A Family in Fresno Meets the Big Rig

A Family In Fresno Meets The Big Rig

Mon 09 Dec 2013

Story by The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (USA) Team

The Jamie Oliver Foundation Big Rig truck is on the move, gearing up to teach cooking skills with local communities and empower everyone to fight for real food. Here’s what one family had to say about their experience on the Big Rig in Fresno last month:

“Our family, Greg and Sandy (the parents), Hunter (14 years), Morgan (12 years), and Jacob (10 years), lives in the San Joaquin Valley of central California. We are in one of the largest agricultural valleys in the world. We grew up with fresh, ripe fruits and vegetables readily available to us throughout the year. Sandy worked in the restaurant industry when she was in her late teens and early twenties. She loves to cook and bake. There aren’t many days she’s not creating a new bread recipe or baking something delicious in the kitchen. Greg cooks great dinners often; BBQ meats, stir fry, eggplant lasagna, and more. All of the family does their annual water-bath canning of fruits, jams, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, and the like each summer. We will be diving into pressure canning just as soon as we get a pressure canner. We love to cook and enjoy what we cultivate. Oh, and our friends and neighbors love the foodie gifts they receive too.

Our family has been cooking in the kitchen together from the beginning. We love the Food Network and watch it regularly. We even grow a vegetable garden each year, adding something new to the mix continually. We heard about the Big Rig classes while taking a tour of it at our local fair. Walking into the Big Rig was wonderful for us. It was like being on a set for a show; so many kitchenettes and so much fun! This was a state-of-the-art kitchen rig. Everything we needed was provided: local instructors, kitchens, tools, and all of the ingredients. We took multiple classes cooking in different food genres. As parents, our focus was for our kids to get excited about cooking something different. They were able to do all of the same preparations the grown-ups did and couldn’t wait for us to allow them to do the same in our kitchen at home. They also learned kitchen safety. Nice! Thanksgiving dinner will be a breeze this year with all of us pitching in!

There were several wonderful items about the classes that stood out for us. We were able to meet local cooks and restaurant owners. From them we learned where the best herb gardens grow in our area, where we could find unusual ingredients such as water kefir, and where to buy local heirloom seeds for our garden. Best of all, we learned how to prepare and cook healthy meals in a short period of time. We made new friends in each group. It was worth the forty minute drive to the classes. We are looking forward to the Big Rig’s return to our area so we can take more classes.”

For more stories like Greg and Sandy’s, plus live updates and to see the classes in action, follow along with @joffbigrig on Twitter and Instagram.

Find out more about the Big Rig and the 2013-2014 tour here, and sign up for classes in communities across California here. Here’s to all of us working to bring real food knowledge and cooking skills to local communities!

The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (USA)



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