You aren't missing anything. Sure, he's entertaining to watch but I have tried 3 random recipes belonging to him and was very disappointed in them all. I'm a fan of what he is doing with schools etc, i'm definitely not a fan of him using major amounts of the same 3 ingredients in every dish he cooks (lemon, chilli, olive oil)
I like him too, you can't knock his passion that's for sure. Have done many many Jamie recipes now , some of my favourites are from his 30 minute meals book, just some great tasty ideas that can be put together in no time.
It wasn't just in America he tried to change the food in schools. He met with the same results here in the U.K. too. I felt really sorry for him. He tried to ban fries and other fatty foods from the lunch time menu and some parents even queued up outside the school to give their children banned food.
"The chef led a TV campaign which saw him going in to school kitchens and helping staff to drop fatty foods from their menus in favour of healthier options.
The law was tightened in England for local authority primary schools in 2008 and secondaries in 2009, so that school lunches had to meet strict nutritional guidelines.
Sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks disappeared from vending machines.
The changes were not universally liked, and some parents took to passing their children fast food through the railings of their school."
I don't have an axe to grind either, I don't really rate his recipes.
I enjoy Jamie Oliver, have a couple of his cookbooks and I admire his passion for trying to make school lunches better for our children.
As for his recipes, I've mainly used his cookbooks (and others books) as guidlines for spice amounts, combinations. I very rarely follow a recipe to the letter. Every recipe I have consulted and adapted I have enjoyed.