A big thank you and big hug to everyone for supporting and joining the Food Revolution. The craziest three days ever! We cooked with over 250 children across Dubai, we connected with more than 300 parents, 4 young chefs spent their weekend inspiring other children and in the process also discovering a little bit more about themselves and an additional 50 families joined us by cooking one recipe in their kitchens! I can’t thank you guys enough! Big YAY everyone!!
And all of this was possible because of a team that consists of super passionate people who continue to inspire me, support me and believe in me. These guys are so determined to make a difference that the small things we try and do often become wonderful!Thank You All!
Let’s together look back at Food Revolution Day 2016 and meet the people who made it all possible.
15th of May 2016: We began the Food Revolution Week (15th-21st of May) with the subscribers of DinnerTime (a weekly dinner service where the subscribers get a simple menu, recipes and ingredients to make cooking for their loved ones quick, simple and healthy) getting the ingredients and the recipe for one of the ten Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Recipes; the veggie stir fry. More than 50 families of four members each cooked it in their kitchens and it made me so happy.
Thank you Anette and the entire team of DinnerTime for carrying the recipe and making it possible to reach so many people through your special box!
19th of May 2016: What a morning this was! 100 children from the Indian High School joined the revolution along with their teachers and principal. We had an interactive 2 hour session with them where we questioned each other about what we ate for breakfast, how much sugar was in our “healthy breakfast” and what that was doing to our little bodies. We understood the differences between natural sugars and free sugars and how like everything else in life we need to maintain a healthy balance (sugar is not bad but too much of it is the problem).
We also turned into sugar spies and found out how much sugar was in each of the commonly consumed “healthy” breakfast items. What was interesting was that the both the children and the teachers were equally shocked! I think that kind of meant my job was done!
We then made the DIY fruity oaty cereal and learnt how each serving of the same had 1/5th the amount of sugar as compared to the store bought cereal. The kids loved putting it together, enjoyed eating it and promised to try the recipe at home with their parents. All the children also received certificates for cooking.
Thank you Principal, Indian High School for joining hands and for food educating the students. Thank you Miss Ruby Lahiri for doing this with me and thank you team Jamie’s Italian for always being the best people ever!! The team not only provided all the ingredients but was also there to teach each step of the recipe and inspired the children along the way.
Find the complete album HERE.
20th of the May 2016: Today was the big day. The day where everyone across the globe was celebrating good food and good health. The day started early with 50 children and their parents walking in through the doors of Jamie’s Italian, all equally excited and curious about what was in store for them.
We began the session telling the children some pretty scary and awful figures. How as we stood here that day, 41 million children under the age of five were obese, another 159 million under-fives were undernourished and how in this world where there is so much food, 795 million children were going to bed; hungry. As children who are so fortunate to be surrounded with such lovely produce and we along with our parents’ need to take responsibility of what goes into our little bodies and never ever waste food.
The children learnt how to make a fresh pasta and a tomato sauce made with real tomatoes, learnt about super foods and made their very salad. We also learnt about sugars and the food pyramid and made the DIY oaty fruity cereal! The children also got their very Food Revolution T-shirts from and certificates for joining the revolution from Jamie’s Italian and goodie bags from BBC Good Food ME and Mother, Baby and Child.
Thank you Mansij, Anish, Luis, Valor, Nancy, Mani and everyone in the team at Jamie’s Italian for making me a part of your big day on the 20th and for supporting me at the Indian High School, like always. Your energy and enthusiasm is so infectious that it is difficult for one not to feel inspired and fortunate!
Find the complete album HERE.
21st of May 2016: 100 food champs came along with their parents to experience a tasting journey of a lifetime at Galeries Lafayette Le Gourmet. This year Food Revolution Day was, above all, about sharing the power of cooking and we were (and will be) focusing on ten recipes that together can teach us all the skills we need to feed ourselves and our families’ good, nutritious food for years to come!
