French fry frenzy
Jamie Oliver should stick with gourmet for his mates
Darwin had it right; it is survival for the fittest. When Jamie Oliver tried to transform the State of West Virginia from road-kill to healthy eaters that was a tall challenge. I think of a restaurant in Fairmont West Virginia called the Backwoods. It is sort of a Louisiana style place with emphasis on gumbo and local grub. It’s all greased up and tastes real good, but will shorten your life cycle by 2o years.
Here are some reviews:
“"“Backwoods grill is freaking awesome! I love it there. I live really close, so I get to eat there a lot. The new location is 10 times better than the old one. However, right now it's crowded, just because it s good though. They have a lot more parking places, and the inside is ..."
"“Backwoods Grill is great restaurant It is small and has a rustic feel. (Bears in the corner.) The steaks are the best ever! Try them with mushrooms. They have a lot of special dishes. My kids love the appetizer "French Fry Frenzy." They also have a super sandwich called "The ..."
“Jamie Oliver's dream was a nightmare
His school project only proved that most of the pupils didn't deserve the attention they got
The Observer, Sunday 17 April 2011
Thank the Lord, Jamie's Dream School has finished. That programme was bad for the blood pressure. Can it have been the dodgiest, most dangerous TV series ever broadcast?
I know: we've had Ibiza Uncovered, The James Whale Show and that one where Rebecca Loos whacked off a pig. But at least those programmes never pretended to be anything but awful. This one claimed to be useful and well-meaning. It was a mugger dressed like a man from the gas board.
Here is the evil genius of Jamie's Dream School. It was perfectly devised to attract sappy, middle-class liberals like me. It was a Channel 4 documentary about education. It had Andrew Motion and Robert Winston in it. It had a biosphere and a scene at the Globe. It promised to help unlucky, underprivileged teenagers by exposing them to beautiful ideas and opportunity. Frankly, I couldn't have been more excited if they'd offered free yoghurt and sandals to every viewer.
And yet, darkly, incessantly, without faltering in its weekly step, it had me shouting: "But these children must be beaten with sticks! They must be expelled! They must be conscripted into national service! Those little insects must not receive a penny of my hard-earned income in benefits!"
Despite the small class sizes and special attention, too many of the pupils remained aggressive, inattentive and self-righteous. This appeared to prove that luck and opportunity make no difference after all. Every time one of them moaned about not being respected, then called the impressive headmaster a "f***ing prick" and reduced him to tears, my soul roared that the problem could only be solved with a leather strap and a ticket to Colditz.
After each episode, I looked into the mirror and Alf Garnett stared back. It took several pints of elderflower cordial and two hours reading oldObserver leaders just to calm down.
This series is, I concluded, an inspired piece of propaganda, beautifully timed to wipe out any last shred of social idealism as we prepare for the total destruction of the welfare state.
Now, I must admit to a small etiquette problem. Watching the credits after Wednesday's final episode (after previous episodes, I'd been too busy scrawling postcards to George Osborne telling him to axe everything), I realised that I'd spent 10 years sleeping in the executive producer's bed.
The executive producer, I should say, was not in it at the time. He was throwing it away. One of his employees (a friend of mine) mentioned that I had just rented a bedsit and, having no budget for such luxuries as a bed, was sleeping on a £20 plank of wood from the Futon Factory. The boss allowed us to dismantle his old pine sleeper and carry it in pieces to my hovel, where I wrote, smoked, kissed and snoozed in it for more than a decade. I don't any more, but I know where it is and I think of it with love; you could write my life story in the recycling of that furniture. Although I'm not sure it would be a bestseller.
Anyway, that executive producer is a nice, clever, decent chap, who has made great documentaries. Jamie Oliver is clearly a heroic individual with the best intentions. That the programme should appear to demonstrate that heroic individuals with the best intentions are starry-eyed fools who shouldn't try to help RUDE, NASTY, VIOLENT, SELF-IMPORTANT LITTLE MONSTERS WHO HAVE ONLY THEMSELVES TO BLAME IF THEY END UP ON THE SCRAPHEAP was its most dangerous social message.”