When Jamie Oliver encourages kids to get in the kitchen and start connecting the dots between the food we make and the food we eat, he is teaching in the same way he learned—by doing. The former “Naked Chef”-turned-food-advocate got his start at age 8, prepping and cooking in his dad’s pub in Clavering, Essex, a family gig that led to a lifelong profession and passion for cooking wholesome, fresh foods.
The celebrity chef—who could have been content to bask in the success of a popular television show and lucrative endorsements—has instead used his star power for the greater good. The Jamie Oliver Foundation promotes culinary philanthropy via a handful of platforms, including his restaurant Fifteen, which employs and trains disadvantaged teens through a chef apprenticeship program. The father of four also supports a “Ministry of Food,” which sponsors cooking classes, shares recipes for preparing nutritious food on a lean budget, and focuses on healthy life choices.
In his latest venture, Oliver has unleashed a Food Revolution—a dedicated effort to improve the food that is served to kids in school cafeterias. As of this writing, 617,245 people have signed the Food Revolution Petition, declaring that “every child has the right to fresh, nutritious school meals, and every family deserves real, honest, wholesome food.” To join the revolution or learn how to become an advocate in your own community, go to jamieoliver.com and to hear Jamie speak on Food Revolution, watch his inspiring TED talk below.
Here’s a recipe inspired by one from Jamie Oliver. It’s perfect for leftover Thanksgiving turkey.