Cooking is Easy Peasy Thanks to the New Jamie Oliver Professional Series by T-Fal!

When Jamie Oliver first came on the scene, he was a refreshing change from the studied, sturdy folk of kitchen shows. He used his hands to toss ribbons of fennel and squeeze through ground beef. He joked and smiled and had a boyish charm that added a little sexiness to simple dishes.

In other words, he made food exciting AND accessible.

And now the boy has joined the big leagues with TV shows, books and numerous causes and benefits. He has become mainstream, had kids and done just about everything there is to do with cooking.

Which includes the new Jamie Oliver Professional Series by T-Fal which comes in Stainless Steel and Hard Anodized Cookwear.

I got a hard anodized fry pan to try, which is perfect as it's the one pan I use the most for cooking up meals for my fella and I.

It is definitely the strongest pan I've ever had. It is heavy, but not so much that my wrist hurts when I lift it unlike those beastly cast iron things that can snap my arm off in two.

It has a polished stainless steel exterior which makes it look much more professional than the dishes that come out of it. The heavy gauge aluminum core is covered by T-Fal's premium multi-layer non-stick coating that can stand up to using metal utensils, which is nice for people who like to use both metal and wood (or plastic) utensils, depending upon what they're making.

The main feature though, has got to be the Thermo-Spot, a unique heat indicator in red that allows you to know when the pan is properly pre-heated at the optimal cooking temperature (180-190 degrees Celsius).

This is an important feature because often when searing meat or frying fish, I put it into the pan too early and then you don't get that sealing in of juices that you're looking for. And I never put the temperature up enough because I think I'll burn everything.

Sigh. It's a delicate balance that I rarely get right on my own, so to have a pan that does the thinking for you is a sheer delight.

And having Jamie Oliver there to help me through it all would be great, but I know that's asking too much. The red dot for heat, however, is hugely appreciated.

The handle stays cool no matter how high I've got the heat, which is comforting, as I don't always remember to grab a towel or pot holder and these hands are my livelihood.

And because Jamie makes a great frittata, he's made it oven safe as well. I have yet to try this as I tend to make things in big pots in the oven like roast chicken dinners and meat load, but Jamie has a wonderful recipe for frittata with broad beans, mint, peas, goat's cheese, red chili and Parmesan that I am determined to make for a light supper with salad and a glass of Carmenere.

I love that the pan has high sides, which means I can saute baby bellas and sweet onions to accompany our steaks and not have to spend all evening scrubbing the stovetop afterwards.

For those of you lucky enough to have dishwasher, you can actually put this in and it will come out in fine and in one piece. And it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

It's only drawback is that it doesn't come with Jamie himself.

Stephanie Dickison

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