I managed to finish this mini series of Jamie Oliver’s. This travelling series shows how Jamie travels around different towns of Italy and he explores the way the locals cook. One of my favourite episodes was where Jamie traveled to a monastery in a countryside expecting to see a beautiful garden of herbs and veggies with experienced monks who knew how to cook authentic italian countryside fare.
However he got the shock of his life when he realised that the monks eat out of cans and the once famous herb garden was bare and detrited. So he went there, managed to raise funds for rebuilding the garden and he taught a monk how to cook using natural and fresh ingredients.
But throughout this episode, Jamie was actually joining the monks’ lifestyle… he participated in the hour of silence with the monks every evening, ate with the monks and interacted with the monks.
The whole purpose of the trip was actually for Jamie to understand Italy, its people and food. In a way I felt Jamie was doing ethnography as well. While he did impart knowledge to the monks in this episode (the exchange of knowledge was actually two-way) the whole season shows Jamie working in restaurants, learning how to cook again, talking with italians and really experiencing the italian lifestyle.
what impressed me was that he had the passion and drive to really work into the nitty gritty, talk with italian mothers and learn what they do and how they do it.
After understanding that, Jamie added his own interpretation into the food and made the dish his own.
(edit feb 28)
travel shows are kinda mostly about understanding, experiencing, enjoying, curiosities and also interaction.
just like how we are to conduct ethnography, how we understand travelling and what we can do to improve exposure of the growing economies and increase awareness of the emerging markets.