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Jamie's Kitchen Series.

Jamie's Kitchen Series, video, 2005, AIM Learning Group, Inc., $1070-$1640. Support: leader guide, workbook and worksheets, PowerPoint slides and handouts.

Jamie Oliver had a vision: to take fifteen unemployed young Londoner who'd never cooked in a restaurant and turn them into a crack team of chefs. Once they were trained, he planned to open a non-profit making restaurant--called Fifteen--where they would do the cooking. And, just like the best fairy tales, this story had a happy ending. He made it.

Not only did Jamie Oliver, of Food Network fame, document this story for a reality TV program; it's now available in a slightly different package: as a leadership and teamwork training program from a revived Video Arts.*

Most training videos are produced to supplement a classroom workshop. They are perfectly scripted to demonstrate a point and help participants "see" the learning objective. Jamie's Kitchen brilliantly takes the opposite approach. The real life experience occurred and was aired as a TV show, then a training program was created from it. We learn about leadership and teamwork by watching Jamie's behavior, his students' experience, and their business success.

Fifteen lessons--but not really

Jamie's Kitchen Series includes "Fifteen Lessons on Leadership" and "Fifteen Lessons on Teamwork." Each program comes with a leader guide, DVD, a customizable electronic version of the participant workbook, and other support materials such as PowerPoint slides and a poster.

There are suggested outlines for three different sessions--90 minutes, half day, and full day--along with various options for classroom activities and discussion questions. The recommended class size is between six and 12 participants.

The leader guide also contains preparation suggestions, small group discussion guides, readings on leadership and teamwork, detailed session plans, and printed copies of all workbook pages and presentation slides.

The video itself is the highlight of the training program. It's engaging and entertaining--just like watching a TV program. There's catchy rock-style music, a fast-paced feel, and nothing scripted except for the narrator's voice explaining what's going on and which lessons we should observe. We learn the story of Fifteen, Jamie's vision and dedication to the project, and how he leads the team to success.


For example, we see Jamie "lead by example" when he joins his team at 2 a.m. on the "bakery shift," helping them learn how to make bread and pastries. We also see him deal with a kitchen crisis (ruined chocolate tarts) by taking responsibility and helping his team solve the problem. As expected, "Fifteen Lessons on Leadership" focuses more on Jamie's behavior, while "Fifteen Lessons on Teamwork" focuses more on Jamie's students.

It's possible to watch the entire video program all at once or to view just certain chapters with specific learning points. Despite the program name, there are actually just five lessons on leadership and four lessons on teamwork. "Fifteen" is just a clever wordplay on the restaurant name.

The five leadership lessons are:

1. Lead the way.

2. Show them how.

3. Believe in them.

4. Deal with it.

5. Learn and adapt.

The four teamwork lessons are:

1. Get it straight.

2. Get on board.

3. Get stuck in.

4. Get better.

The teamwork lessons rely on Bruce Tuckman's "Form-Storm-Norm-Perform" group development model, which is explained in both the video and the leader guide.

One useful extra feature included in the training program is a DVD called "Choosing and Using DVD for Training." It shows how to use the facilitator guide, session plans, and even how to use a DVD. While elementary for a more experienced trainer, it could be a vital resource for those new to the classroom.

Also, it seems like a small thing to mention, but I really liked the binder format of the leader guide. It is a combination of a spiral-bound notebook and a fold-over binder cover. It seems sturdy and will hold up well under wear and tear.


Jamie's Kitchen Series provides very good leadership and teamwork lessons, with interesting characters and a credible real life storyline. Although it will especially appeal to Jamie Oliver and Food Network fans, it's designed to appeal to everyone. The premise is that anyone can learn leadership or teamwork from Jamie's example and the story of Fifteen. Personally, I would use this training program because I like the idea of taking reality-based TV scenarios and transforming them into a classroom workshop. In fact, I'd love to see other TV shows turned into training programs. Just think of the lessons we could learn!

*Program footage from Jamie's Kitchen [c] 2004 Fresh One Productions and Channel 4. Based on the television program Jamie's Kitchen. Licensed by FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Fifteen Foundation, the charity that Jamie Oliver set up to train and mentor unemployed youngsters. For more details, click the link.

Review by Cindy Huggett
Product Ratings

Jamie's Kitchen Series

Holds user interest ****
Acting/presenting ****
Diversity ****
Production quality ****
Instructional Value ***
Value for the money ***
Overall rating *** 1/2
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Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Huggett, Cindy
Publication:Training Media Review
Article Type:Video recording review
Date:Jul 1, 2006
Previous Article:The Versatile Leader.
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