- 7 Chefs' Halloween Candy Obsessions
- Party for a Cause at Chris Shepherd’s Southern Smoke
- In Knives & Ink, Chefs Tell the Stories Behind Their Tattoos
- Tailgate Like a Pro with 5 Ideal Sandwich-and-Beer Pairings
- Behold the Secret Burger Pizza at Emmy Squared’s Downstairs Bar
- Anthony Bourdain's Surprisingly Traditional Thanksgiving
- Team Estela Opens Flora Bar and Flora Coffee Tonight in The Met Breuer
- Restaurant Roots: Deuki Hong's Fried Chicken Dreams
- Chef Nick Stefanelli's Guide to Puglia and Rome
- The Best Trick for Cooking Button Mushrooms
Tonight* is the finale of Jamie Oliver’s "Food Revolution," and it’s been fascinating to see how challenging it is to change the American food system. I recently chatted with Michel Nischan about the show. He's the chef at Dressing Room, the late Paul Newman’s restaurant in Connecticut, and founder of Wholesome Wave, an organization that helps bring local foods to underserved neighborhoods. He said that while he loves Jamie, he thinks that Jamie's goal of getting schools to make fresh food from scratch every day is unrealistic. “If what he is doing triples the school lunch budget, it’s not sustainable. Schools have even deeper problems than food, and they all require more funds.”
Nischan’s proposed solution lies somewhere in between the current situation—in which schools get highly processed foods from big centralized companies—and Jamie’s ideal. He says that right now, there is a dearth of mid-size food-processing centers, which could turn local ingredients into preservative-free sauces, soups and other foods for school cafeterias. (It’s actually quite like the shortage of slaughterhouses, which has been a setback for the burgeoning local meat industry.) Nischan’s solution would benefit small farmers, who could sell their “field seconds”—the perfectly edible fruits and vegetables that don’t look good enough to take to market. (“You don’t need a pristine heirloom tomato to make a good sauce,” he says.) It would also be great for schools because they could buy better food within their budget that would come to them in an easy-to-prepare format. And of course, it would be a boon for the students, who would eat healthier, most likely tastier food.
*CORRECTION: This Friday, April 23, is the finale of Jamie's show. Can't wait!