The Cookbook Jamie Oliver Learned To Poach An Egg From

Celebrity chefs are inspired by other chefs all the time. According to First We Feast, Wolfgang Puck revealed that Raymond Thuilier, the founder of L'Oustau de Baumanière was his. Puck said, "I saw Raymond Thuilier and I said, 'I want to be like this guy.' He was the mayor, a painter, and a real Renaissance man who cooked from the heart. He was always changing his recipes." Meanwhile, Cat Cora shared with Food Network that Julia Child encouraged her to pay it forward and mentor young chefs; And Gordon Ramsay had a slew of mentors, per Rhineland Cutlery, including Marco Pierre White, Albert Roux, and Guy Savoy.

Well, Jamie Oliver has also been inspired by another chef. In fact, her cookbook taught the British chef how to properly poach an egg. It may seem odd when you consider Food Network says Oliver has been a part of the professional cooking world since he was 16-years-old, having trained at Westminster Catering College. After working with some incredible chefs, he went on to become The Naked Chef. But apparently, mastering how to poach an egg had alluded the celebrity chef until he stumbled upon Delia Smith's cookbook, per the Daily Mail.

Simmer don't boil

Jamie Oliver shared with the Daily Mail that Delia Smith's 1998 book "How To Cook" was a game changer for his poached egg strategy. Oliver told the publication, "I could cook many, many things by the time that book came out — but my nemesis was poaching an egg. Honestly, it was." The Daily Mail goes on to describe Smith's technique as a no-hassle approach. Smith instructs that you just want to bring your water to a simmer, crack the egg into it, and let it cook for two minutes. After thatm turn off the stove and let it set in the water for another 10 minutes. The end result is a soft, jammy egg.

What makes poaching eggs so challenging? Turns out, Smith really hit the nail on the head. MasterClass concurs that water temperature can be an issue for both novices and pros. You need the water hot, but not boiling. The cooking site describes the perfect water temp as a "rolling simmer." Kitchn adds that the amount of time you cook the egg can also add to the intimidation of poaching eggs. Both sites recommend adding a little vinegar to the simmering water; This will help the voluminous egg white keep its shape.