Jamie's Food Revolution Hits Hollywood
About the Show
Jamie Oliver returns to the US to take his food revolution to Los Angeles
Series 1 Summary
Last year Jamie Oliver traveled to America's unhealthiest city - Huntington, West Virginia, population 50,000 - to get to grips with America's junk food addiction.
Now Jamie's returning to the US to take his food revolution to an even bigger target - Los Angeles, population 11 million - where 'it's easier to get a gun, crack or a prostitute in a lot of areas before you can get a tomato'.
Jamie's campaign gets off to a disastrous start when the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) - which is responsible for 650,000 school meals a day in the Los Angeles area - refuses to let him film in their schools.
Jamie decides to try to win over parents and teachers in the hope of persuading the authorities to change their mind: one outraged parent is disgusted that her child is offered 'nothing fresh' at school, and only processed foods cooked in plastic.
And he's confronted with the scale of the problem at a school food convention, when he discovers a seminar advocating flavoured (and sugar-laden) milk in schools.
Jamie stages a dramatic demonstration, filling a school bus with the 57 tonnes of sugar which the children of the LAUSD area consume every week, purely from their intake of flavoured milk. But it falls short with the local community.
Desperate for some good news, he attempts to create a healthy fast food menu in a local drive-through restaurant. But is his food revolution doomed before it's even started?
Jamie finds a school willing to risk letting him in, much to the displeasure of the authorities. Unable to even look in the cafeteria or lunchrooms, Jamie's only option is to take over a cooking class as a culinary teacher. But he has bigger plans to use his students to cook for the whole school nonetheless.
It's not until the police threaten to show up to remove Jamie from the school grounds that he may have pushed too far. Meanwhile, touched by the stories of the children in his cooking class, Jamie vows not to give up. And his attempts to transform one local fast food restaurant and its owner prove increasingly unsuccessful.
The increasingly hostile school board shuts down Jamie's sample lunches at West Adams Preparatory School. Forced into a distant corner of the school, Jamie discovers that not only can he not cook for the whole school, he must also give up his lunches altogether.
Driven to frustration, he makes a tearful plea to some parents in the school for help, which, despite the language barrier, helps to improve his spirits.
But it is regular foe Dino who finally helps drive Jamie over the edge. The owner of a fast food diner refuses to see Jamie's point of view and battles him at every turn.
So Jamie asks one of his students to help: 17-year-old Sophie, whose entire family suffer from diabetes. But with her pleas falling on deaf ears, how can Jamie persuade Dino to look beyond the bottom line and give his healthy menu a chance?
Jamie's been banned from school kitchens across LA, so instead he's working as a cookery teacher at West Adams High School - the only school that would let him film.
He allows his class to pick whatever snack they want, healthy or junk, but then explains how many calories are in each item and what they'll need to do to burn them off. For a chocolate bar that means carrying a 20lb pack - the weight that the kids could put on with a junk food diet in a year - round the athletic track 11 times!
Jamie meets single dad Denny, who can't cook and whose two boys eat fast food every day. He confronts the family with all the junk food they eat in a year and then shows them how simple it is to become a lean, mean cooking machine.
Back at West Adams, Jamie introduces the students to older people who suffer from obesity and diabetes to show what could happen if they don't change their eating habits. But he soon realises that the kids and their families are already living the nightmare. It's an emotional scene that leaves Jamie shaken.
Just as he thinks he's making progress, Jamie discovers that the LA education board have finally managed to shut down his filming, revoking all TV permits.
It's war, but Jamie's not going down without a fight. He confronts his chief adversary, district school superintendent Ramon Cortines, and decides to go guerilla, moving his kitchen right across the street from the school.
Now banned from filming in any of LA's schools, including West Adams High, where he's been teaching the kids about healthy food, Jamie speaks at a conference for school food administrators to see if he can find some new friends.
Pavel, who runs food provision for a school district, steps up to offer access to his kitchens. But Jamie's euphoria is short-lived when he discovers that Pavel's board have refused access too.
At rock bottom and looking for another solution, Jamie gives an impassioned speech when receiving an award for public health advocacy from UCLA.
Unable to set foot in a single school, he picks himself up and rips out his kitchen, rebuilding it smack bang across the street from West Adams.
And he takes school boss Mike to a school in nearby Santa Barbara, which cooks everything from scratch. It's Jamie's dream of what school food could be like and Mike is blown away, despite also recognising the challenges of forcing out the LA school district food menu.
Meanwhile, Jamie discovers his nemesis Ramon Cortines has left his job and a new superintendent is taking his place at LAUSD. Could it be the beginning of a new era for the food revolution?
Jamie also revisits the Barrett family, who he tried to get off their diet of junk and cooking healthy food. But have they managed to change?
Jamie's nemesis, Ramon Cortines, has left his job and his replacement, John Deasy, is offering a fresh start.
Jamie meets with one of his main supporters, school boss Mike, to discuss tactics, and decides he needs to pull out all the stops to impress the new supremo of school food.
So Jamie organises a city-wide cooking competition with famous local chefs lending their support as mentors for teams of high-school students, including West Adams High School, where Jamie has been trying to improve school meals and teach kids about healthy food.
Can the West Adams team, led by Sophia and mentored by Jamie, win the prize - presented by Hollywood star Jamie Lee Curtis - of a trip to the Culinary Institute of America in New York?
The event seems to do the trick. When Jamie meets with the new superintendent, Deasy pledges to get off to a far more positive start.
With access again granted, Jamie makes an emotional return to West Adams. And he sees the strides the LAUSD are making towards a new menu.
And, in a final twist, Deasy agrees to appear on live national TV alongside Jamie to announce big plans to improve school kids' diet. Could this finally be the good news Jamie has fought so hard for and a vindication of his food revolution?
Jamie's Food Revolution Hits Hollywood synopsis
Jamie Oliver returns to the US to take his food revolution to Los AngelesEpisode Guide >