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Jamie Oliver's Mobile Kitchen, Healthy Cooking Classes To Roll Into The Valley

David Loftus

The star of this year’s Big Fresno Fair may not be a musical act. Celebrity chef and social activist Jamie Oliver’s big rig teaching kitchen will roll into the fair in October.

Through a partnership between the Jamie Oliver Foundation and The California Endowment, Oliver’s mobile kitchen will also make stops throughout the San Joaquin Valley, from Kern County to Merced County, between September and March 2014.

Sarah Reyes, of The California Endowment, announced the partnership during a state Department of Food and Agriculture meeting focusing on hunger in the Valley at Fresno State today.

“We are really excited to have this opportunity, not only to teach people how to eat healthy and cook healthy, but also to have somebody like a Jamie Oliver be able to partner with us to lift up the issue of eating healthy,” Reyes says.

She says the mobile kitchen staff will visit county fairgrounds and local communities, and teach residents, youth and school cafeteria staff how to use fresh fruits and vegetables and cook healthier meals.

The trainings will be geared toward the region’s unique resources, cultures, and needs, she says.

“They are going to do their homework,” she says. “They’re going to know what access to fresh fruits and vegetables people have, what people are cooking, and talking about cooking culturally, to the Southeast Asian population, the Mixteco population, the Mexican population, the American population.”

Oliver’s mobile kitchen was recently stationed in the Los Angeles area. The British chef gained national attention for ‘Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution,’ his ABC series focusing on reducing obesity, improving school lunches, and changing the way people cook and eat in Huntington, West Virginia and Los Angeles.

Rebecca Plevin was a reporter for Valley Public Radio from 2013-2014. Before joining the station, she was the community health reporter for Vida en el Valle, the McClatchy Company's bilingual newspaper in California's San Joaquin Valley. She earned the George F. Gruner Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism and the McClatchy President's Award for her work at Vida, as well as honors from the National Association of Hispanic Publications and the California Newspaper Publishers Association. Plevin grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is also a fluent Spanish speaker, a certified yoga teacher, and an avid rock-climber.
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