British TV chef Jamie Oliver has landed on the west coast and is bringing his “Food Revolution” to Los Angeles. Filming began on Tuesday (Jan. 11), and he’s already hit his first roadblock.
The Los Angeles Unified School District refuses to allow Oliver or his cameras into their schools, saying they’re “not interested” in the drama of reality television. A spokesperson for the district tells the LA Times, “Reality TV has a formula. You either have to have drama or create conflict to be successful. We’re not interested in either.”
Oliver stopped by Ryan Seacrest‘s (who is co-producing the ABC program) radio show Wednesday morning to make his battle known, and to lobby for the support of local parents.
“First things first,” he says. “The TV show and the cameras … these are my tools. This is not a TV show, this is not reality TV. This is a campaign.”
He continues, “It’s food revolution and it’s really about getting the American people to expect and want more out of everything in the food world.”
A challenge that Oliver claims, begins with our children. He explains that the school system is the largest of three topics that he will be focusing on, including fast food and nutrition in the home.
Unable to step foot inside any of the schools, the “30-Minute Meals” author sought out a public forum and was subsequently offered just a business card of the district’s head of food services.
“In my whole campaigning career, I’ve never ever ever been blocked from an institution,” he complains.
This is where he asks parents to get involved.
“Government is one thing, big business is another thing,” Oliver says. “But the true driving force of this country is the public, and now I need the parents of LA to support me in getting in schools.”
The Food Revolution kitchen will be opening in Westwood, and is said to be offering free cooking lessons to all. Oliver is requesting that local parents come by at 12 noon on Thursday to “drum up support.”
“My job, heading up ‘Food Revolution,’ is kind of harnessing and facilitating activism,” he explains.
Based on listener calls to the KIIS FM show, it sounds like “The Naked Chef” already has several supporters. What do you think, should he be allowed into LA schools? Is Los Angeles (and America) truly capable of a Food Revolution?