Question. What do you get when you cross a chef who wants to save his native-country from all things processed, a passion for fresh and organic fruits and vegetables and today’s web technology?
Answer. Jamie’s Ministry of Food.
I’m not going to write another post about how Jamie Oliver gets it (btw he does get it), but rather I want to let you know about something that he launched on September 30: Ministry of Food.
The art of cooking is dead.
Okay not dead; but it’s really not in good shape. Jamie recognizes (and rightfully) that with today’s easy access to prepared meals and fast food chains, people aren’t cooking anymore and more importantly – they aren’t teaching their children how to cook healthy meals from scratch. The process of passing down cooking knowledge is literally being extinguished because we are all too busy (or so we all say).
When I was a younger I remember the smells that came from my Mother’s kitchen. I recall the comforting vanilla custard scent of a homemade bread pudding gently baking in the oven or the unmistakable aroma of yeast from a loaf of bread rising and of course, the calming bouquet radiating from the pot roast simmering in the oven.
I think it’s what turns a house into a home. Admittedly, helping my Mom cook was not always high on my list of fun things to do when I was young, but fast forward 25 years and I am grateful to her because I CAN cook. In fact, her lessons drive my passion for it now and without a doubt it influences my current cooking style.
Not everyone had (or has) this advantage growing up and that’s too bad. No worries though: it’s not a lost cause. Thanks to Jamie!
Enter Jamie’s Ministry of Food: It’s all about getting people excited about cooking delicious meals from scratch again. Jamie has a plan to get everyone cooking again and reverse this unhealthy food trend and it’s called Pass It On
Basically, it’s all about teaching, gaining confidence in the kitchen, having fun and best of all… sharing a home cooked meal!
We all know at least two people in our circle of friends who can’t boil water, right?
Well, the idea is to invite those inexperienced friends over and to teach them a recipe. If you can’t think of recipe, why not pick one from the site to get started.
Once your “students” have mastered the recipe they then must then continue the chain of food knowledge by teaching two friends of their own and then they pass it on and so on…
Personally, I think that this concept can be pushed far beyond it’s original intention. Organize an event for a group at work (i.e., the ones that never bring a lunch). The object can be to take the prepared meals to a local soup kitchen. Team up with your local chapter of Meals on Wheels or in the case of my own city Montreal, the Dans La Rue organization.
I really believe that sharing a meal with your friends and family is truly worthwhile but contributing to organizations such as these are even more meaningful as the Pass It On concept becomes exponential; especially when passed on from company to company.
Where do you sign up?
The process is very simple and like Akoha’s Play It Forward (www.akoha.com), you get to see the chain of people who have passed on their cooking knowledge to others; creating a chain that takes on a life of its own.
The site is packed with tips and tricks for the kitchen. You can download PDF’s on cupboard essentials, kitchen hygiene, kitchen equipment and cooking with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Chances are if you aren’t sure about a particular cooking technique, it’s covered on the site or better yet you’ll find it in his upcoming book also named Jamie’s Ministry of Food.
Whether this will be successful is yet to be confirmed, but I commend Jamie for yet again, trying to change the way people think about food and more importantly nurturing our cooking knowledge (or lack thereof). If history has revealed anything about Our Jamie; it’s that he’ll never give up trying to make a difference and for that I am grateful.
See Jamie’s video message about Ministry of Food here >>>