University of Sydney joins forces with Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food

31 August 2011

This event is aimed at inspiring people back into the kitchen to cook healthy meals from scratch.
This event is aimed at inspiring people back into the kitchen to cook healthy meals from scratch.

The University of Sydney has joined forces with Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food Australia to serve up a feast of healthy cooking classes on Friday 21 October as part of Sydney's famed international food festival, Crave.

The lawns in front of the historic Quadrangle building will be transformed into a giant hands-on cooking class for a day when Jamie's Ministry of Food will show participants how simple it can be to prepare a simple, tasty and healthy meal. On the menu is Jamie Oliver's cracking burger and his tasty chargrilled chicken kebab.

The collaboration is between Jamie's Ministry of Food and a University of Sydney research centre which aims to significantly reduce the personal and social burden of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease by transforming the way we eat, work and live. Read more about this new centre. 

The event is aimed at inspiring people back into the kitchen to cook meals from scratch, instead of opting for easier food options, such as take away.

"Lack of knowledge, confidence and skills are the main barriers which stops people from cooking," says Alicia Peardon, General Manager Jamie's Ministry of Food Australia.

"When you know how to cook, you've got control over your life and your health. Cooking is one of the most important things we can ever learn in life."

Figures from the National Preventative Health Taskforce show that being overweight or obese affects more than 60 percent of Australian adults and 25 percent of Australian children. The most recent projections indicate that there will be an extra 6.7 million obese Australians by 2025. This frightening statistic demonstrates an urgent need for action.

Joel Smith, spokesperson for the research centre said the event would bring together hundreds of University of Sydney students, staff and the public to learn about healthy cooking and how easy it is to incorporate it into daily life.

"We were inspired to put together this event with Jamie's Ministry of Food because both organisations are working, in rather different ways, to provide people with the experience and skills to make better food choices," he said.

"Both organisations want to educate and help more people to be able to cook low cost, time efficient and delicious healthy meals. We want to equip people with the skills that will result in less incidences of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the long run."

Jamie's Ministry of Food is a practical solution to the problems of obesity and diet-related disease and a successful response to the lack of basic food skills in the population. The program inspires and empowers change in the way individuals and their families eat, and how they think about food.

Event details

There will be three cooking classes available on Friday 21 October:

  • 11am - Jamie's cracking burgers
  • 1pm - Jamie's chargrilled chicken kebabs
  • 3pm - Jamie's cracking burgers

Tickets cost $10 and limited to 10 people per booking.

The event is open to both students and the general public (aged 16 or above).

For bookings phone (03) 9933 3390 or email 

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Media enquiries:

University of Sydney - Rachel Gleeson, (02) 9351 6753, 0403 067 342,

Jamie's Ministry of Food Australia - Camilla Speirs, (03) 8506 1641, 0409 359 33, or Jessica Dunn, (03) 8506 1641, 0433 154 945,