Let me tell you about the time I got to fly over to Sydney to meet one of my heroes. You see, I’ve been a massive Jamie Oliver fan since before the dawn of time. Jamie’s approach to flavour packed simple food and having a little fun in the kitchen is what appeals the most. His recipes are achievable and won’t take you two days to prepare and perhaps most importantly there’s no obscure ingredients that can only be found in the eastern mountains of Tibet. Jamie inspires the good kind of cooking, there’s no yelling, no pans flying across the kitchen, it’s all just a bit of fun.
After what must have been the longest week in history, the time had come, the plane touched down in Sydney. I was 14 hours away from seeing my food idol! It was about this time it really started to feel real. After a good nights sleep, my work colleague and I made our way down to the Sydney Oprah House. This was my first time stepping foot inside the famous white building and what a fantastic first show it was. Jamie being Jamie made for a very entertaining show. Packed with jokes, musical guest appearances and plenty of good food. I was mesmerised by seeing someone I truly admire on stage. It’s the only show I’d go to and sit through a song performed by the Wiggles. With 2000 people packed into the Sydney Opera House, this was the perfect platform for Jamie to spread his food revolution message. You see, with 26% of Aussie kids being overweight, Jamie wants compulsory food education in all schools and although we are some of the way there with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden foundation, we need this education for all kids.
Jamie started the show with a massive welcome, a little dance and then by inviting kids from the audience up on stage to help him whip up his super easy pancake mix, which then can be turned into waffles, pancakes or even a pancake cooked in a griddle pan (something between a pancake and a waffle?). Jamie mentioned the importance of using ripe fruit to add the sweetness, obviously natural sugar is better than that refined white stuff. Jamie went on to make deliciously simple pasta, again with the help of kids from the audience and one super keen adult who managed to sneak up on stage. After the pasta came an amazing Prawn Green Curry, the aroma filling the room within seconds of hitting the pan. This drove home the message of good simple health food with nothing “chefie” about it.
Now that the serious stuff is out of the way, let’s get back to my fan boy moment. After the show was the VIP meet and greet. That’s right, I got to shake his hand and have a chat to the great man… By now you’re all probably thinking I’m some crazy obsessed Jamie Oliver stalker… well I am. After we posed for our photo, we had a quick chat about what I do, where I’m from and of course, food. I must have looked like the biggest dork in the room with a smile from ear to ear. That moment is one I’ll never forget and my very first cookbook now has Jamie’s scribble all over it. Jealous? You should be. A massive thanks has to go out to Kitchen Warehouse and Tefal Australia. Without them I would never have met my food idle and I probably would have spent the weekend mowing lawns and that’s just not living!
Jamie’s asking for our help to make food education compulsory in all schools in Australia. If you have kids, know someone who has kids or if you are just a caring nice, lovely person, head over and sign away.