Taking from there, we had ten stations; each with one of the ten recipes. Upon arrival, the children were divided into teams of ten each and were handed a tasting guide to keep a count of how many recipes they will be tasting (a tick for yes I tried and a no for well, I didn’t) and also a breakdown of how many fruits, vegetables, spices, grains, proteins, dairy, etc. they experienced. This was their passport to the land of fresh, real and scrumptious food. The children then moved in groups from one recipe to another and learnt what went into each, how it was made, tried their hand at making some and tasted all of them.
It was a day where we learnt to say yes to trying new recipes, flavours and ingredients. By the time the children ate their way through all the recipes, you had to be just there to believe how proud they felt with all the ticks on their guides.
There so many other beautiful things about this event. One, that 4 absolutely incredible children from fellow ambassador and the very inspiring, Sandra’s after school cooking club came to assist and inspire the chefs at each of the ten food stations. It such a lovely experience for them to take up this responsibility and for the 100 children who were looking up at them in disbelief and in awe for being so cool! Thank you Sandra and thank you little chefs for making this day special.
The other wonderful thing about the day was how three very talented and generous chefs from the food industry came to show their support for the event. They each helped the children to understand food better, cooked for them, talked to them and joined us in raising awareness. I couldn’t have imagined this, really and thanks to Chef Russell for making this happen. Thank you Chef Tomas Reger, Chef Darren Velvick and Chef Robert Stokes. I really really appreciate this and can’t thank you all enough.
The children also got their very Food Revolution T-shirts from and a certificates for joining the revolution from Galeries Lafayette Le Gourmet and goodie bags from BBC Good Food ME and Mother, Baby and Child.
Thank you also to the team at Kenwood ME for providing us with blenders for our hummus counter.
Thank you Chef Russell and the entire team at Galeries Lafayette Le Gourmet for believing in this really crazy and magical event. For your time, your passion, your generosity, for all the lovely food and most importantly for making this happen.
Find the complete album HERE.
What a fantastic week it has been! Each time people who want to change the conversation around food for children and their health come together, we end up making magic. I also end up learning so many new things about children, about food and myself every time I put one together. Not to forget the memories I make.
Years later I am going to look at this frame which has signatures of from the teams at Indian High School, Jamie’s Italian, Galeries Lafayette Le Gourmet, DinnerTime and remember this week. I crafted and gave similar ones to all of them to recollect these memories too.
Celebrating Food Revolution Year Long
The big day is over but we are keeping this revolution alive 365 days to create a healthier and happier world! Each month I will be sharing one out of the ten Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution recipes with all the children who participated this year so we can all cook it together. Just one recipe in 30 days! Yes, that is it, so doable right?
The newsletter that the children will get will contain the following:
- Their very own recipes cards
- Picture of the final dish for reference
- A short instructional video
- A visual step by step guide to make the recipe.
- A tasting guide to keep a record of their journey
And at the end of the year I assure you we will have children who will appreciate new flavours, taste new ingredients and flavours, develop a love for real food and will make tons of happy memories with you in the kitchen.
We are really hoping that all of you reading this rather long post will also join us with your children. So please leave me a comment if you’d like to receive the same for your little one and I’d be so happy to send it across.
The support from local media this year was incredible. Everyone helped us create an awareness, helped us connect with people and introduced the Dubai chapter of Food Revolution to many others. So very grateful to all of you; BBC Good Food ME, Mother, Baby and Child, The Indian Trumpet and FoodeMagdxb.
Before I end this rather long post, I also want to send a big hug to all the other ambassadors in our team who continue to work tirelessly 365 days of the year across the globe, Seemah & Jo and the team at UK for driving us, answering our countless emails, for keeping our sanity and their own in check. And to Jamie for inspiring and for bringing us all together. Much love.
Images: Personal album, approved stills from the Food Revolution team and logos from the respective partners. If you like any of the pictures on the blog and would like to use those please write to me. I put in hours of work behind each post and would love to share it with you but it would hurt me if use those without my permission.Just ask!