Food Revolution Recap, ep. 1×04

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Previously: People still don’t like Jamie’s work, but he’s got a team of teenagers on his side as he heads into the high school kitchens.

We open with Jamie in the truck, and he tells us he’s been in Huntington for two months already. Which makes sense given how TV is edited, but it makes me wonder about the time line we’ve been presented. Anyway, Jamie heads to the radio station yet again. A nice show of determination, considering what a jerk Rod the radio guy is. Jamie says in interview that Rod is the “biggest enemy of the food revolution, without a doubt.”

Jamie is on the air to talk about the storefront where he is offering cooking and budgeting lessons. Rod of course asks if it will really work and Jamie throws back with info about the Kitchen in England, but Rod isn’t sold. Once they’re off the air, Jamie decides to make a bet with Rod to get 1000 people in the Kitchen for lessons in the next 5 days. It’s ON.

Next Jamie makes the rounds of the other local TV and radio shows and asks for anyone to who is interested to come and see him. No one shows that afternoon, although it’s not clear if he wanted people to come that day or for the cookathon.

He goes to Marshall University to drum up support from the students there. He enlists a choreographer to help him create a cooking dance for a flash mob to perform. He should get my friends for that; they already have a few cooking dances.

4 days left, 1000 people to go. Time for the flash mob! It’s pretty awesome; the music they picked is perfect, and everyone looks like they are having fun. Totally cool idea.

3 days left, 1000 people to go. Jamie is at the Kitchen and shows us a wall gridded off for 1000 slots. He’ll add a photo of every person who cooks at the Kitchen to create a visual of how many people have learned how to cook.

It’s time for the cookathon, and lots of people are streaming into the Kitchen. The ages vary from kids to senior citizens. It’s never to late to start cooking! They head outside where tables and electric burners are set up and get started. Jamie guides groups through cooking a simple beef noodle stir fry. He interviews how great the ingredients are, how it can make you healthier, your hair better, your sex life better. I laughed, but it’s true! Ahem.

Marissa from the teen team is there! Pastor Steve is there! There looks to be a good cross-section of Huntington society. A woman who looks to be in her late 50s admits this is the first thing she’s ever cooked from scratch. Justin and Momma Edwards are there (they look like they might have lost weight, too)! Rod shows up but doesn’t cook, of course.

2 days and 554 people to go. Jamie heads to the steel factory and teaches 50 guys in hardhats to cook. They also give him a special American flag hard hat. Because everyone needs a personalized hard hat. I love that “manly men” are getting in on this.

Next in the Kitchen the local school cooks stop by, including Alice, who hilariously asks if there are gloves. Is that only because she is in a commercial kitchen? I wonder what Alice eats at home.

Interspersed with the cooking segments are more clips of Rod mouthing off about Jamie. Basically he doesn’t seem to like Jamie using his celebrity status in Huntington. I have to say I think when a celebrity is using their status for GOOD, it can’t be considered a bad thing.

1 day and 234 people left. Jamie gets Rod to meet him at the funeral home, where they look at the extra-wide caskets that unfortunately have to be made these days. The funeral home directors mention that the caskets don’t fit in the hearses and have to be transported in cargo vans, as well as the need for two cemetery plots. And apparently cremation doesn’t work well either. Jamie is both inspired and pissed, but it’s hard to tell what Rod’s reaction is.

They head down to the Kitchen, where a few of the people we’ve seen before are gathered for a chat. Momma Edwards, Marissa, and Britney share their stories again. Rod seems to have turned a corner and it kind of sounds like he hadn’t before “seen” the problems surrounding weight and health in Huntington.

Last day, 109 people to go. The radio station is broadcasting live from the Kitchen, where it is already hopping at 7:30 a.m. Rod encourages people to come down: “It’s not about Jamie Oliver anymore, it’s about us as a community.” Damn right.

Lots of TV cameras are there, including Good Morning America (with “pretty boy Cameron”). The governor of West Virginia has been invited. The mayor is there, cooking in his suit. Today’s cooking involves frozen veggies, something I think many people forget about. (Just keep with the non-sauced kinds, please!)

The governor shows up, much to Jamie’s surprise. The governor says he’s not going to let what Jamie’s started fade away. He’s part of the final cooking group, which also includes Rod. Rod has fun cooking! He admits that he’s come around to Jamie’s way of thinking, and puts the final picture, number 1000, of him and Jamie on the board.

Next week: Back in the high school! What will they choose?

This week’s episode was more on the fun side, even though there were definitely serious topics discussed. It was nice seeing people being excited about cooking rather than the continual beatdown that was going on in the school kitchens.

There are plenty of articles online discussing Jamie’s project; certainly quite a few of them are cynical about it, especially after the report came out that the kids generally don’t like the food and flavored milk came back. Having a child, I know how hard it is to get them to eat what you want but if you provide them with the right choices to start with you can’t lose. And hey, it feels pretty good to hear a toddler point to a fast-food restaurant and say “I don’t like that.” Just sayin’.

Have you signed Jamie’s petition yet? Even if you’re not in the United States you can add your support. Go here and do it!


  1. Yes I agree that it was nice to have a bit of an upbeat episode this week instead of the constant Jamie-bashing of the past couple. I love that everyone was having so much fun but that there were serious topics discussed also. And thank god that DJ came around…. Alice asking where the gloves were was classic – hopefully she will soften up over the course of the series…

  2. I am behind and just watched this episode! (I like reading your recaps, so here I am!) I laughed out loud when Alice asked if there were gloves there and said to Brock, “I wonder if she uses gloves at home??” Oh, Alice.

    I’m so glad Rod seemed to come around. He was always such a jerk!! I didn’t get it!

    I agree, if you provide children with the right choices to start with, you can’t lose. Unfortunately Brock likes to give Wes the most horrible things sometimes because Wes likes them (of course) and Brock loves to surprise him and make him happy, but we have always given him a variety of healthy foods too and you would be amazed at how many times people will comment about how odd it is that Wesley likes the things he does. Sometimes when I tell my best friend about what we are having for dinner she will say something like, “And Wesley will eat that?!” or “I can’t believe Wes likes that!” It always confuses me when people have that reaction! Which is too often!

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