Monday, November 8, 2010

Jamie opens Ministry of Food down under...

Jamie Oliver to open Ministry of Food at Ipswich, Australia

jamie oliver
The Queensland city of Ipswich will play host to Jamie Oliver'sMinistry of Food program. Picture: Channel Ten.
  • Jamie Oliver bringing healthy food program
  • Will launch in Queensland city of Ipswich
  • Australia "one of the most obese countries"
IPSWICH has struck an Australian-first deal with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to host his world-renowned Ministry of Food.
The city will play host to the program, initially designed to get unhealthy, overweight residents off fast food, the Courier-Mail reported.
Oliver created the program to "get people cooking again" and deliver community education programs about cooking and nutrition.
Mayor Paul Pisasale said Ipswich was "punching above its weight", landing the Australian first with the Oliver franchise.
"No I'm not worried they're picking on us because we're unhealthy," Cr Pisasale said.
"They chose us because we are already doing such good work to make people healthy.
"Ipswich has great healthy eating programs, walking groups, Ipswich is getting known for the right reason.
"We went chasing after Jamie because we're committed to healthy living."
Promoting the Ministry of Food program, Oliver's website notes boldly that "Australia is one of the most obese countries in the world".
"Changes in family life, the rise of convenience foods, and a lack of compulsory food education in schools has resulted in huge numbers of people losing touch with one of life's most essential skills: cooking," notes the website.
Oliver weathered severe criticism for Ministry of Food when it was set up in Rotherham, Yorkshire in the UK.
Local residents accused the celebrity chef of portraying them as "dumbos".
Oliver hit back at the time, saying there were victims of fast food related obesity everywhere.
The Ipswich pilot program is expected to be rolled out in other Australian cities.
A mobile Ministry of Food "outreach" truck will also visit other Queensland towns.
In a recorded message, Oliver this afternoon told how he believed the Ministry of Food could change lives.
He said Ipswich "definitely" needed his "help".
The centre in Ipswich will offer 10 week courses for 48 weeks of the year and Oliver will deliver live cooking classes online from Dec 2.
The program will run over four years with a $2.5 million commitment from the Queensland State Government.

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