Jamie Oliver is releasing a new cookbook, Jamie Cooks Italy, with Michael Joseph in July.
Oliver’s publisher said Italy was a country close to the chef’s heart from his early days working with Antonio Carluccio, Gennaro Contaldo and at the River Café. He visits Italy, both north and south, “whenever possible”, the publisher added.
However, Oliver has also noticed a decline in how family recipes are being passed from generation to generation in the country, thanks to busier lives and technology increasing the temptation to cut corners, resulting in “all-important food tips and decades of food knowledge being lost”.
To address this, Oliver’s book will contain more than 140 new recipes which, according to Michael Joseph, “not only celebrate Jamie’s great love of Italian food, but also acknowledge the importance of what the Italian matriarchs of the kitchen – the nonnas and the mammas – can teach us”.
The book will publish on 12th July 2018. Among Oliver's recipes are Sicilian Artichokes, "melt-in-the mouth" beef Stracotto, Salina Chicken and Baked Risotto Pie, Stuffed Focaccia and Amalfi Lemon Tart.
“Whether it’s recipe principles, flavour combinations, tips or techniques, I’ve gathered all this incredible insight in order to share with you the true heart and soul of Italian food, expressed through fresh, achievable recipes in an accessible modern way," said Oliver.
“From quick fixes and simple dishes with just a handful of ingredients to more indulgent cooking for weekends and special occasions, this book will deliver big on flavour and comfort, helping you to create food that will transport you straight to Italy and – ultimately – make you feel very happy. Viva Italia!”
With sales of £174.5m, Oliver is the second-biggest selling author since Nielsen BookScan records began (second only to J K Rowling) and by far the biggest non-fiction author. Only 12 non-fiction books since records began have crossed the £10m barrier – and Oliver has written six of them. Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals sold 1.8 million copies for £25.6m, making it by almost £12m the bestselling non-fiction book of all time. His latest bestseller 5 Ingredients (Michael Joseph) is shortlisted for The British Book Awards' Non-Fiction Lifestyle Book of the Year.
However, while Oliver's previous foray into Italian cooking, Jamie’s Italian in 2005, is his fourth-bestselling book by volume at just over 846,000 copies sold, his Italian restaurant business has fared less well recently. Jamie’s Italian UK announced a £9.9m loss (on £113m in revenue) in its last set results, with debts of £71.3m and, as confirmed by Oliver, it will close 12 of its 37 branches this year.
There are no details as yet whether the book will accompany a new TV series.