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British chef a hit in France

Feb. 13, 2004 at 7:44 PM   |   Comments

PARIS, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- To be sure, there is the occasional shocked countenance, but all in all, the French are happy to welcome British chef Jamie Oliver into their homes.

Oliver, host of the no-frills "Naked Chef" TV cookery show in England, is a hit in France, the BBC reported Friday.

Oliver, who was honored with an MBE in his country in October by the Queen, is in Paris promoting his latest book, Rock 'n' Roll Cuisine.

He is not without his detractors.

Francois Simon of Le Figaro newspaper, one of France's most influential food critics, told the BBC, "In France we are quite upset to see this English boy in our kitchen, 'What he is doing there? Not to cook -- that's our job.'"

Oliver acknowledged the culinary conflict he is causing.

But, he said, "I can handle it.

"The public seem to like me because it's easy, simple and tasty, and looks nice."

At his live cookery shows, Oliver tries to win the hearts and minds of Paris audiences by telling them: "Feel free to ask any questions. Don't be polite. The English aren't."

Topics: Jamie Oliver
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