Jamie Oliver is facing swift and fierce backlash and it's all over... rice.

British MP Dawn Butler has accused celebrity chef Jamie Oliver for his ‘punchy jerk rice’ product, which can be found of UK supermarket shelves.

The MP tweeted her dissatisfaction at Oliver’s use of the word ‘jerk’ to describe his product, which she argues bares no similarity to the actual Jamaican dish.

Instead Butler says the cook has appropriated the term purely for marketing potential.

“I’m just wondering do you know what #Jamaican #jerk actually is?” she tweeted.

“It’s not just a word you put before stuff to sell products.

“Your jerk Rice is not ok. This appropriation from Jamaica needs to stop.”

The term ‘jerk’ refers to the cooking process or seasoning of BBQ meats which are marinated in a mix of allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers and other spices which can include cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, garlic and brown sugar. However, Oliver’s product reads as a mix of “fiery chilli, aubergine and beans”.

As one woman of Jamaican heritage explained on Twitter, “There’s no such thing as jerk rice apart from what Jamie Oliver has concocted. That’s her [Dawn Butler’s] point.”


Although the father of five has yet to respond the the criticisms himself, fans of the cookbook author and entrepreneur have come out in favour of the popular cook. Some commenters have further misinterpreted Butler’s original tweet, and are defending Oliver’s decision to cook food from other cultures.


Other Twitter users have sided with Butler’s original comment.


What do you think of Jamie Oliver’s ‘Punchy Jerk Rice? Do you think it crossed the line? Tell us in the comments section below.