Hundreds of people welcomed Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food mobile kitchen to Bendigo yesterday with a special community celebration.
Members of the public were shown through the mobile kitchen van which is fully kitted out with convection cook tops and stainless steel appliances.
The mobile kitchen will be staffed by two local trainers and two trainers who work with the Ministry of Food van across the state.
Operations manager Michael Ostroburski said the kitchen would run 23 classes per week for the next five weeks in Bull Street, and then the same again when it moved to Long Gully.
“Week one they learn eggs four ways then there’s a chicken class, a beef class a pasta class and we finish up with a roast,” he said.
“Every class they make something they get to take home.
“The purpose is to have a whole balanced meal so we also talk about things like portion size and nutritional information.”
Mr Ostroburski said there were 12 people in each class with one trainer.
He said half the participants were identified through community services and the rest of the places were sold to the general public.
“We want to get them inspired to get back into the kitchen and start cooking again, because in the end obesity is becoming such a huge problem in Australia,” he said.
The Ministry of Food team hopes to build on Jamie Oliver’s popularity to encourage Bendigo residents to adopt healthier eating habits.
Mobile kitchen trainer Jane Grylls, from Castlemaine, said she jumped at the chance to get involved in Jamie’s project.
“We are going to stay here after the van leaves and be a resource for the local area, teaching the basics of cooking, how to budget and how to shop,” she said.
Mobile kitchen participant Pam Numan said she hoped to pass on the skills she learnt to her family.
The mother of two said Jamie was a good role model and she was excited to be cooking in his kitchen.
“I think children need a lot more education around healthy eating,” she said.
“They need to know the long term effects of things like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.”