UK chef and restaurateur Jamie Oliver — well known for his Feed Me Better campaign to introduce schoolchildren in England to healthy food options — is keen to share his passion and skills in Emerald via Jamie’s Ministry of Food (JMoF) Mobile Kitchen.
Run by the not-for-profit organisation The Good Food Foundation, the Mobile Kitchen initiative is now keen to hear from any Central Queensland groups, council, businesses, shopping centres or individuals who are able to support or sponsor the kitchen so it can set up a base in Emerald for five weeks.
The Good Foundation’s CEO Siobhan Boyle said community support was crucial in ensuring the program could go ahead and deliver “essential home-cooking skills” and the philosophy of Jamie Oliver’s cooking, buying, storing and eating fresh and healthy food.
Ms Boyle said the kitchen would provide a “safe, domestic” environment where food trainers would work with locals during a 90-minute weekly class over five weeks.
“It’s not confronting — we’re using real food and cooking things people would actually be eating but showing them how to make a healthier version of it.”
She said the CQ region had been identified as a potential location for the fully-equipped Mobile Kitchen because of recent health statistics — 69.4% of the population is overweight or obese compared to a national average of 66%.
“There’s a fast food outlet for every 2500 people in the region.”
There was a need for change, Ms Boyle said, and the Mobile Kitchen — a back-to-basics food education program — was “all about making small, positive changes”.
She said recipes to be taught by kitchen trainers included healthy burgers, chicken fajita, curry, roast and crumble.
“We don’t cut anything out and we do try and make the food seasonal, and ingredients are budget friendly.
Ms Boyle said, “By the end of a five-week period people have got the skills and knowledge to make better food choices, make meals from scratch and have a positive food experience.”
It’s really important for us that everything we deliver is fun. Food should be embraced and it brings the community together.”
Local suppliers, Ms Boyle said, would also be included as part of the program.
“We try and buy locally and use local butchers so it does introduce members of the community to what is grown and supplied locally.
Ms Boyle said an “outreach” model had also recently been introduced in far north Queensland and could be an option for CQ with cooking kits and staff working in community centres to train and establish a sustainable model in the region.
Any interested groups or people keen to support the Mobile Kitchen can email Ms Boyle on [email protected]