Last month, Nation’s Restaurant News presented the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation and StanfordResidential Dining & Enterprises its MenuMasters award for Healthful Innovation 2016.

The awards, which ‘honour culinary excellence in menu development,’ recognise restaurants, food service providers and chefs that strive to exceed the evolving demands of their customers.

 This year’s honour recognised Jamie Oliver CookSmart, a nine week course based on Jamie’s Ministry of Food programme, which teaches undergraduate and graduate students cooking and nutrition fundamentals. Jamie Oliver’s Thai Green Chicken Curry was served at the event.

Chef David lott accepted the award on behalf of both organisations. lott, who trained in London to study Jamie’s recipes and teaching style, called the program ‘magical.’ He added ‘people are just amazed at what we’re doing. And I think we opened a lot of eyes.’

The Jamie Oliver CookSmart programme began in September 2016 with 27 students from Stanford University, and has more than doubled its enrolment in the first year. lott said “to experience the growth that my students have in the class between week one and week nine, because that’s when the big things happen, is validation. And I think… it is probably the high point of my career, to be able to watch the pride and confidence in these student’s eyes.”

MenuMasters also honoured Chef David Barzelay with its Innovator of the Year award for his San Francisco restaurant Lazy Bear, and inducted Chef Norman Van Aken into their MenuMasters Hall of Fame. The event falls during the National Restaurant Association’s annual show in Chicago, the largest annual gathering of the restaurant, food service and hospitality industry in the U.S.

Viva la revolution!

Photo: StanfordResidential Dining & Enterprises