Britain’s celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, has long been an advocate of people adopting healthier eating habits. In Perth, Jamie Oliver has collaborated with Joondalup’s Edith Cowan University (ECU) to run cooking classes from a purpose built mobile kitchen classroom on the campus. He spoke via video link at the launch saying, “The Ministry of Food is all about empowering people to have the knowledge, skills and most important, the confidence to cook simple, delicious, fresh, affordable meals from scratch. We’ve got proven results and some amazing stories and I couldn’t be prouder of what my team has achieved in the years gone by.”
Since 2011, over 28000 people have completed Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food Mobile Kitchen program. In this initiative, 4000 places in Perth will be available to ECU staff, students and interested community members. The seven-week cooking course teaches tips and shortcuts in how to prepare and cook basic meals, and is provided to those most at risk at a subsidised fee to allow them the opportunity to provide nutritious meals for their families. Participants will also learn how to budget, read food labels and understand nutrition. Two independent evaluations found that people have maintained eating more vegetables and less takeaways, six months after completing the course.
During the speeches we were presented with samples of healthy snacks such as bruschetta; crunchy bread with a variety of colourful toppings that look as good as they taste.
Followed by delicious bite sized salmon and beetroot on toothpicks.
Washed down with sparkling water and elderflower cordial with frozen mixed berries.
While our tastebuds are being tantalised, we learnt that the youngest ever person to enrol in Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food Mobile Kitchen program was 12 years old and the oldest was a 96 year old widower who had finally learned to cook for himself. After the speeches we were invited to tour Jamie’s mobile kitchen.
It is a bit like Dr Who’s tardis. The inside is larger than most household kitchens. Every surface gleams. The decor is bright and inviting. The layout of the area provides enough space for up to 12 people at a time to be hands on with their cooking. There are 4 workbenches, sinks, dishwasher, drawers and utensils. Everything you need to prepare a meal.
One complete wall is dedicated to ovens.
There is a separate workspace with a fridge and pantry.
The recipes are simple, starting with multiple ways to cook eggs before graduating to a family roast in the final week.
Jamie Oliver wants these classes to show people that cooking can be fun and he hopes the knock on effect will be families enjoying meals together.
Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food Mobile Kitchen will remain on ECU grounds for 14 weeks before driving to another location. The first course runs from Tuesday 29th March to Monday 16th May and the second course begins on Tuesday 17th May until Monday 4th July, including nights and weekends. The course is open to anyone 12 and over and consists of 1 x 90 minute class per week at $10 a class for concessions, $15 a class for students and $20 per class for others. Bookings can be made through www.jamiesministryoffood.com