, each recipe has a space below where users can leave comments and tips on that particular recipe. However, overall the community features of jamieoliver.com are far behind those of other websites in this category.
In conclusion, although there are certainly better online recipe websites in this category jamieoliver.com continues to have a strong unique selling point; Jamie. Although some may consider this “celebrity approach” to be somewhat superficial, we found it charming, making our cooking experience far more enjoyable. With a fantastic approach towards cooking we would not just recommend this site to those of us who like Jamie Oliver, but to anyone interested in food and life.
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