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Pirate Naked Chef book goes wild on Web

Lots of pix, some recipes, looks almost real...

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A file purporting to be a new cookbook by richly-rewarded-but-still-naked TV chef Jamie Oliver is not all it might appear. The 100-odd page Word document currently doing the rounds is titled "The Naked Chef 2" does contain genuine recipes from the chirpie chef, but they've been cobbled together from various earlier Oliver oeuvres into a picture-heavy glossy package of the sort that can be expected to command a goodly price in the TV-chef mass market.

Ah, we hear you shout, so it is genuine then? No, not as such. The cover picture has been lifted from the video of Naked Chef 2, and a couple of the more distinctive recipes we checked out are indeed previously-published Oliver specials. Creme brulee with rhubarb, for example, comes from The Return of the Naked Chef and is easy to Google back to Jamie, as is Botham Burger. The Register's cookery correspondent observes that Jamie would do well to consider that there might be reason, aside from sheer, stonking, originality, why he appears to be just about the only chef in the world to have identified creme brulee and rhubarb as a winning combination.

But somebody, somewhere seems to have put a considerable amount of effort into putting this 'hoax' book together, to the extent that it could easily pass muster in, say, the Christmas market if it were billed as, say, The Naked Chef's Greatest Hits and knocked-out at, say, £24.95. All too often, (observes The Register's cookery correspondent again,) publishers who're no better than they should be get up to this kind of shenanigan.

Not, of course, that we're suggesting Oliver's publishers, the highly-reputable Penguin, would ever do such a thing, and in any event a book called Naked Chef 2 would have been tied in with the TV show and the video, had it existed. Clearly though we have here either a seriously-obsessed lunatic (no, that's not who we mean) or a quick and dirty piece of piracy for printing offshore and distribution via car boot sales and similar.

With some book genres in particular this is an awfully easy thing to do, which provides us with a moral of sorts. Strip away all the pictures from the latest £20+ tied-in glossy and you end up with a relatively small number of recipes that may or may not be handy. Whereas for a third of the price you can get a proper, cookery classic. Go figure. ®

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