Coronavirus-inspired cooking show from Channel 4 and Jamie Oliver facing criticism

Danny Thompson
Contributor
Chef Jamie Oliver visits BuzzFeed's "AM To DM" to discuss his new book "Ultimate Veg: Easy & Delicious Meals for Everyone" on January 09, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Jamie Oliver and Channel 4’s new coronavirus-inspired cooking show about creating meals using just kitchen cupboard ingredients has come under fire - for using an idea made popular by budget chef Jack Monroe.

The new Oliver-fronted show is due to start next week as the nation faces empty supermarket shelves and potential long spells of isolation amidst the continue coronavirus crisis.

In a statement from Oliver, he says the show, entitled Jamie: Keep Cooking and Carry On will shine a light on “store cupboard and freezer faves” while making “easy and delicious recipes”.

Read more: Jamie Oliver says he's 'better than he's been in a long time' following restaurant shutdowns

However, the an announcement about the show on Twitter from TV critic Scott Bryan has been met with scorn from food fans.

Many responded tagging @Channel4 to highlight the fact Jack Monroe, who uses the Twitter handle @BootStrapCook after the title of one of her books, has been giving such recipes away on social media to help those in need.

Jack Monroe attends the National Book Awards at RIBA on November 20, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Some commented the broadcaster should have used Monroe to front the show, as it is something she has specialised in “for years”.

Another tweeter accused the broadcaster of “wheeling out” Oliver for the show.

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Another advised people simply check Monroe’s book entitled Tin Can Cook, while sarcastically calling the decision to opt for Oliver “fabulous”.


In a statement about the new show, Oliver said: “Cooking nutritious meals for yourself and your loved ones has never been more important.

“This show will be packed with easy and delicious recipes that the whole family can enjoy, plus loads of tips, tricks and hacks for simple swaps and ways you can make the recipes work with what you’ve got.

“Let’s big up those store cupboard and freezer faves and hero recipes you can take lots of ways.”

Read more: Jamie Oliver and wife Jools to renew vows 20 years after wedding

Sarah Lazenby, Head of Formats and Features at Channel 4, added: “Who better than Jamie to help us all navigate the day to day challenge of eating well and feeding our families? Sharing his phenomenal skills, he’ll help to inspire and comfort the nation, as he teaches us how to make the most of what we have. “

“We intend the show to be uplifting and very, very useful.”

Jamie: Keep Cooking and Carry On starts Monday 23 March on Channel 4 at 5:30pm.