Can’t cook, will cook! This new series sees the Grand Tour presenter aim to brush up on his kitchen skills – all the while assuring us of his ineptitude
Another week, another James May series on Amazon. It really does seem like it’s only been a few days since the last one, when he went top-bantering around Japan – though a quick glance at my records shows that it was in fact released in January.

This time round he is engaging in the culinary arts – barely – in James May: Oh Cook, the title a masterfully cunning play on his favoured expression when things go awry. In each episode, May assures us of his ineptitude in the kitchen (“I can’t cook – and welcome to my cookery show”), assembles some ingredients to create a couple of functional meals (it is not really cooking, and I say this as someone who fails to reach even May’s level of competence at least three days out of every seven), drinking a bit of wine, and doling out a few personal and historical facts as he goes. Rice noodles were invented as a way of stretching a poor harvest, while instant noodles were Japan’s response to being flooded with cheap US wheat to keep them from starving and turning to communism after the second world war. The parmesan grater he’s using is one he’s had since his student days. Collected from the Guardian newspaper.

James May is not a chef. But that’s the whole point: you don’t need to be a brilliant cook to make delicious food. Transporting us to the Far East, the Med, and the local pub – all from the comfort of a home economist’s kitchen – he’ll knock up delicious recipes that you can actually make yourself, with ingredients you can actually buy. And all without the usual television cooking format trickery.
Starring James May, Nikki Morgan
Genres Unscripted
Subtitles English [CC]
Audio Languages English, English [Audio Description]