Anorak News | Oliver’s Cooks Army

Oliver’s Cooks Army

by | 10th, September 2006

MONDAY and it was back to school.

After the thrills of summer, children were returning to the classroom. There they went, showing off their new Prada schoolbags packed with the latest electronic aids to learning.

Keen to display their fake bake tans and wow their friends with tales of what they got up to as they holidayed in exotic Heathrow Airport, they skipped from mum’s 4×4 to the school gates.

And standing at the gates to welcome them with a “Wotcha kidz” was Jamie.

Ten thousand school cooks are to be trained to, well, cook. But Education Secretary Alan Johnson, who is masterminding the scheme, cannot do it alone.

As a source close to Mr Johnson said: “One of the first things he did when he got the job was to pick up the phone to Jamie to throw some ideas around.”

And that was not Jamie Redknapp, Jamie Lee Curtis or Jamie Foxx. It was Jamie Oliver, the celebrity known above all else for his cooking. And there he was.

On Tuesday, as the playground was abuzz with talk of Steve ‘The Crocodile Hunter’ Irwin’s death, we half expected Jamie to pop up and tell us how nutritious croc burgers were.

As the Dianafication of Steve went on, the grief groupies breaking from their a weepin’ and a wailin’ to talk of State funerals, statues and porcelain figurines of the greatest Australian since Skippy, Jamie popped up again.

Jamie had a dream. “My dream is for our children to be able to cook THEIR children a lovely roast,” said Jamie, “not out of a box, but out of a butcher’s with fresh veggies and spuds.”

It was a noble aim. But we wondered how it fitted in with Jamie’s professional life as the celebrity face of a supermarket, purveyors of readymade meals.

Like Sainsbury’s Pork Somerset Brandy and Apples (with dextrose and xanthan gum), Sainsbury’s Steak & Kidney Casserole (with palm fat, dextrin and hydrogenated vegetable oil) and Sainsbury’s Just Cook Chicken Topped With Sausage & Bacon (with sodium metabisulphite, sodium ascorbate and tri-Phosphate).

Jamie was dreaming all right. The rest of us were just staring. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were posing with their daughter Suri.

Yes! Suri! Some say she was pictured from the front because she has just two-dimensions. Some say if you look into her eyes for too long your brains boil and you start dreaming in Medieval Dutch.

Tom, the baby’s Earth father, said: “She has Katie’s lips and eyes. I think she looks like Katie.” Katie, Suri’s Earth mother, countered: “I think she has Tom’s eyes, I think she looks like Tom.”

Might it be that Suri can change her appearance, altering her eyes to look like the person who gazes upon her? Is she a changeling? A protean. An alien?

Of course not. And before we could get too deeply involved, and fearful, we were slapped back into reality by Jamie’s fearsome tongue. “Jamie has stopped dreaming. He was now keeping it real.

Jamie told us he was “f***ing bored with being polite”. The world is in a terrible state. The time for action is now.

“Now is the time to say ‘if you’re giving your young children fizzy drinks, you’re an a*******, you’re a tosser’,” said Jamie.

He went on: “If you aren’t cooking them a hot meal, sort it out.” Right-on, Jamie.

And: “I’ve seen kids of the ages of four and five, the same as mine, open their lunchbox and inside is a cold, half-eaten McDonald’s, multiple packets of crisps and a can of Red Bull,” says Jamie. Too right, Jamie.

“You laugh and then you want to cry.” You do. You really do, Jamie.

“I’m sure that parent loves that child but if the kid comes home and says, ‘Mummy, I’m tired’ and the parent thinks, ‘Red Bull gives you wings’, you might as well give them a line of coke.”

Damn right, Jamie. Give the nippers a line of coke. Or an entire can of the stuff…

Posted: 10th, September 2006 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink