“ Channel 4 / Cooking „
Jamie Olivers Ministry of food was a great programme looking at the eating habits of the nation. It was very interesting to see how some people still do not understand the basics of healthy eating and feed their children processed foods day in day out. HOwever as someone that does have a knowledge of healthy eating, I did not find the programme very informative. The programme seemed to be aimed more at those on a tight budget who bought processed foods instead of growing their own or buying foods in season. I recieved the ministry of food book as a present and honestly I was not that impressed by it. I am an able cook but do like finding new recipes etc and thought this book was far to basic and aimed at total beginners. It did have a few good ideas but out of the hundred or so in the book I only really use 2 recipes in it. I think the programme and the book are very helpful and informative for those wanting to eat healthy but dont know where to start.
Jamie Oliver is a decent guy, I know he gets criticised a lot for his demeanour and maybe i'm a bit naive as I know this programme has an associated book which will sell by the bucket load, but I found this programme to be one of the best cookery shows I had seen on tv over the last few years. It doesn't try to make things too fancy, it actually dumbs it down to help families and people who work long days to enjoy good filling meals at low prices.
When I say that the cooking is dumbed down this isn't fair, the recipes are quick and easy and encourage families to eat together and to eat meals rather than ready food which must only be encouraged. Oliver looks at families with little money or poor diets and teaches them a few nutritious tasty recipes to feed their families with.
One of the things about Olivers crusade is that he is encouraging healthy eating of real food, which is brilliant, this show is warts and all and we do see people living off junk food who do learn new skills, watching their transition and their joy at learning even one recipe is nice. It makes you feel as though its worth trying, when with some other cooking shows I give up after seeing the 7th or 8th ingredient.
I found the programme really useful as sometimes I want to make Burgers, Shepherds Pie or an interesting Chilli or Pasta without having to buy 200 ingredients, this is back to basics cooking for people with families or small budgets and for me it worked well.
Jamie Oliver is a nice guy who clearly loves food, he does get worthy sometimes and his geezerish nature can grate, but his heart is in the right place and this show really hit home to me that cooking food you love is more important than cooking food that looks good, the ideas for meals are all household favourites but i've tried 12-15 of them and they were great value and easy to make.
I think the pass it on ideal died a death and I can understand why but this programme is a really good idea and a great balance to some of the over the top cookery shows we have to endure nowadays.
The show was originally shown on Channel 4 with repeats on More 4 and an accompanying book was also released which is great.
I missed the first episode of this Jamie Oliver series as I felt that it wasn just another war of his against unhealthy peoples eating habits. I then saw a tv advert for the second episode and it interested me enough to take a look. I thoughly enjoyed it, I am not too sure about the pass it on method but by the sheer fact that he managed to inspire the miners taste buds so much that after 50 years of plain eating, he is now cooking interesting spicy food, it makes these porgrams worth while. I find it hard to believe that people are still continually feeding their children processed food and that grown men and women cannot even cook the most plainest of food and live on chips, crisps and biscuits. I feel that this series may help people cook quick easy food that is very tasty.
I have already purchased the book for my cookery collection.
Good old Jamie Oliver! The righteous and chirpy Cockney cook has found time in his busy schedule of patronizing southerners to patronize northerners with his new TV show. With the ever increasing tribe of TV cooks treading on his toes 'darn sarf' the pseudo working class boy his strengthening his niche of 'cook of the people' by heading up north to pasties new, although one or two of his critics would add another 'c' to that title of 'cook of the people'. He says he's doing it to help the people of Rotherham to cook healthier and so ease the NHS obesity crisis where as we know different. Its Christmas soon and there are cook books to be sold and DVDs to be pressed!
With the likes of the 'Hairy Bikers' and Gordon Ramsay coming out of their kitchens and hitting the road to get viewers and sales, Jamie had to up the anti and is now teaching a whole town to eat healthier in his new series on Tuesday nights. With lots more swearing and plenty of 'doyouknowhwatImeans' from our Jamie he is soon putting himself around Rotherham in his ebullient style, the town selected by Jamie and his team for the experiment, the Yorkshire town officially classed as one of the unhealthiest places in the U.K. With plenty of fat underclass people waddling around the cobbled streets with chunky jewelry and proper tattoos on show like the Queens 'bling' at the state opening of parliament its great territory for Jamie to make them feel guilty about being overweight and so easy patronizing territory, what the predominately middle-class C4 audience lick their lips at to tune in and so get their weekly fix of mocking the proles'. The local Rotherham hospital even has a huge bed for extra fat Yorkshire people that cost 500 a week to rent from the health authority. This is town where even darts players look slim. Jamie won't admit it but he knows that's why a C4 crowd will tune in. He also knows these are the viewers who will buy his merchandise. An ITV audience knows when it's having the pi** ripped out of it and certainly don't buy Jamie's cookbooks.
