Jamie Oliver came under fire last night when his latest series about budget cooking aired on Channel 4, with viewers complaining that the dishes can’t have been as cheap as he suggested.
The new show, Jamie’s £1 Wonders, shows people how to make meals for just £1 a head, with the first episode yesterday taking us through an ‘energy-saving chicken roast’, a ‘cheesy pancake stack’ and a ‘no-oven pizza’.
Oliver also rounded the programme off with a simple chilli con carne that he’d made in the microwave.
But after tuning in, some viewers accused the presenter of spreading ‘fake news’ over the cost breakdown, complaining that it wasn’t quids in for them.
One person, clearly unhappy with the sizes of the portions for the chicken recipe, wrote: "One thigh per person!!! Most people will be starving after."
Another wrote: "I'm sorry but you can’t get three onions for 19p.”
A third said: "B****cks £1 a portion... A packet of chicken thighs is £3. Bacon £1.89...there is only 2 of us... other ingredients.”
They also added the hashtag 'fakenews'.
According to Oliver's official website, the £1 Wonders features 'delicious recipes that won’t blow the budget – all costing less than £1 a portion'.
It reads: "The aim of Jamie’s £1 Wonders is to be as useful to people as possible, with all prices correct at the time of filming (September 2022 and January 2023).
“We hope to arm you with the information and inspiration you need to make easy swaps, cook flexibly and make the most of the ingredients you buy, all within a budget.”
The website goes on to explain how the costings for each recipe have been calculated, saying prices have been compared across four leading UK supermarkets.
“Each recipe is priced at £1 or less per portion, which we’ve calculated based on an average of four UK supermarkets (Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons),” it continues.
“Please note that these recipes do not use higher-welfare ingredients, although we do use free-range eggs and Red Tractor-assured meat.
“We’ve calculated the cost per portion by the amount used, rather than the whole ingredient cost, as we believe you’ll already have many of the ingredients in your store cupboard/fridge/freezer.”
It adds: “We don’t include olive oil, salt or pepper in the final costings, as we think you’ll definitely have these.”
In response to the suggestion that some people also can't afford £1 a portion, Oliver's website says: "We totally hear that. We’ve simply used it as a benchmark to price meals that is helpful to everyone."
As for how the energy usage for cooking the recipes was calculated, and whether or not the recpies are low cost energy-wise as well, it goes on: "We made our recipes as energy efficient as possible, but we didn’t calculate the cost of the energy needed to cook each dish, as so many factors can affect it – who your energy provider is, the model and age of your appliance, not to mention the fact costs (per unit) are changing every day.
"However, we did find out where each appliance sits in terms of energy usage, so to be as helpful as possible, Jamie offers recipes that can be cooked from scratch in the microwave, the cheapest appliance to run.
"He also shows you how to use your energy efficiently – eg, if you are going to turn on the oven, fill it up (cooking two dishes at once), or if you are using the hob, how to use it effectively by batch cooking."
Jamie's £1 Wonders can be watched on Mondays from 8pm on Channel 4.
LADbible has reached out to the Jamie Oliver Group for comment.