Last week my friend Jeff and I headed to Nella Cucina courtesy of our friends at Sobeys to check out their all-new collaboration with Jamie Oliver. Unfortunately, Jamie wasn’t in attendance so I couldn’t kiss him full on, on the mouth, as I had promised the girls at work. Even without Jamie the evening was a roaring success. Upon arriving we were escorted to a small private dining room beside the kitchen where we were treated to all of the new items from the Jamie Oliver line.
I’ve been a Jamie Oliver fan since his Naked Chef days; when I was younger I used to watch the Food Network for ‘inspiration’, which sometimes ended in delicious things and sometimes ended in a call to Pizza Pizza. When you first start cooking it’s so easy for inspiration to turn into a mess of burned and barely edible stuff. With that in mind Jamie’s line for Sobeys is good food made simple. Whether you’re a novice chef or you simply don’t have the time to cook a quality meal when you get home from the office, the Jamie Oliver line has something for you.
The new line at Sobeys has everything from dips and breads to whole chickens and pot roast. While I loved everything put in front of me, even the seafood pie (which I’ll admit I was a little wary of at first), the Irish girl in me was most impressed with the breads. Jamie and the Sobeys team developed two distinct focaccia breads for the project: one savoury made with rosemary and whole roasted garlic and one sweet that tasted like a scone and French toast had a beautiful bread baby.
While my attraction to breads will always be intense and undeniable, again blame my heritage, the thing that you’ll probably love the most are the ready-to-go pre-planned meals. Typically a pre-made roast or ham would only vaguely resemble food and trying to make them yourself can be too time consuming for the busy urbanite. What Sobeys brings is a simple solution: a ready-to-go pot roast that comes in it’s own pan for cooking, a holiday ham with a beautiful sticky orange glaze and two beautiful flattened chicken options that also come in their own roasting pans.
I wish I could pick just one thing that I loved at the Sobeys Jamie Oliver event because right now I feel like I’m waxing poetic about grocery store food and none of you are buying it, but I really couldn’t be more impressed. Jamie personally inspected every facility that Sobeys worked with. He visited the farms where the meat came from to ensure that they treated their livestock well and honoured his desires for humane practices. He tasted every single Canadian inspired menu item before it ever saw shelf space.
While I love to cook, my boyfriend can’t. He burns eggs into a crispy kind of egg pizza thing that tastes nothing like scrambled eggs should. But with delicious offerings like this, I feel like he could cook dinner while I sit with a glass of red after a long day.