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Starkoch im Interview Jamie Oliver: Just fuckin' eat it!

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The number of single households goes up. Many people are no longer living in a family. Do you think we'll ever catch up with cooking by TV, Books or Shows?

Yeah, my knowledge of the intricacies of social life in Germany is small. I don't know if England and Germany are that different anymore. We were happy to tax the mothers to go to work. We put nothing back. So the mums are going to work. We know absolutely precisely what's being lost because of that. And we can make an effort as a government, certainly, to teach every kid at the age of thirteen to sixteen how to cook ten basic meals that taste fucking nice. And don't talk to them about cooking. Don't get them to invent packaging. Don't talk them about backs of packs. Get'em touching it. My idea is: Ten, twelve meals will get'em out of trouble. A bolognese which can be turned into as lasagne, which can be turned into a chili and how to make a good soup and make it taste like shit. How to do a stir-fry, how to do a roast-dinner. Basic stuff. If every kid at school was taught to cook, that would be incredible. But of course in England that's not the case. That's kind of why I started Schools-Dinner-Campaign. Kids going to school with four, coming out with sixteen and for 19 days of every year they eat fucking shit. It's really hard times. We owe it to the mothers of the country we are taking the money off to put back the stuff that's not there. It's absolutely right that women have the opportunity to do whatever they see fit in work. And times always change. But it's wrong of government to sit back and say: „Oh, we are the third most unhealthiest in the world.“ How dare they? That fucking went out of order.

How about the homes then?

Well, I think in England this is the first generation where the kids could actually be helping there parents to learn to cook. Now, they could really do, because we have three generations of non-cooks in England. You know, I sometimes wonder if it's a load of talk about food, food, food – is it fucking that important? And of course I ask myself that question: „Is is it that fucking important?“.

Is it?

Well, even in the last nine months I've spent most of the time in complete strangers houses from all walks of life. All ethnic minorities, ages, financial backgrounds. And food has the most incredible on those families. Socially, financially. And in times like this, when there's a recession: Humans are fucking clever. If you look at the best dishes in Germany, in Italy – they were created when humans were put under pressure. When times are good we turn into spoiled brats where we are eating fucking filet steaks and lobsters. Boring. You know, when shit gets interesting, you know they start taking cheap cuts, gettin' the flavour out. How can we make it stay longer? Potted meats, cure it, smoke it. When humans are put under pressure and – that's the key – they can cook: They're genius. England is in an intersting time, when people are put under pressure, financially, and can't cook. Their answer is to buy cheaper processed junk food. Can you see the vicious circle? That's why I am such a fucking advocate of cooking from scratch. I mean, not every day. And you don't have sit at a table every day. You don't have to stop eatin' pizzas and burgers. It's just the fucking excess.

At the same time food is quite hip. Shows and books prove it. At least in one part of the society.

Yeah, it's quite polarised. I can only give you an expert opinon from food. If you said: „Jamie, has radical shit happened in England in ten years?“ I'd say: „Yes, sir!“ Like incredible. Like Amazing. Has the quality of farming, bio-dynamics, organics risen. People sourcing incredible shit from distant parts of the world and bringin' it to Brixton. Is that happening? Yeah! And I am gettin' blowin away on a weekly basis. But it's basically for the the people that are obsessed by food and got loads of money and others worry about it. I know personally cityboys on hundreds of thousands of pounds a year, rich cityboys who will go out for posh lunches on their business card and then they'll go home and they'll eat fucking shit. Although it's class and the money effects it still comes back to knowledge. If you don't how to cook a good steak and you are on a couple of hundred grand a year then you buy a Kfc on your way home.

What about food at the workplace?

I did a project this year trying to get these workplaces, factories to get their bit. I mean we call it „Corporate Responsibility“. This is my belief anyway: It's not so much the canteen. Everyone that knows they've got a shit canteen knows they got a shit canteen. What amazes me is, the Boss puts up with it. What we've done in a few businesses this year is to pass it on where people in the business who can cook teach those who can't how to do it in the lunchbreaks and the boss is paying for the food. That seems to be working pretty well. We've got one the biggest companies in the country to sign up for it, which is the Royal Mail.

So school education should start at school and go on at the workplace?

I think we have no fucking choice at all than to ambership, military precision. Feed them at school, yes, that will make a difference. How do you get the people to care for something they don't give a fuck about. Or have no use for. OR – unfortunately – feel they don't deserve. What I am feeling at the moment is that a lot of people sitting at a table is posh, middle-class, elitist. Where the fuck did that come from? Because that's only the last 30 years we started that. Sitting around table, eating proper food, has NEVER been elitist. If you look in the record of Noble Cooking or Rich People's cooking, it's not that fucking interesting. It's just not. All the great chefs all the good cooks, were ducking and diving and resourceful and trying to create flavour where there is no flavour, trying to create texture where there is no texture. So it's upsets me when people say it's posh.

You travelled the world. Which kitchen did impress you the most?

Hmmm. I can't get away from the heart and soul of the italian food. It's greeeat. It's very much about sharing. Sharing to all. Anything. Anything you want, have it. Take the recipes - I don't care. Take my sister, take my wife. Just take it. That's what I always felt. I worked in France. And though they can be generous they are not generous up front like the italians are. And I travelled to Japan. I can't see myself cooking it, but fucking hell – they really are craftsmen.

Some people claim that Italian food is even better in Tokyo than in Italy. Though it might spoil the Italian adventure of beauty but slight imperfections.

Totally. If you go to an italian Michelin-Star-Restaurant – pfrrrrr – fucking hell. Get me down to the trattoria any day. It's not Italian. If you get too precise it's not Italian. There are some incredible Japanese doing Italian food. They source like mad. If you go to winemakers or oil-mill in italy. Where does it go: America, Britain – Japan. How much goes local? None. They still pay their pickers with oil the rest goes out of the country. But if you start getting to accurate you start losing the signature of what Italian food is.

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