Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution continues with its third episode. This one was jam-packed! It included Jamie's food quizzes for students (See above and tell me the guacamole Q&A isn't a l'il bit funny). But seriously, a lot going on in this episode. It starts with Jamie's culinary class at West Adams Preparatory High School preparing an alternative lunch at their school. The team is super-psyched to share their whole wheat pasta mac n' cheese, salad, and roasted chicken with the school, but before they can, they get pushed to a far corner of campus. A school leader tells them they had to put them as far from the cafeteria as possible so as not to be seen as competing with cafeteria food. He also informs Jamie that his class is no longer allowed to cook. A bit of an obstacle, eh?
No worries, Jamie pushes on, teaching students about food and where it comes from. His lesson? The ice cream sundae. He goes so far as to create his own authentic sundae using what really goes into the artificial toppings. He brings in the live lac bugs that shellac is made from (used to make sprinkles and hard candy shiny!) as well as hair and duck feathers (used in cookie dough ice cream to keep the cookie dough soft). He tells the kids if you see long words that you don't understand on the ingredient list, just don't buy it. "Dead simple," Jamie says, before treating the kids to his own simpler sundae which uses 9 ingredients instead of 271 (his includes milk, cream, sugar, crushed strawberries, and caramelized sesame seeds).
But all that ice cream talk was far from where the emotional core of the episode was. The most dramatic turn came with Deno of Patra's fast food restaurant...
If you remember, in addition to tranforming school lunches, Jamie is trying to work with an individual fast food restaurant owner (Deno Perris) to see if fast food can be viable as affordable and healthy. Deno is the guy who on previous episodes has been relentlessly stubborn. He cares about the bottom line and about giving his customers what they want -- that is, the kind of food that they've always had there, maybe even since the 70s when his dad (who he always talks about) was running the place.
Well in this episode, Jamie tries to convince Deno to switch over his mystery meat hamburger patties to ones that Jamie has picked. Even though Jamie offers Deno radio time to promote the change as well as a bunch of new equipment ($30,000 -$40,000 worth), he is hesitant to make the switch. His main concern is that Jamie's patties won't taste as good as the ones he uses now. Also, he knows that with a famous chef like Jamie Oliver around, customers will give something new a try, but he has to be concerned about what happens when Jamie leaves and if he will have a business that is still thriving months from now. Neither Jamie nor Deno leaves the conversation happy. Jamie later vents to the camera, "Even if you put people through all of this, they're never going to trade up from the shit they are used to." He walks into the street muttering about how someone should run him over now.
Still, he keeps trying with Deno. In an awkward move, Jamie organizes a meeting between Deno and one of the students in his high school culinary arts course. Sophia talks to Deno about her family's major health problems and their fast food diet. While Deno seems to sympathize with her situation, he isn't bowled over enough to make drastic changes. Before they part ways, Sophia entreats him to put something healthy on his menu.
What finally convinces Deno to make the meat swap -- at least for the time being, is his own chef's take on Jamie's patties. "Let's get a real opinion, " Deno says. When he gets the okay from Rujillio, who has worked at Patra's for the last decade, Deno is willing to give Jamie's patties a try.
After appearing on Ryan Seacrest's radio show, Deno and Jamie head over to Patra's for a new grand opening. Burgers are flying, the mariachi band is playing, and in the midst of all this, a woman comes to find Deno. It's a local registered nurse named Frieda Hosieni who heard the radio program earlier in the day.
She has come to find Deno to tell him about how important it is to do what he is doing. As a nurse she says she sees health problems all the time related to diet and tells Deno there needs to be more people like him changing how people eat in the neighborhood.
Later, Deno breaks down into tears. (Yes, the same Deno who strawberry syruped- Jamie Oliver's shake in the last episode.) When Jamie asks him what happened, Deno says, "That lady affected me; I think she was genuine." Deno says that hearing from Frieda reminded him about times when his father didn't think about the bottom line, but about doing what was right. "My dad had a good heart. My dad had a helluva heart... he helped people."
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