Jamie Oliver wordt Rotherham uit gejaagd, de stad waar hij de sociale minima wel eens ff zou leren gezonder te koken. Rotherham was na de School Dinners-serie een nieuw commercieel opvoedingsproject dat moet zorgen voor restaurantvulling, de aantrekking van reclamegelden en de verkoop van Jamie-boeken en kookspullen. Nee, ik heb niks tegen zulk maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen. Wel met het effect dat het heeft. Hou op met dat gezondheidsgezeik. Maak het gewoon lekkerder, hipper en sexier. Die naakte chef was prima. Dat gemoraliseer is over de rand.

Oliver overweegt het nieuwe programma te stoppen.

De, wat mij betreft veel te aardige, Times schrijft over de affaire:

Campaigning celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who successfully battled to improve the quality of school meals, has enraged the subjects of his latest quest to wean families off a diet of junk food and help them cook home meals.

Oliver, 33, launched his new Channel Four show Jamie's Ministry of Food this week where he will attempt to teach eight people from the Yorkshire town of Rotherham to cook and then pass on their skills to friends, who will in turn do the same, until 250,000 people have been taught.

He picked the town after mothers were caught passing burgers and chips to their children through school gates when he changed the menu in the middle of his Jamie's School Dinners campaign in 2005.

This time around Oliver, who has amassed a multi-million pound fortune from a food empire of TV shows, books and supermarket advertising, has picked out a mum-of-two who spends £70 a week feeding her family with kebabs and pizza and a woman who eats 10 packets of crisps for dinner and did not know what boiling water looked like.But the chef's mission statement that "anyone can learn to cook...it’s fun, cool, can save you money and help you, your family and friends to live a healthier life" appears to have upset many in Rotherham who have accused Oliver of casting the whole town as a bunch of kebab-eating "numpties".

John Gilding, leader of Rotherham Council’s Conservative group, said he agreed in principle with the show's intentions but it had given the three-million strong audience, who tuned in to the first of four episodes on Tuesday, the wrong impression of the town, which once thrived on a huge steel and iron industry.“The people he put on television were pretty downmarket and he gave the impression that everyone living here is like that,” said Mr Gilding.

“His idea is to have eight volunteers teach two of their friends and so on until a quarter of a million people have learned to cook - well that is the whole population of the town.

“It looks like he thinks we’re all as thick as planks, and that we live on doner kebabs.“

People are enraged about it. I agree that he has a point with regards to school dinners and it is good he is trying to educate people but Rotherham people are not numpties.”

Earlier this year his mother claimed her son may give up with his crusades to improve eating habits because of "the stick" he gets. Sally Oliver said the public backlash against the chef was 'depressing'.

But the latest show was defended by series producer Eve Kay, who said: “Poverty is an important reason why people can’t cook and was therefore a priority for Jamie to get to grips with.”

Oliver's previous school dinners campaign, to get schoolchildren eating a healthy, balanced diet, led to Tony Blair's Government radically changing the way meals are produced. The 2005 show saw the chef famously attack the "turkey twizzler" on one menu.

His other conquests include training disadvantaged young people as chefs and employing them in his restaurant chain Fifteen. His first prodigies, featured in the TV show Jamie's Kitchen helped launch the first eatery in London in 2004 and there are now branches in Newquay, Cornwall, Amsterdam and Melbourne.

Oliver is also the face of a Sainsbury's supermarket advertising campaign, having found fame with his 1998 show The Naked Chef, and was awarded an MBE in the Queen's 2003 birthday honours list.
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