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Canteen haute cuisine

With diners waiting weeks to pay pound;26 for pan-seared, diver-caught Scottish scallops with Jerusalem artichokes, Jamie Oliver's restaurant could hardly be more different from a school canteen.

But the celebrity chef and owner of Fifteen has abandoned his pound;17 bottles of olive oil to create 37p menus for more than 1,000 children at south-east London schools.

Mr Oliver, who is being filmed for a new Channel 4 TV series, began cooking at Kidbrooke school in Greenwich last year as an experiment to create healthy meals that teenagers will enjoy.

His menus, such as hot and kickin' chicken and herb-crusted fillet of fish, have proved so popular they have now been adopted by 50 schools in the borough.

Mr Oliver, an outspoken critic of school meals, believes that pupils are given "reconstituted rubbish" to eat.

In the spirit of the exchange, the head of the school's kitchen took to the chopping boards at Fifteen for a day, although diners there were not faced with a menu of school dinner classics.

Jamie's School Dinners is due to be broadcast in spring 2005

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