Fitness Carter

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Jamie Oliver promotes healthy eating with Big Rig Teaching Kitchen - San Bernardino Sun

By Mariecar Mendoza, @LANGMarMendoza

POMONA >> The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, in partnership with the California Endowment, is touring the state with a mission to get residents on a healthier eating path -- and it’s spreading that message at an event known for its sugary fried treats: The L.A. County Fair.

The foundation’s Food Revolution Big Rig Teaching Kitchen rolled into L.A. County Fair on Friday with a team of cooks suited up in aprons and armed with lemons, carrots and salt and pepper for food demonstrations through Sunday.

While Oliver, the English celebrity chef best known for his hit cooking shows “The Naked Chef” and “Jamie’s American Food Revolution,” won’t be on hand during the weekend-long event in person, the mobile classroom aims to provide demonstrations that showcase four of Oliver’s quick and easy healthy meals.

“We’re here to try and reach as many people as we can to let them know, You don’t have to have that fried Twinkie, you can have a delicious potato salad made with yogurt, and you can make it yourself,” said Lisa Fontanesi, a Los Angeles-based program director who worked alongside Oliver on “Food Revolution.”

The L.A. County Fair stop is the second of the Big Rig’s statewide tour, which plans to stop at Fresno and Sacramento county fairs as well as other events in San Diego to hit a total of six cities. The tour kicked off in Madera last week.

“We try to give people simple messages,” said Liz McMullan, the foundation’s executive director. “We don’t say do or don’t eat anything, we say: ‘Know what goes into your body.’”

The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation is a California-based nonprofit public-benefit corporation with a mission to educate schools and youth groups, businesses and communities about food via hands-on training. As part of the Big Rig tour, the team aims to promote its training program that will host cooking classes in several communities in California. Locally, the program is slated to begin in Los Angeles in March.

“It’s like a legacy tour,” McMullan said. “Ideally, we would like everyone to have a go with cooking. ‘Food Revolution’ really says it all in its title; it’s about arming people with the knowledge.”

On the hot Friday afternoon, Fullerton resident Celeste Salgado admitted that she stopped by the Big Rig mainly to cool off in the air conditioned trailer, but was as giddy as a school girl when she realized Oliver was spearheading the event. The mother of a 1-year-old, Salgado said she tries her best to cook healthy particularly because diabetes runs in her family.

“This seems like a really neat thing,” she said. “We all learn about how healthy it is to eat your fruits and vegetables, but I don’t always stick to it in my own diet.”

With so many shows on TV about how to incorporate healthier meals into your diet, Salgado added that it’s nice to see these interactive programs that bring what she sees on the screen into her own kitchen. She now plans to attend the Los Angeles classes.

Temple City 13-year-olds Rafael Sandoval and Jovamy Gadoa also stopped by while on a school field trip while Fontanesi was conducting a food demonstration for Oliver’s Crunchy Carrot Pitas. The two both said they are interested in food and have been experimenting with cooking their own meals at home.

“It’s a great thing to do for the community,” Jovamy said. “To teach people how to cook, especially kids like us, is cool.”

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