Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

« Previous Post | Daily Dish Home | Next Post »

Season 2 of 'Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution' -- in L.A. -- set for Tuesday


Jamie Oliver kicks off the second season of his “Food Revolution” on Tuesday, showing viewers everywhere what Angelenos know first-hand: This city has a serious obesity problem.

But Oliver's healthful eating crusade was met with a cold shoulder at the start, something that will be documented as the show gets underway on ABC.

The ebullient Oliver doesn't give up, however. Although the end of the tale has yet to be determined -- he returns later in the month to finish shooting -- sources are already talking about the possibility of a peace treaty with the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Although the second season is set in L.A., “The same challenges are everywhere,” the British chef said Thursday in a telephone news conference to promote the show.

Improving the quality of school food has been high on Oliver’s list of projects, but for months he has tussled with the LAUSD and was kept from filming and working in school cafeterias -– something that was a centerpiece of the first season of “Food Revolution,” which took place in Huntington, W.Va.

In a rough cut of the first episode, Oliver sets up a tense stalemate with the school board. In fact, the faces of the board members and outgoing Supt. Ramon Cortines could be put into the “if looks could kill” category when he comes to them asking for entrée to a school.

“I never really expected to be banned from every single school in the district," said Oliver, who added that he felt plenty of support from families in the city for his mission of healthful eating in school and at home.

Oliver said at the news conference that he hopes John Deasy, who takes over as superintendent April 15, “is going to have a different strategy, a strategy that’s more inclusive.”

“My goal is not to fight with the LAUSD,” Oliver said.

The LAUSD on Thursday repeated its longstanding position on Oliver and his request. “We have already extended an invitation to Mr. Oliver to help LAUSD (sans cameras) with its menu committee or design a yearlong menu that meets all the health and nutritional requirements set forth by the federal and state government," LAUSD spokesman Robert Alaniz said. He added: "The invitation still holds."

During the conference call, Oliver noted that it was Cortines who kept him from the cafeterias, though he managed to spend some time in West Adams Prep, a school west of downtown that runs under a contract with the district, before he was told to leave.

“If John Deasy wants to talk to me and wants to do what I know the public wants … if he’s really clever, you know, he’ll let us in for a filming and we can have a dialogue,” Oliver said.

And on another front, Oliver has talked with consultant Kate Adamick about looking at the LAUSD food services department budget to see whether she can find money to add to the 77 cents the district says it spends on food for each lunch.

Adamick, whose Cook for America organization trains cafeteria staff in healthful budget-conscious cooking, stressed that the district hasn’t asked for her input but expects she could find savings and revenue by studying how the district gets, prepares and serves food.

“Of course, I would be very happy to help L.A. do that if they want me there,” she said from New York.

And Oliver's show is not all about the schools. In the first episode, Oliver runs into some resistance trying to reform a fast-food menu.


He also has other pots on the stove in his revolution campaign. The Jamie Oliver Foundation is working with the California Endowment and the American Heart Assn. to bring healthful eating to some of the city’s poorer neighborhoods.

A huge mobile teaching kitchen -– funded through donations -- is parked for now in the California Endowment’s lot while staffers get ready to offer cooking classes in South L.A., starting perhaps in June, said Kathlyn Mead, chief operating officer and executive vice president of the endowment.

Her organization is funding classes for residents in an area “barraged by fast-food joints." And the Heart Assn. will help get gardens planted in those same neighborhoods, she said.

“As those gardens are harvested, Jamie Oliver’s truck will be there,” Mead said Thursday by telephone.

The Heart Assn. and Oliver’s foundation will seek funds to open five permanent community kitchens to offer classes in Los Angeles, Dallas, New York, Cleveland and Baltimore.

-- Mary MacVean

Photos: Jamie Oliver at work in L.A. Credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (15)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Its hard to say where the 77 cents can come from right now, without seeing how their budget is spent. However one can start by not serving up the packaged "danish or donuts", thats got to be 25 cents right there. so now find say 6 cents off of chocolate milk and use unflavored(no sugar no chocolate) milk instead, we just found 31 cents to spend on real foods.
Lets see where else the money is spent and fix the menu!

