Chef and food activist Jamie Oliver is once again spreading the good word, putting his name on an annual day of awareness and promoting food education – Food Revolution Day on May 17.

The event, held in cities across the globe, is aimed at being a global movement. Oliver first introduced the world to Food Revolution Day in 2010, as part of the ABC TV series, “Jamie’s Food Revolution.” On the show, Oliver worked to improve school food, setting up a community kitchen in Huntington, West Virginia to teach people how to cook from scratch. The show was a success and a second series tackled food and eating habits in Los Angeles. He has since set up the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, a non-profit aimed at inspiring people to cook and tackling health-related problems like obesity and diet-related diseases.

“Since I’ve been working in America, I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who have come out to support the Food Revolution. More than 630,000 people have signed the petition, over 300,000 of you subscribe to our newsletter and thousands of you have written to me. The only message I keep hearing is that you believe your kids need better food, and that you want help to keep cooking skills alive. That’s why this Food Revolution matters,” he said.

The momentum of the movement led to Oliver launching Food Revolution Day in May 2012. Over 1,000 events were held globally in 62 countries with the help of local ambassadors. And that included in San Francisco with the help of local ambassador Ann Blankenship. “There are so many ways people can participate and it’s really for all ages, from adults to kids. Last year, I organized a bake sale and taught kids how to make bread. The kids really took to it,” she said. “But it can be anything – as simple as cooking dinner at home for some friends with fresh ingredients or just living the day by the credo, cook it, share it, live it.”

Previous Coverage: Food Revolution Day 2012

For this year’s event, Blankenship, with the help of the Consulate General of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco, is putting together a three day celebration, San Francisco A Tavola, in honor of the Year of Italian Culture here in the U.S.   Events will include special dinners, a local food tour guide and videos with partner, which will feature local chefs preparing their favorite Italian dishes. Blankenship said that the entire Bay Area is encouraged to create their own family-style Italian meal. “Really, in the spirit of the event, it’s all about getting in the habit of cooking at home and preparing meals that are healthy and delicious,” she said. “We’re all busy, but just setting aside some time or choosing one day a week to prep, and cooking enough to take you through the week – there are so many resources out there.”

There will be events throughout the weekend all over the Bay Area. Click here for more information.



Photo Credit: really short, via Wikimedia Commons