“There’s a fine line between someone that’s shit and someone that’s renegade and brilliant,” says celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Guess which side he and his chum Sir Paul Smith stand on.
The first episode of “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution,” which premiered on ABC Sunday night, could very well have been called “Jamie Oliver vs. The Lunch Ladies From Hell.” A big part of Oliver’s food education mission, which he embarked on 7 years ago involves improving the food children eat at their school cafeteria. For this season of “Food Revolution,” Oliver went to Hungtington, West Virginia, which, at the time, ranked as the most obese city in the most obese state in the most obese country in the world. He began by going through the meal plans at one elementary school and found that pretty much everything the kids were fed was frozen, fried, dehydrated or canned. The menu, in a normal day, was pizza for breakfast, chicken nuggets for lunch with a side of french fries to satisfy the FDA’s vegetable requirement and colored, flavored milk to drink. Far from seeing this as a problem, the lunch ladies, who don’t like being called that, by the way, were less than thrilled to see fresh food (which you have to wash and cut all by yourself) replacing their beloved potato pearls, which, when combined with water and stirred vigorously turn into something akin to mashed potatoes.