Tuesday, October 7, 2014

News: Jamie's Ministry of Food reopens in Rotherham

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Jamie's Ministry of Food has reopened in Rotherham town centre offering friendly cooking classes where anybody can learn to cook healthy and tasty meals on a budget, improving diet, skills, health and confidence.

The Rotherham centre was the first in the country when it opened in 2008 as part of Jamie Oliver's TV series and remained open with the help of £130,000 a year from Rotherham Council. It became a social enterprise in 2010, enabling it to achieve financial stability and to bid for funding.

The All Saints Square premises closed "temporarily" last summer amid health and safety concerns but it has recently undergone a refresh after being taken over by Leeds-based charity, Zest - Health for Life.

Jamie chose Rotherham because the town had one of the highest levels of obesity in the UK back in 2007, and is delighted the centre has reopened with funding from Rotherham Borough Council to carry on the good work.

In a message to the staff he said: "It's so brilliant we have finally reopened in Rotherham city in the community where it all started six years ago. It's incredible guys! The Ministry of Food in Rotherham is as important as it's ever been."

To celebrate, respected chef and the man Jamie Oliver describes as his "Italian father", Gennaro Contaldo opened the centre and gave a cookery demonstration with the Mayor of Rotherham. He shared a few tips on cooking for a family on a budget while cooking up a simple tomato pasta for the crowd.

Joanna Saunders, head of health improvement at Rotherham Council, said: "We are delighted to see the centre reopening and getting back on track addressing health inequalities in Rotherham. Results from Leeds' Ministry of Food show significant improvements in key health indicators and we expect participants in Rotherham to benefit from weight loss, healthier lifestyles and increased confidence to cook from scratch."

Jamie's Ministry of Food website
Zest website

Images: Jamie's Ministry of Food / Facebook

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