Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution: Fresh Start


In what appears to be the finale of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, Jamie gets the scoop on the new superintendent from Mike, a school leader at West Adams High School. Of course, they meet up at Patras, where Jamie checks in with Deno on his revamped fast-food concept. (Gotta say, the yelp reviews of Patras do not live up to the hype generated by the show...)

Jamie decides to try and win support and attention from the superintendent by hosting a cooking competition. He invites some of L.A.'s celebrated chefs to a homecooked breakfast but instead serves them typical LAUSD school lunches. His switcharoo is an important selling point for what he wants them to do.

Once they are sufficiently grossed out, he asks them to participate in his competition. This involves each chef mentoring four kids. The prizes are lifechangers -- including a trip to New York's Culinary Institute of America.

The first part of the competition involves the students preparing a dish on their own that they've previously made with the help of their chef instructors. Eight teams compete from area high schools, and three advance -- including Jamie's team. (The others are Seth Greenburg's and Amy Pressman's.) In the final round, the teams get a set of ingredients and have 15 minutes to discuss a new main and secondary dish with their mentor chef. Then, they are on their own and have to make the completely new dishes on the spot.

Judges Michael Symon, Jonathan Waxman, and Andy Dahlen from Green Giant award Jamie's team from West Adams the top prize for its beef carpaccio served with salsa and an apple salad dressed in basil, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Another story line has Jamie meeting with the new superintendent, John Deasy. "Let's focus on what can go right, " Deasy says while the two of them sit on bleachers at a local school. Jamie is thrilled to hear that Deasy is planning to ban flavored milk from LAUSD and asks him about the grief he will have to endure when trying to propose the change.

Deasy says, "I actually don't worry about the grief; I worry about what's right for kids." The two go on Jimmy Kimmel Live to make the announcement about the flavored milk ban. Deasy says he also wants to improve the school lunch menu for the next school year but wants student input. Jamie and some of his West Adams students visit the head LAUSD chef, who tells them his concept for one of the new dishes -- a roasted vegetable quesadilla in a spinach tortilla shell. The students follow his instructions to make the quesadillas -- then taste them and give feedback. Sophia says, "Without Jamie, our voices would have never ever been heard."

Jamie is allowed back into West Adams and visits the new school garden (planted at a time when he wasn't allowed in the school). It's thriving, and he offers school leader Mike a fresh snap pea. "It's unusual to be back with permission," Jamie says.

Mike reflects on how some people are natural teachers and the impact Jamie has had on the students -- how ultimately the program was good for the students. When class gets out, the kids swarm Jamie in the garden, and there are hugs all around.

Later, in a montage of different scenes from previous episodes, Jamie voices some final thoughts. He says that the revolution is not over and that "this year has been about absolutely showing you how bad it's gotten... how hard it is to make a difference... and how it is our right to find out what our kids are fed in school."

His final words: "It's not just about me... we've all got to start expecting more."


Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.


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