The Naked Chef-Series 2 (2000)

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Released 12-Mar-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 291:15 (Case: 270)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (80:01)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Paul Ratcliffe
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jamie Oliver
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $49.95 Music Luke Gordon


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, end credits over end of programme

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Jamie Oliver has worked in various places including The Neal Street Restaurant and the River Café. He was "discovered" at the River Café one day when a film crew was making a documentary in the restaurant. Now he's got his own TV show, published books, appeared in TV commercials and consulted for various restaurants.

    The original idea behind The Naked Chef series, according to presenter and chef Jamie Oliver, was to "strip food down to its bare essentials - to prove that you didn't need to dress up ingredients or buy a load of fancy gadgets to make something really tasty."

    This concept turned out to be so successful that Jamie is back again doing another series of episodes - each featuring Jamie cooking several related dishes that make up a delicious meal. Thankfully, the producers have decided to retain most of the format plus "look and feel" that made the first series so enjoyable to watch. Each episode is around half an hour and revolves around a special occasion or event (which could be anything from a few friends dropping over to a wedding). We often see Jamie prattling around on his scooter buying the ingredients from various shops (and chatting with the shop owners). We then get to see him prepare the dishes using the ingredients, and finally we see him and his guests enjoying the food.

    I noticed a few things that were different - and mostly for the better. My major criticism of the first series was that Jamie often did not provide enough information for me to feel confident in replicating the dish that he was preparing. He skimps on providing essential information such as oven temperatures and cooking times, and often does not give any hints in terms of relative quantities for the various ingredients. For this series, I noticed Jamie seemed to take extra care to talk about quantities, temperatures and cooking times without compromising his ad-hoc style of preparing, mixing and cooking.

    Also, Jamie seems to interact and converse more often with a hidden person behind the camera, presumably the producer Pat Llewellyn.

    The list of episodes and dishes cooked are:

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is presented in the full frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1 as the episodes were intended to be broadcast on TV.

    The transfer is near-perfect and represents an improvement on the excellent quality of the first series. There were virtually no compression artefacts that I could find and the only video artefact I noticed was a slight shimmering/aliasing during camera movement which is unavoidable given the (presumably) interlaced video source. This is usually noticeable in the stainless steel oven next to the fridge behind Jamie.

    In the "bonus" episode (Christmas In New York), I noticed some pixelization during the opening titles, but this is a very minor flaw as the rest of the episode is fine.

    Detail levels are reasonable, and consistent with the quality of a good digital videocam, which means it is slightly soft compared to good quality film. Colours are bright and cheerful - colour resolution is definitely not as good as film.

    Some of the outdoor scenes look a bit "grainy" but I suspect this is an intentional effect.

    Each episode is recorded on a separate DVD title, and you can choose to play all the episodes one after the other or individually. If you choose the individual option, then the player does not automatically advance to the next episode automatically. For some strange reason, the chapter skip buttons have been disabled during play which is really annoying because I would have liked to be able to skip to the next dish during play.

    There are no subtitle tracks.

    This is a two disc set: both discs are single sided and dual layered (RSDL). Both layer changes occur whilst the screen is pausing on a still of a dish so should be unnoticeable on most players. On disc 1, the layer change occurs at Episode 3 (Perfect Day) around 22:05 into the episode (whilst the camera is pausing on the noodle salad). On disc 2, the layer change occurs at Episode 8 (Wedding Bells) around 20:36 into the episode (whilst the camera is pausing on the Linguine with Clams - you can notice the smoke pausing for a split second).

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is only one audio track on the disc: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

     The audio track is quite pleasant to listen to and is mixed at a slightly higher than normal level. It is intended for broadcast TV so it won't tax your amplification and speakers no matter how modest.

    Dialogue was always clear and easy to understand. I did not notice any issues with audio synchronization.

    The opening titles music was composed by Luke Gordon and is the same as for the first series. Background music tends to be light and breezy and suits the mood of the episodes well.

    The surrounds and subwoofer were not utilized by this utilitarian soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Christmas in New York is listed as a "bonus episode" but they could have just said that there were 9 episodes in total and no extras, but I suppose that wouldn't sound as nice. Well, it is twice as long as the other episodes and the opening/closing titles are different, so I guess that counts for something.

Menu

    The main menu is full frame but includes animation and background audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This title does not appear to be released in Region 1 at this time.

Summary

    The Naked Chef (Series 2) features another 9 episodes of Jamie Oliver cooking a variety of dishes for a variety of occasions at his home. Most of the recipes are quite easy to master, and are worth checking out.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is okay and suitable for broadcast TV.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Friday, May 16, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RP82, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and surrounds: B&W CDM7NT, front centre: B&W CDMCNT, surround backs: B&W DM601S2, subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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