No such thing as a fifteen-minute meal


It’s struck me recently that one of the hardest parts of cooking at home is not the prep or the actual cooking, but the washing up.

In my teens I worked as a pot washer and occasionally a kitchen porter in a three-star hotel in Derbyshire. Both jobs are seen as at the bottom of the ladder in the kitchen hierarchy.

Pot washing was monotonous, shoving trays of crockery through a steamer, stacking them to dry and then shelving them.

But being a kitchen porter was much more physically demanding, scrubbing heavy saucepans, cleaning working surfaces, cleaning the walk-in fridge, mopping the floor, taking heavy bags of rubbish out to the bins.

As a home cook, you are both pot washer and kitchen porter.

I try and wash up as I cook, but even so at the end of an evening the sink and work surface are littered with pans, dishes, knives, spatulas, spoons, peelers, and all manner of items. I look around me and say to myself, ‘How on earth did all this happen?’

This is what you don’t see when you watch Jamie’s Fifteen-Minute Meals. The fact is there’s no such thing as a fifteen-minute meal.