Let Them Eat Chips

Article excerpt

Byline: Kevin O'Sullivan

WEEK Two of Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food... and the good people of Rotherham are showing their appreciation.

After driving to the local soccer stadium in his eco-unfriendly Range Rover, saintly Jamie is on the pitch treating the crowd to another of his preaching lectures about healthy eating.

"You fat bastard," yells one grateful fan before the terraces break into a rousing chorus of: "He's a w***er, he's a w***ker."

True enough. But poor Mr Oliver looks crestfallen. In his red Rotherham United shirt, all he's trying to do is tell 5,000 supporters that they're primitive Neanderthals who need to learn how to cook.

And to help him make his Channel 4 show a success.

Jamie seems utterly convinced that being a TV chef gives him the right to boss these gritty northerners around on matters of nutrition.

"I can think of better things to do on a Saturday," he snarls patronisingly.

"But I'm making myself do it because I want this project to work." How selfless!

Anyone would think he wasn't raking in a fortune from both the series and the book to go with it - yours for just pounds 12.50.

But at the football ground they're finding Jamie's fancy southern recipes hard to swallow.

"Unless it involves a chip pan he's got no chance," growls an unimpressed bloke while tucking into a processed pie. "We like 'us chips in Rotherham."

It's a difficult issue. No one's suggesting that it's not a good idea to persuade Jamie's chum Claire Hallam to stop gorging her way through 70 packets of crisps a week. …