Healthy, simple dishes to inspire and satisfy.

That’s the ethos of Jamie’s Ministry of Food, which is managing the Demo Kitchen at this year’s Food and Drink Festival.

Today project manager Soraya Overend took to the stage to show festival visitors how to cook nutritious, tasty food from scratch.

Video Loading

Jamie’s Ministry of Food, launched in Rotherham by TV chef Jamie Oliver in 2008, now has projects in Bradford, Leeds and Newcastle upon Tyne.

Soraya, who has been with the Bradford hub since it began six years ago, said the Ministry of Food wanted to inspire people to adopt healthy cooking habits.

Soraya Overend (right) and her assistant Lorena talk the audience through a Ministry of Food recipe
Soraya Overend (right) and her assistant Lorena talk the audience through a Ministry of Food recipe

She said: “We teach people of all ages and abilities cooking skills. We run cooking workshops where we work with people that have suffered injuries, including stroke survivors — it’s all about getting people inspired.

“We’ve cooked thousands and thousands of healthy meals and done a lot of good. The feedback we get is that it’s changed people’s lives and made a real difference.”

Soraya, who demonstrated how to make a chicken and prosciutto Caesar salad, said the ease of ordering cheap fast food and takeaways was a barrier to healthy eating.

“It’s down to education,” she said. “A lot of people have lost the ability to cook. If we can educate the younger generation we can inspire the parents as well. It’s about getting them while they’re young!”

Try Jamie’s Ministry of Food’s recipe for chicken breasts with crispy prosciutto

Soraya Overend with her chicken and prosciutto caesar salad
Soraya Overend with her chicken and prosciutto caesar salad


  • Two sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Two 120g skinless chicken breasts
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • One lemon
  • Six slices of prosciutto
  • Olive oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil


1. Pick the thyme leaves off the stalks. Carefully score the underside of the chicken breasts in a criss-cross fashion with a small knife. Season with a little pepper.

2. Lay your breasts next to each other and sprinkle over most of the thyme leaves. Grate a little lemon zest over them. Lay three prosciutto slices on each chicken breast, overlapping them slightly. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining thyme leaves.

3. Put a square of cling film over each breast and give them a few really good bashes with the bottom of a pan until they’re about 1cm thick.

4. Put a frying pan over a medium heat.

5. Remove the cling film and carefully transfer the chicken breasts, prosciutto side down, into the pan. Drizzle over some olive oil.

6. Cook for three minutes on each side, turning half way through, giving the ham side an extra 30 seconds to crisp up.

7. Either serve the chicken breasts whole or cut them into thick slices and pile them on a plate. Serve with some lemon wedges for squeezing over, and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Lovely with mash and green veg or a crunchy salad.