Jamie Oliver Tour Sparks Interest in Healthy Eating
When celebrity chef Jamie Oliver won the prestigious TED Prize, he said he wanted to create a sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity. Thanks to $100,000 from that organization and numerous supporters and partners, Oliver built a flagship for his revolution—the 53-foot Big Rig Kitchen Classroom.
The Big Rig is a mobile cooking school with a demo kitchen and eight cooking stations where up to 24 students at a time participate in healthy cooking classes. In its first year, in partnership with The California Endowment, the Big Rig traveled to South Los Angeles, Long Beach and Santa Ana as part of its Building Healthy Communities program. Approximately 100 children and adults took part in the classes.
Inside the rig, colorful branding and food images covered the walls. Cooking stations were bright and inviting; Miele stainless steel appliances added to the professional look. A program manager and four assistant chefs taught participants safe food handling skills, knife safety and nutritional lessons. Video cameras, big- screen TVs and wireless microphones projected lessons outside at major events.
The Big Rig spent three months in each community, conducting two five-week courses per stop, and students walked away with printed recipes for all the items they prepared. Preliminary results showed a significant increase in self-efficacy for cooking skills and a dramatic increase in family support for cooking and shopping.