Jamie Oliver is the British chef known as the "Naked Chef," noted for the easygoing style he displays on television shows and in cookbooks. He's explained that, of course, it's the recipes that are stripped down — not the chef.
Now his early books, "The Naked Chef," first published in 2000, and "The Naked Chef Takes Off" from 2001 are both available in paperback (Hyperion, $19.95 each).
The recipes may include sophisticated-sounding things to do with minted asparagus, or braised lamb, or marinated charred squid, but Oliver makes it sound easy and fun.
"This book isn't about cheffy food, it's for normal people who want shortcuts and tips. At the end of the day, it's for everyone interested in cooking tasty, gutsy, simple, commonsense food and having a right good laugh at the same time," he writes in "The Naked Chef Takes Off."