The school children have to have food that will nourish their bodies and brains. They must learn healthy eating and learn to love it. That means they have to eat healthy food often enough that it is all they will eat. They need to learn the good manners surrounding meals so they are at ease with company. Enjoying food is one of the wonderful joys of life. They have been deprived because the big food businesses have pushed their way in and used all their skills to con people in the school system who know nothing about food. The public, me included, have been watching this but it takes a leader to start the bandwagon so that busy parents can chime in and help even though they could'nt do this on their own. Ellen

I have to say I was looking at the Youngstown Vindicator and saw the menu's for the schools for the week coming up and I was shocked. The Menu had Little Cesers Pizza three days of the week for lunch in the Boardman High School. I now have grown children, with kids of their own, but not here now. I was thinking no other choices, but Pizza not even made at the school. Wow, Jamie's got it right and we are blessed that he is looking at the USA system. Every week the same Mon.-Weds.-Friday Pizza. The other days are bad too. You have got to think of the kids that the government helps then get breakfast and lunches. Wow!

When I went to my granddaughter's grandparent day they served corn dogs (yuk), corn and mac n cheese. Now, isn't that way too many carbs? No salad, no fruit or anything that made the meal look appetizing. It was disgusting and I had to throw it away. And we wonder why our children are FAT. Plus, the person in charge did not have a degree. He was married to someone in the system. Ho Hum. What else is new in our schools??

Jamie is awsome!!!!!!!!

Just saw the show, don't give up Jamie! The show made an impression.
it is disgusting what we ( society) are doing to our children!

Jamie, Please go to San Francisco next. The people will be receptive to your message!

I loved your documentary. Please go to San Francisco next. The people will be receptive and they will spread the word.

Jamie, go to San Francisco! They will be receptive there!!! The people of SF will help spread the word...

I cant believe the board members of that school as well as the others gave Jamie the big @#$% you Maybe he should set his sites on talkin to the govenor of California no other than Arnold Swartzenegger a former bodybuilder and a guy who knows a thing or two about good health he would definitely stir things up and get those idiots to let Jamie into the schools and straighten things out.

Watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Season 2 Episode 1 Full Video:


100% Working!!! High Quality!!!

We should all be ashamed and as a native Californian, now Virginian, teacher, and mother of 2 I cannot stand the sight, smell, or nutrition of our schools food. It’s not just fattening, not just gross, it’s despicable, it’s cancer causing, and it’s killing us! I have never once, not once, eaten food from my own school cafeteria, but my poor and disadvantaged kids have no choice. They eat it and have to twice a day every day and for some it’s the only food they get. WE CAN DO BETTER and we should all be ashamed of people like the LA Superintendent and other “Americans” who can’t get over their stupid American pride and take the help and advice from someone whose willing to help us save our children and save our country! Support Oliver and his Food Revolution! I would like to stay an American, but refuse to see my children and students die as obese Americans.

how can our schools get money to save teachers tell spanish kids and one third of rest of the kids to sign up for free lunch dont eat it but get the federal dollars wake up la feds are cutting all morons out better food more federal dollars for teachers we are almost a billion dollars in debt next years we will lose everything la wake up

Glad to see Jamie is back, fighting the good fight!

Carolyn Kay

it's amusing to see styrofoam, yet, it's a concept beyond the perpetual blowhards who speak of doing something good for children -- let alone others -- while limiting a showcase to silly and trifling games that have brought little but waste and desperate grabs for pseudo-philanthropic assistance. detroit with its tragic urban blight seems like a prime target -- yet, perhaps, it's received such a bad-rap that noone wants to bother. thus, i love the placement of styrofoam if it be -- so it goes as kudos to attempting a healthy diet beyond "liver kimchee" al sabor latino en miami.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


Recent Posts
5 Questions for Thi Tran |  August 6, 2012, 8:00 am »
SEE-LA hires new executive director |  July 31, 2012, 9:34 am »
Food FYI: Actors reading Yelp reviews |  July 31, 2012, 9:16 am »
Test Kitchen video tip: Choosing a bread wash |  July 31, 2012, 6:04 am »



About the Bloggers
Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.