Rotherham was also picked by Jamie because of the news story from a couple of years back where a fat blue collar fish wife, Julie Critchley, was seen passing fast-food through the school railings for the kids in return for their dinner money, they and her rebelling against Jamie's healthy school dinner scheme. The kids were effectively locked in to stop them buying sweets and chips from the local shops. The lady in question features in the show and its Jamie's mission to turn her around to his way of thinking about healthy food. What Jamie never grasped in all this is that working class people, like anybody else, don't like being told what to do by London upstarts.
In one episode Jamie even had the cheek to take a fat working-class northern woman to the hospital to show her just how fat she was with an ultrasound scan with a nurse so to see her own blubber! Rather ironically, just like the Monty Python, Meaning of Life films, she is unexpectedly pregnant from the scan, another baby plopping out on the kitchen floor soon no doubt. Can you get that love!
I would like to believe Jamie is some sort of genuine saint that wants Brits to live longer but I know longer feel that. I was a big fan early and loved his series in Italy but this show is screaming a guy who thinks he should be king. It wouldn't surprise me if he runs for parliament one day when his boyish appeal finally fades.
The premise for the show, apart from prolonging his career now he's getting a little bit too fat on his home cooking, is to teach cooking classes to volunteers to make cheap and easy recipes that can, and must, be passed on to someone else (and maybe they will buy his book in the shops) and then that person will also tell someone else, eventually the whole of Rotherham cooking Jamie's recipes (available in his books and DVDs!).
The classes start well as working class northerners turn up to get on telly. They embrace the recipes and Jamie seems happy. But they don't pass the recipes on, just the news that they are going to be on telly. The first causality is Becky, pulling out of the class because she accidentally gets a job.
Week two and Jamie decides to widen his net, rocking up at Rotherham Town FC for a half-time chat to the crowd, who immediately recognize the pseudo working class boy for what he is with an appropriate chant-'your posh, your fat...your worth a million pounds...you t**t...' But our Jamie presses on and soon organizes a cook out on the pitch in the week with the fans to try and cook simple recipes, which they then show the next tattooed fan in the queue how to cook it. It has some success, even a burley miner now cooking fancy menus for his misses.
Week three saw Jamie take the cooking lessons to factories and offices, the work place, to spread the word. This is a potentially huge book buying demographic for our Jamie and he soon gets the local welders to cook a two course meal. But so far in the series only a handful of Rotherham knows about his pass it on scheme. His mass cook outs didn't start well when he tried to get the biggest Rotherham private employer, a call-centre, to come on board. They told him to stop calling them, which must be a first for a call-centre. A lovely old lady from the original war time Ministry of Food interviewed warned him not to lecture his disciples. But Jamie is going for it big time, getting together one thousand employees to 'pass it on' in a huge disused factory, which goes well as they realize they will be on telly, giving themselves a massive round of applause rather than a massive heart attack. Jamie insists northern men don't cook because they are real men and so embarrassed about it. The men tell Jamie it's because they have never tried it before and don't have time. The chances of them passing it on to their mates are somewhat slimmer than they are. The show does begin to stray into the BBC2 series 'The Restaurant' territory when he gets his students to take over a restaurant and cook for their friends and family, 87 covers in total, then get his star student to do an evangelical confession to the audience in the restaurant that she's found Jamie!
You want to believe Jamie is the real deal but you know deep down he wouldn't do this without being paid, and therefore it quickly becomes something else. The more astute watching this would have noticed he's subtly using recipes he has advertised for Sainsbury's, their telltale packaging scattered around the show and suspiciously lurking in punters fridges. I definitely saw his book section in the background when he went in WH Smiths.
To give his project legitimacy he's opened a Ministry of Food in Rotherham that's there today and Jamie is paying for it for a while to show his commitment. One would presume it's deducted from his fee. I question his integrity because his successful '15' restaurant show, where he took disadvantaged kids to make them a chef from scratch, wasn't all it seemed to be. It turned out only half the kids were from broken homes and they have long since left the project, either in jail or unemployed. But Jamie got a lot of great PR for his '15' restaurant project which is now a chain of them. His school dinner project didn't exactly work out either with school dinner number collapsing and school budgets wrecked.
Jamie (who always looks like he's in a coma to me, dribble about to spill out the corner of his mouth when he stops talking) has decided to get passionate here with lots of Ramsey blue language and frantic charging around to impress his new punters. But what he doesn't do is make you want to care about the people he's helping because you know they don't care and don't like to be told they will have yet another one of their vices chipped away. You can't smoke in pubs and now you can't eat chips! That's not what the north of England needs right now.
Tuesday nights, C4 at 9pm.
Jamie Oliver is starting a cooking revolution across Britain.