JAMIE Oliver's restaurant chain has come under fire from Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman.
The veteran politician described his dining experience at one of the Jamie’s Italian eateries as "one of the most disappointing meals I've ever had".
Mr Sheerman also complained that the campaigning chef was the only witness he was unable to persuade to attend the Commons Education Select Committee, which he used to chair.
The MP made his remarks yesterday (Weds) during a Commons debate on Sure Start children's centres, hours ahead of the broadcast of Oliver's new Channel 4 show Jamie's Dream School.
Mr Sheerman said: "I shouldn't perhaps tell you this - one of the lessons I learned last summer, I took my daughter, who was at that time very pregnant with twin boys, and my wife to a Jamie Oliver restaurant in Kingston (Jamie's Italian).
"And it was one of the most disappointing meals I've ever had. I have eaten in restaurant Fifteen; it was wonderful, I'd recommend it to anyone as a flagship restaurant and a wonderful experience.
"But you start rolling out the Jamie Oliver offer around the country and the difficulties I found in Kingston on Thames in the summer are the same difficulties we have in education, where we're rolling out children's centres where the pilots look wonderful."
Mr Sheerman compared the Jamie's Italian chain to Sure Start centres, which increased in number from about 500 to 3,500 under Labour.
"This is a call for greater management," he said. "As you roll out an idea, you franchise it, you make darn sure there is a set of standards that people know, you expect them to reach that standard and those standards are actually delivered on."
The MP said Oliver's "press and publicity machine" had prevented the chef from giving evidence to the committee on his campaign for healthier school meals.
"One of the only failures I had of getting a witness to come in front of the select committee was Jamie Oliver," he said.
"And by the time you got through his press and publicity machine and his managers and his agents, we actually gave up trying to get him on school meals.
"We actually did a school meals investigation before Jamie Oliver had actually done his programme."