London Pastor: “Let’s pray for Jamie Oliver. He wants to be creative but he is actually annoying too many people with his innovations. He needs prayer.”
A South London Pastor is asking Christians to pray specially for Jamie Oliver after the launch of the celebrity chef’s “Punchy Jerk Rice” and “Jollof Rice.”
Whilst some say the chef is creative, many others are also complaining that he is messing about with much-loved dishes. In 2014, Jamie Oliver’s Jollof Rice did not go down well with West Africans who dislike his style of their traditional dish. There was a public outcry at the time, and now he has done it again with his so-called – “Jerk Rice.” So much so that Pastor Olawale Bent thinks the celebrity chef needs more than a rebuke, but rather, he needs prayer.
Many are outraged by what Oliver has made of their traditional recipe including London MP Dawn Butler.
Dawn Butler MP twitted “I’m just wondering, do you know what Jamaican Jerk actually is? It’s not just a word you put before stuff to sell products… Your Jerk Rice is not ok. This appropriation from Jamaica needs to stop.”
The Brent Central MP, who was born to Jamaican parents, was not the only one mystified by the so-called Jerk rice. Some people have pointed out that the concept of “Jerk Rice” is not really appetizing. You can have either Jerk Chicken or Jerk Pork, but for rice, no way!. Jerk goes with meat, and not rice. It describes a style of cooking in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a hot spice mixture called Jamaican Jerk spice.
Whilst many commentators on social media say Jerk rice is not a Jamaican dish and is not even possible to be one of sort, others believe it is quite disrespectful to take a culture’s cuisine and botch it just for profit. It’s like making a pancake and call it pizza.
Another interesting tweet came from someone offended by another misrepresented dish – Jamie Oliver’s Jollof Rice.
Simi tweeted, “This is Jamie Oliver’s ‘jollof Rice’ with ‘tomatoes on the vine’ & ‘coriander.’ It’s nothing like the original, well-loved West African dish. All he need do is ask an African chef to help him out, so I have to agree with @DawnButlerBrent on his #jerkrice appropriation.”
Back in 2014, many people of West African descent were flabbergasted by Jamie Oliver’s Jollof Rice. Yemisi – A Nigerian woman resident in the UK, said “Like many West Africans, I was aghast when I saw the picture of what Jamie Olivier tried to pass off as Jollof Rice. Twitter was set ablaze by the righteous fury of West Africans protesting the audacity of an international white celebrity chef who dared to plagiarise (and badly so too), West Africa’s much-beloved dish, Jollof Rice. To an outsider, this might seem like much ado about nothing, but hey, Jollof Rice is not just any rice, it is a national treasure, a national signature, and as #Jollofgate fury has proved, it is an African pride. Touch our Jollof Rice; we will come at you with united fury!”
Although, some think Oliver is creative with foods and flavour and his creativity should be appreciated, others take it more personal because of his unprofessionalism in certain areas of his creativity. Here’s how to think about Jerk Rice or Jollof Rice: it means to West African nations and Jamaicans what paella means to the Spaniards, what fish and chips mean to Brits or what burritos mean to Mexicans. These traditional dishes are generally regarded as the heart and soul of the natives and should not be tampered. So when a British celebrity chef published his own misrepresented dish on his website, there will always be the possibility of controversy.
Pastor Bent, explained: “We need to pray for Jamie Oliver. He is doing more harm than good and he does not know it. After his Jollof Rice and Jerk Rice, what next – Fufu Rice or Callaloo Rice?”