Photo: Holly Farrell, ABC / AP Photo
Truth is, it used to be easy to pick on Jamie Oliver. After all, this was a guy who hosted a show called "The Naked Chef." But Oliver has morphed from a slightly goofy twentysomething television star into an international food mogul with a tireless enthusiasm for do-gooder projects both here in America and across the pond. Last year, he set up camp in Huntington, West Virginia and tried to convince the locals to ditch processed food and learn to cook. The show, which featured tearful confessionals from overweight teens as well as altercations between newly motivated residents and those who clung to their deep fryers, won an Emmy, and Oliver is back for season two.
Will Los Angeles embrace a healthier outlook, or cling to the processed foods they've grown accustomed to? To Oliver's credit, his mission seems to be authentic. Although "Food Revolution" raised his visibility, he didn't abandon his following in Huntington when the season ended -- the community kitchen he set up in the city's downtown center is still operational. And he's tireless on Twitter, cheerleading for his followers to join his "revolution."
One thing is certain: When Oliver goes whole-hog on a project, he gets results. His "Feed Me Better" campaign in the UK led the British government to add $1 billion to the school food budget. Yes, that's $1 BILLION. So don't underestimate his success in Los Angeles -- as any movie buff will tell you, those are great returns.
Stay tuned tomorrow for a sneak peak of Jamie's Kitchen in Westwood.
Watch this Slashfood interview with Jamie about his new L.A. venture.