Jamie Oliver, erstwhile naked chef, was in for a bit of a rude awakening when he set out to bring his “Food Revolution” to Los Angeles. Oliver was a victorious vet of the food wars — having had a massive impact on school fare in his native England, he brought his “Food Revolution” across the Atlantic last year, working with the Huntington, West Virginia school system to improve children’s health and earning an Emmy for his efforts.
But when he tried to take that small-town success and super-size it, he was stopped in his tracks when the Los Angeles Unified School District denied him access to schools.
“I had to accept that this year is about motivating the public through TV and motivate parents to get pissed off about stuff that isn’t right,” Oliver tells Zap2it.
“This year, as opposed to Huntington where we did everything we wanted to do, I had to accept that wouldn’t happen in LA.”
So instead of working with the school system, Oliver and his team worked around it — opening a kitchen to teach kids and parents about better lunch alternatives, attending a school lunch convention, staging a demonstration and trying to get a local fast food chain to adopt a healthier menu.
Does Oliver think he made a difference in L.A.?
“Maybe I’ll regret going there,” he says. “We were banned before we even landed. It set us on a different track. I feel like I filmed some of the most incredible scenes of my life.”
“Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” premieres Tuesday (April 12) at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.