Jamie Oliver is the person many people turn to for advice on how to cook the most important meal of the year, Christmas dinner. Jamie wants to show that Christmas can be fun. In these two hour-long festive specials, Jamie Oliver provides a collection of Christmas classics, new ideas and fantastic party food. Filmed at his Essex home and featuring family and friends, the two programmes are packed with stress-free, sure-fire ways to cover the classics for a fab Christmas dinner - turkey, roasties, gravy, stuffing and veg, as well as fresh ways to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
Cook Nigel Slater explores classic culinary pairings, working out why these combinations taste so good and how we can use this knowledge to make us better cooks.
Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc, together with Kate Humble, has been given the unique opportunity to spend a year at the most famous botanical gardens at Kew to re-establish the long-lost kitchen gardens that once provided produce for the royal table from George II to Queen Victoria.
The English brass septet Septura (three trumpets, two trombones, bass trombone, and tuba) has emerged as a worthy successor to the various brass quintets that enjoyed a vogue at the end of the 20th century. Their ensemble work is unimpeachable, but where they break new ground is in their arrangements, which both draw on a slightly wider range of sources than usual and have a more varied selection of textures.
This funky little holiday gem from 1964 was originally released on Sue Records and was actually Jimmy McGriff's highest charting album, rising to number 15 on the pop charts that year. Naturally his gritty Hammond B-3 playing is front and center here, given wonderful support by drummer Jimmie Smith, guitarist Larry Frazier, and Rudolph Johnson on soprano and tenor saxophone. The whole affair is surprisingly energetic and spunky, and tracks like the hard-charging "Christmas With McGriff," the sleigh bell-embedded "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," and the lively "Hip Santa" are all wonderful examples of upbeat soul jazz. Even the version of "Jingle Bells" that closes the set is funked up, riding a chugging rhythm and a bed of sleigh bells into the yuletide night. McGriff could have easily gone through the motions on this holiday session, and that he obviously didn't makes Christmas With Jimmy McGriff even more endearing.