Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Waking People Up From Food Comas One Recipe at a Time. The Book & The Television Series.
Jamie Oliver, Commander-in-Chef.
In the high testosterone world of screaming television chefs with massive egos and heads so big not even their toques can cover them up, Jamie Oliver is one of the few, true good guys.
His easy going, no-nonsense, pub pal demeanor is only the beginning. He's also well known for his tireless charity work through his organization, Jamie's Fifteen Foundation where troubled and disadvantaged youth get training for culinary success and better lives.
In 2005, Jamie started the "Feed Me Better" movement to inspire British schoolchildren to eat healthy foods and less junk food.
Most recently, in December 2009, Jamie was awarded the prestigious 2010 TED Prize for his efforts to "bring attention to the changes Englanders and now Americans need to make in their lifestyles and diet."
His latest tome on cookery is Jamie's Food Revolution and is in fact a manifesto of all his humanitarian, health and culinary passions all in a book. Jamie strongly believes that anyone can stop dead his former life of unhealthy eating and begin fresh with a much healthier one that is full of energy, enthusiasm and possibility.
Jamie's Food Revolution opens with a heartfelt dedication to (although lesser known in the States) a British cooking legend named Marguerite Patten. During World War II, Patten was instrumental in problem solving the food shortages of those difficult days. Her actions to help British subjects become self-sustaining also inspired Americans to do the same which resulted in Victory Gardens all across the country.
Jamie's book is like many other basic cookbooks in that it covers the essentials like kitchen tools and seasonings. It also has a nice breadth of recipes from Mexican-Style Corn, sort of like the kind you can buy from many a LA street vendor, to the intriguing "A Healthier Full Monty", a more healthful version of a full English brekkie i.e. lots of pork. And much like Jamie's personality, this is a fun, breezy cookbook but with a higher purpose.
Pass it on! Cooking the recipes and feeding yourself, friends and family are already brilliant but they're not enough for Jaime. He wants you to pass it on too. Yes, sort of like a "pay it forward" kind of giving when you're doing some good by cooking something good for someone and then teaching them how to do it. Then they pass it on and so on and so on. Jamie also believes this is how recipes were handed down from generation to generation.
I personally have a friend to whom I intend to "pass it on". He's a great friend who has helped me out many times when I was down and out. Late last year, his health declined dramatically and culminated in a heart attack. Since then I've had conversations with him about eating a more healthful diet and have offered to teach my friend, a lifelong dedicated restaurant diner, how to cook good and nutritious meals at home.
Jamie Oliver's food passion is intense, sometimes bordering on the maudlin, or maybe he's just really earnest. Regardless, his ambitions are great, as evidenced by his formula to pass his Food Revolution on to everyone in the United States.
There are some works that are ahead of their time and, therefore, are not appreciated until time has marched on. Then there are those rehashed and repackaged ideas that become unoriginal books. Then there are the handful that are exactly what the doctor ordered, perfect for the times with a palpable sense of urgency. Jamie Oliver brings us Jamie's Food Revolution the cookbook and the television series just in the nick of time.
And if you are so moved, please consider signing Jamie's Food Revolution petition. Every signature counts!
(The television series, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, begins March 26, 2010, Friday 9:00 PM on ABC.)
Watch the television promo for Jamie's Food Revolution and become a food rebel.