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Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Season 2: Finale Recap

Posted on 06/25/2011 by Kristal in Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

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Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution


By Kristal Bailey

With a new superintendent, there’s hope that Jamie Oliver will be able to continue the food revolution better in LAUSD schools. With this new hope, he’s meeting Mike from MLA, West Adams Prep at Patras to kill two birds with one stone - check in on LAUSD progress and see if Patra’s is keeping up the changes.

It’s so encouraging to see not only that Deno has kept Jamie’s changes, but that he believes other fast food restaurants should do the same. They should all know that you can make a delicious burger that has only 410 calories, instead of the standard 800+ you find everywhere. The fact that this guy who was so set in his ways is now extolling healthy fast food benefits is amazing; it’s a complete 180 degree change.

As for the meeting with Mike, they both are very positive about the new superintendent and are hopeful that he’ll make healthy food and food education a priority. He wants to do something big that he’ll hear about. He’s gathered 7 of LA’s top chefs, supposedly to cook them a meal to get them on his side. Once seated, the all lift up the lids to reveal a typical school cafeteria lunch. Everything from overcooked greasy pizza to chicken nuggets. One chef, Seth Greenberg chef at The Penthouse, grew up in LA and said that it looks better than the lunches he had in school. Only one chef is brave enough to even taste the burger. “This is what we’re feeding the future; it’s pretty depressing.”

He’s going to throw a big cooking competition for high school students across LA. They’ll each take about four students to mentor through the challenge. They each get a box of the same ingredients and have to have the students cook a delicious and healthy meal. The focus isn’t really the competition though, it’s getting these students to talk about and learn healthy food eating habits and to get the super intendent to pay attention. The winner is going to get an all expenses paid trip to the Culinary Institute in New York - a life changing opportunity for some of these kids.

He’s working with four of his former students at West Adams Prep. While he’s working with his team, the other chefs are mentoring their teams. It’s all coming together to spread the Food Revolution! All the teams gather at 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica for the main event. The prizes for the winner include two years of cooking classes for their school from Pro Start, each student will get $1000 towards their culinary arts program, and then the grand prize gets that all expenses paid trip to the culinary institute.

All the dishes are brought to the judges, and some of the dishes look so professionally plated! That’s some very impressive cooking from these high school students. It will be hard for the judges to decide the which three schools were the tops. Temple City, Santee, and West Adams advance to round two - where they do a main dish and secondary dish with the biggest ingredient being steaks, which not many of the students had experience with. Jamie decides to have his team go with carpaccio - raw beef with a salsa base, while the other two go for easier more well known dishes like steak salad and steak and eggs. Jamie’s team can’t even pronounce or remember the name of their dish, but that won’t matter if they can prepare it well. While he thought it was easier that his team wouldn’t have to cook it, watching them prepare it he noticed some glaring mistakes that could cost them the win. Here are the final dishes from the top three schools:

Santee - toasted oats, honey and yogurt with steak
Temple City - sunnyside up egg and steak
West Adams - beef carpaccio and marinated apple salad

Jamie Lee Curtis came down to announce the winner; the winner is.....West Adams! While it seems a bit fishy that his team won above all others, it wasn’t revealed to the judges didn’t know who mentored which team. Those kids are going to take a trip of their lifetime and hopefully just jump started their culinary careers.

While the competition was a success, it’s not the end of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution just yet. The new superintendent John Deasy has personally invited him to the LAUSD boardroom. He arrived to find a protest against flavored milk organized by the local parents - great to see some enlivened parents fighting for their children’s health.

Finally, after weeks of hard work, Jamie finally gets to sit down and have a real talk with the superintendent. This is immediately a whole different ball game than how it was with the last one: they visit a school to see the facilities and Deasy says that he’s going to ban flavored milk from all LAUSD cafeterias. And now he’s allowed to go back to West Adams and can finally check in on the garden. The students were glad to have him back and that was just proof at what a big effect he had on their lives in the short amount of time he was there.

For the first time, he’s allowed to go into the cafeteria and meet the food workers. Him and his students are even taking part in crafting and cooking items on the new menu. It’s great to see this progress, but it’ll be interesting to see if these menus actually get put in to effect and how long it lasts.

As Jamie’s last act in LA, he dropped in to Jimmy Kimmel Live and sat down with John Deasy, where it was it officially announced that flavored milk is going to taken out of schools. While he didn’t win the revolution in Los Angeles, he won a few key battles like that and the specific work he’s done at West Adams. Since this is the end of the season, and likely the end of the series, it’s all up to the viewers and the rest of America to continue on with the Food Revolution. Our children deserve better!

Image courtesy of ABC.com

Follow Kristal on twitter @kristal_bailey


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