The broadcaster said: ‘Great food in Italy isn’t about Michelin stars. It’s about traditional home cooking. So in ‘Jamie Cooks Italy’, Jamie and his friend and mentor Gennaro Contaldo will be going right to the heart of Italian cuisine.’
The pair will be travelling across different regions – from Puglia in Spring and the Aeolian Islands in Summer to Tuscany in Autumn and Rome in Winter – to learn ‘Italy’s best-kept secrets from the true masters of the Italian kitchen – the nonnas [the Italian word for grandmother] and the home cooks who have perfected recipes that have been lovingly handed down over generations’. The duo will be picking up tips and showing viewers how to recreate the dishes in our own homes.
Jamie said: “I love the Italian approach to life – it fills me with such joy! That’s why I’m super-excited about my new ‘Jamie Cooks Italy’ TV series and book. Gennaro and I had so much fun travelling around Italy, from the mountains to the beaches, picking up ideas and inspiration along the way. We met some incredible characters, and had a good few laughs, too.
“On the recipe front, I’ve got all occasions covered: fast and slow options, simple dishes for you and a friend, family suppers, weekend treats and epic celebratory feasts. I’d love everyone to take a bit of the Italian heart and soul of the nonnas’ approach into their cooking.”
Jamie will also return to front a further 18 further episodes of ‘Jamie’s Quick & Easy Food’. This show launched in 2017 with an average audience of 1.4 million/6.4% on Monday’s 8pm slot (which was up +11% on slot share for all individuals). It focuses on creating dishes using just five ingredients.
Jamie said: “If you loved the first series – and I’m really happy so many of you did – then you’re in for a real treat with the next batch of episodes. They include some of my favourite five-ingredient dishes. I can’t wait to see what you think.”
Recipes will include quick steak stir-fry, harissa chicken tray bake, Rosé pesto prawn pasta, speedy smoky pancetta cod and Buddy’s flapjacks.
‘Jamie Cooks Italy’ was commissioned by Channel 4 factual entertainment commissioning editor Sarah Lazenby. She said: “This delightful series brings alive the spirit and passion of Italian cooking and has all the ingredients for a deliciously enjoyable watch: the nation’s favourite chef and his wonderful mentor being put through their paces by the doyennes of Italian cooking – the nonnas. The irrevocable success of ‘Jamie’s Quick & Easy Food’ meant this was a pretty quick and easy commission. With only five ingredients, even I’ve started cooking myself.”
Channel Four has not yet announced the shows’ transmission dates.