One reader Kerrie, recently shared she was learning to cook some new things as part of Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food program in Ipswich Queensland that opened in April this year. I was immediately excited and arranged to call Kerrie so I could hear about her first hand experiences with the program. When Jamie's food revolution has screened both times here in Australia on a Friday night, many readers have participated in Friday night 'Food revolution Facebook chats' whilst it's on about it.... so I know many readers are 'Jamie disciples' like myself.
"There’s a serious lack of knowledge about food and cooking, and the result is the modern-day epidemic of obesity and bad health we are currently facing. I believe if the actions I’ve mentioned above are carried through they will represent a major step towards tackling these problems once and for all. We simply can’t wait any longer"
Jamie Oliver, Ministry of Food Australia - Manifesto - February 2011
Kerrie graciously allowed me to interview her and even went so far as to get photos of the actual kitchen for us (Thanks Kerrie!) Kerrie also gave me the recipe for the green curry the other day!
So, what we're all dying to know is... does Jamie or will Jamie teach the classes?
No, Jamie hasn't taught us any classes, our teacher though was hand-picked by Jamie and is a nutritionalist with 20+ years of experience. This is particularly helpful because she can make adjustments based on particular dietary or medical requirements of the participants.
How did you find out about it?
It was in the local paper and the local media a fair bit, it was hard NOT to know about it! Apparently Ipswich has the most obese people per capita in Australia.
How did you get involved?
We had to book in and pay $100 for the course or $50 if you have a health care card - I booked in to get some new ideas on cooking, I was in a bit of a cooking funk making the same things all the time.
Who does the classes typically?
In my class, (12-16 people depending on the week) they are mostly middle aged and retirees - who are there to 'mend their unhealthy ways', there's also three young adults with intellectual disabilities and one of the retired men is cooking for his wife who has sugar, cholesterol and salt intolerances.
Is it filmed?
So is it just your group going through at the moment or are there many groups going?
Currently there are 4 groups going through at a time but I believe there will be more going forward.
How has the program changed the way you look at food?
Good food need not be complicated, all the recipes we do are so simple!
What's your favourite recipe so far?
This is going to sound silly, but the scrambled eggs, he does them in such a way you would swear there is cream in them, but there isn't! I'm loving the re-learning process.
We've also made a pumpkin soup where you didn't take the skin off, it didn't taste any different and retained all the nutrients!
What do you hope to achieve by doing these classes?
Learning , re-learning. I have been inspired to start attending other cooking classes on my carers day off from my son.
Has there been a positive vibe around it from the community?
Yes. The Good Guys, Local Council and Queensland government sponsor the program. (There's also other supporters: Westinghouse, Lumo Energy, Breville, Tefal and McPhersons and Churchill)
Now if YOU would like to be involved - you can help the collective voice through The Good Foundation by completing a postcard at The Good Foundation Booths at Good Guys Stores (or click the same link to do it online). You can also sign up for the Ministry of Food Australia here.
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