Reality television has brought us crash-dieting couples, full-scale kitchen combat, and, occasionally, a bit of genuine entertainment. But in a new series, British chef Jamie Oliver
isn’t just remaking one kitchen—he’s tackling an entire town.
In a yet-unnamed series to premiere on ABC
, created along with Ryan Seacrest Productions, the TV personality and so-called “Naked Chef” will travel to an American town—likely one from a part of the country known for its obesity problems—and teach its residents how to better their nutrition, eating habits, and general lifestyle.
Oliver has done similar projects in the past, both on and offscreen. He has helped to reshape school lunch programs on “Jamie’s School Dinners,”
trained underprivileged youth as chefs on “Jamie’s Kitchen,”
and taught country-dwelling Brits to eat more healthfully on “Jamie's Ministry of Food.”
And the “Naked Chef,” of course, is no stranger to television.
Still, the project seems ambitious—if not a tad presumptuous. It’s hard to imagine a town willing to subject itself to the eyes of a national television audience and the scorn of a big-time celebrity (and a British celebrity, at that). There’s no question that much of America does need to rethink its eating habits; rising obesity levels and reliance on fast food are major causes for concern. But whether the answer starts with a reality show—that’s up for debate.