Shooting the second season of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution isn’t looking anything like the cakewalk we predicted it would be. Even though the chef left the hardheaded lard-butts of Huntington, West Virgina, behind for Angelenos (who may or may not be starving themselves before their head shots get taken), he’s still encountering resistance from L.A. Unified School District. Five out of five of the local high-school kids we polled said they wanted Jamie to remedy their cruddy burritos and spoiled veggies, but LAUSD remains stubborn on the issue, with a rep telling the L.A. Times, “Reality TV has a formula. You either have to have drama or create conflict to be successful. We’re not interested in either.” Well, the rep is right that reality TV is like that, but gosh. Why won’t people just stop with all the nonsense and let poor Jamie save America from itself?
Even Oliver is starting to sound pretty frustrated when he explains, “I can’t get my foot into a single school. Which is a bit of a shame … It just doesn’t seem in the interest of the public really. It’s not a great start for me, to be honest.”
But no way in hell is ABC abandoning its Emmy-winning show, so Jamie is hanging tough. Today, the celeb chef is opening a community kitchen to teach L.A. how to cook at no cost, which sounds like a great idea. But why on earth is Jamie putting this kitchen in Westwood, an affluent college neighborhood far out of most of the city’s reach?
There probably are a few burly Bruins in this area whose school lunches are composed of In-N-Out and Baja Fresh, but as we all know by now, poor diets tend to plague poor neighborhoods at higher rates. Couldn’t Jamie have found a space in downtown’s Skid Row or tackled some of the stretches of South L.A. where new fast-food establishments have been banned to usher in healthier choices? And if he couldn’t enter the schools, why not at least start his kitchen where LAUSD students actually live?
We certainly support the Naked Chef’s efforts to bring revolution to L.A., yet we can’t help but think starting a farmers’ market in one of our many food deserts or helping the hungry would have been a better start than going where untold legions of wannabe actors might crowd his kitchen, starving for nothing more than screen time.
TV chef Jamie Oliver shut out of L.A. school cafeterias [LA Now/LAT]
Earlier: Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution: Success or Failure?