With a population of about 50,000 folks, Huntington, West Virginia has been called the unhealthiest city in America. One man wants to change all that. Super chef Jamie Oliver has crossed an ocean to help save a city. How's he going to do that? Well, Jamie is plotting a food revolution!
Jamie kicks off his mission at the Central City Elementary School. He's given one week to change the food, get the kids to eat it and come in on budget. Jamie is shocked to see that the cafeteria is serving pizza for breakfast. The kitchen workers are a little leery of Jamie. How do we know this? Well, a woman named Alice gives him the look of death when he refers to her as a lunch lady. They prefer to be called cooks.
Jamie returns to chat with the radio host who gave him such a hard time when he first came to town. He tries to defend the comments he made about Huntington, but the radio jock still won't buy Jamie's selling. It's going to take time to get him, and a lot of folks in Huntington, on Jamie's side.
Some kids come to Jamie's kitchen for an experiment that never fails. Jamie shows them how chicken nuggets are made. He chops up the bone, skin, giblets and carcass of a chicken. Everything gets mulched and mixed with stabilizers and flavoring. The finished product is patted down and cut into a patty. Remarkably, every single kid says they'd still eat the nugget. Remember how we said this experiment always works? Not today.
Jamie visits the cooks of Central City Elementary to see how things are progressing. In the cafeteria, Jamie sees that the kids are actually eating the food. But back in the kitchen, Alice doesn't have a lot of positive feedback. That's par for the course. If only Jamie could get her on his side.
Jamie was able to bring in some extra help to support the ladies during the two week trial of serving nothing but fresh food. The homemade shepherd's pie is a big hit. Some of the kids are even eating broccoli. Alice doesn't believe they'll be able to sustain this type of production without the extra kitchen help. Rhonda tells Jamie they will need money to pay for the training of cooks. As tasty as the meals may be, the program falls apart if they don't have the funds to support it.
Rod Willis, the local talk radio host who has been giving Jamie a hard time since day one, is still a huge doubter of the revolution. Yet Jamie keeps returning to Rod's show hoping he'll eventually see the light. The two adversaries make a bet. If Jamie can get a thousand people to come into his kitchen to learn how to cook, Rod will consider changing his attitude and buy him a beer. Jamie has five days to make it all happen.
To entice some of the 14,000 kids at Marshall University to visit his kitchen, Jamie enlists the aid of a dance choreographer to help with a "Flash Mob". Jamie says, "A Flash Mob is about creating a really unusual experience in a really normal place and shocking everyone with something brilliant". What's the "something brilliant", you ask? Let's just say you have to see it to believe it.
Dozens of tables are set up on campus. Music fills the air. Dancers pop portable burners and woks onto their tables. Their synchronized dancing quickly draws in curious observers. The entire crew is rockin' and wokin'. It's a total party. The music ends, the stir fry is done and a college campus is instantly inspired.
Jamie meets Doug Sheils, the head of Cabel County Hospital. Doug is upset by the broad generalizations associated with Huntington being dubbed the unhealthiest city in America. When hospital representatives ask what kind of help is needed, Jamie pulls no punches. He needs 0,000 to keep the revolution rolling and he knows that Doug Sheils is the man who can give it to him.
The reps say they'll consider his request. But Jamie knows that in order to change their perception of what he's doing, his work at the schools MUST be a success. Jamie realizes he made a mistake the last time he was at the high school by closing down the French fry line. He takes center stage at an assembly to say the line for fries will open again alongside Jamie's line for fresh food. It'll be up to the kids with path they want to take.
Jamie isn't happy about his performance in front of the students at the assembly. He worries the kids will blow off his homemade spaghetti sauce and Caesar salad now that all of their old favorites are back in the mix. Then something amazing happens. As the lunch crowd arrives, the line for Jamie's meal stretches out the door. The line for fries is completely empty. Success!.
Jamie is throwing a huge food festival for all of Huntington with the promise of a big surprise. It's his way of saying thank you to the community. Doug Sheils will be at the festival. If you recall, Doug is the local hospital representative who can help provide the money needed to keep the revolution rolling.
The festival set-up is underway with many familiar faces lending a hand. The Edwards family looks like they've lost about a hundred pounds between them! As nice as it is to see all his old friends, Jamie is most excited by the fact that Doug Sheils is there. He presents school officials with a check for ,000 to keep the Food Revolution going in all Cabell County schools. It's a wonderful moment, but it's not over yet. Doug says his CEO authorized him to cut another check for ,000 to keep Jamie's Kitchen open, too. Excellent!
It's up to the community to keep things going after Jamie leaves. So, Jamie's Kitchen gets a name change. Its now called Huntington's Kitchen. U.S. Foods is going to sponsor all the food for the year so everyone can have free cooking lessons. To celebrate all the wonderful things happening in Huntington, Jamie introduces the musical entertainment for the festival: Rascal Flatts! Their fee for the concert: Zero dollars and zero cents. They just wanted to be part of something special. Mission accomplished.