Jamie Oliver Serves LAUSD Food To LA's Top Chefs
In the final episode of this year's Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, Oliver pulls a fast one on some of the biggest chefs in the city.
Oliver lures chefs Amy Pressman of Short Order, Suzanne Tracht of Jar, Eric Greenspan of The Foundry On Melrose, and Ben Ford of Ford's Filling Station (just to name a few) to Rustic Canyon to eat some of the food Oliver is famous for -- "rustic comfort food," as Ford puts it.
Instead, Oliver serves up some of the LAUSD cafeteria's worst offenders: nachos, cheeseburgers, and corn dogs, from the looks of it. And the chefs weren't pleased.
Tract said her (unidentifiable) dish was "hard to look at, let alone smell!" Of the burger, chef Evan Funke of Rustic Canyon says, "It looks super rough. Honestly I wouldn't feed this to my dog." And Chef Ford takes one look at his chicken nuggets before declaring, "I don't know, I can't eat this. This is gross."
Less shocked, chef Seth Greenburg (of The Penthouse) commented, "I grew up in LAUSD, and this looks better than anything I was ever served."
All the gag reflexes and grossed-out faces are enough to convince the group to pledge support to the Food Revolution, both for the rest of the day and beyond the show.
Since the show taped, LAUSD has announced a new cafeteria menu for next year, although the LA Times writes that school officials won't attribute the changes to Oliver's influence. The district is removing chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk from its menus by July 1, and will introduce multiple healthier meal options for the upcoming school year.
Dennis Barrett, LAUSD director of food services, told ABC News, "we've eliminated all the palm oils, we've eliminated MSG, we've eliminated a lot of trans fats. Everything that we serve is whole grain or whole wheat at least 51 percent." Among the new menu choices are chicken tandoori, pad thai, California rolls, and teriyaki beef and broccoli with brown rice, reports the LA Times. Still, burgers and hot dogs will still be a staple on the cafeteria menu. While we doubt that the quality of the sushi rice or the tandoori spices will be up to par with the tastes of Oliver's gourmand friends, these new options sound much better than corn dogs.