Categories
Blog

10 Ways to Celebrate Sustainable Gastronomy Day

10 Ways to Celebrate Sustainable Gastronomy Day: chefs as catalysts for change

On Sustainable Gastronomy Day, we celebrate the vital role chefs play in crafting a more sustainable food system. As culinary professionals, chefs possess a unique influence over consumers, driving cultural and behavioral shifts toward sustainable practices. Chefs are not merely creators of exquisite dishes; they are educators, innovators, and advocates for a healthier planet.

Chefs as Influencers and Educators

Chefs have the power to shape public opinion and influence food choices. By promoting locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, chefs can guide consumers towards more sustainable eating habits. The culinary arts can be a conduit for sustainability, fostering a deeper appreciation for traditional food practices that respect natural resources and cultural heritage.

Sustainable Gastronomy Day highlights how chefs, through their creativity and commitment, can address global challenges such as food waste, climate crisis, and the loss of biodiversity. By integrating sustainability into their menus, chefs can be agents of change.

Feed the Planet’s Like a Chef St. Lucia graduates, 2024. Read more here.
Taking Action: 10 practical steps for a more conscious kitchen

Culinary professionals are pivotal in championing sustainability in their kitchens and communities, connecting to a global movement towards a better future. Here are 10 practical steps chefs can take to promote sustainability, protect livelihoods, and foster a sustainable food system:

  1. Source Locally and Seasonally: Explore the journey from farm to fork, and prioritize ingredients from local small-scale farmers and suppliers to support regional economies. Engage with local producers to understand the harvesting schedules and plan menus around seasonal produce. This not only ensures the freshest ingredients but also promotes biodiversity and sustainable agriculture.
  2. Minimize Food Waste: Implement strategies to reduce food waste in kitchens, such as nose-to-tail cooking and repurposing leftovers. Educate kitchen staff on proper storage techniques to extend the shelf life of ingredients. Utilize food waste tracking tools to identify and address key areas where waste can be minimized.
  3. Educate and Inspire: Use your platform to educate staff and customers about the importance of sustainable practices. Share stories about the farmers and producers you work with and the benefits of sustainable sourcing. Create awareness through menu descriptions and signage that highlight your commitment to sustainability.
  4. Engage in Continuous Learning: Enroll in programs like Sustainability Education for Culinary Professionals to stay informed about the latest sustainability practices. Attend workshops, conferences, and seminars focused on sustainable gastronomy. Network with other chefs and sustainability experts to exchange ideas and best practices.
  5. Optimize Energy and Water Use: Invest in energy-efficient kitchen equipment and implement practices to reduce water usage. Regularly maintain and update appliances to ensure they operate efficiently. Educate staff on simple habits, such as turning off equipment when not in use and using water-saving techniques during food preparation and cleaning.
  6. Reduce Single-Use Plastics: Transition to reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging and serving materials. Encourage customers to bring their own containers for takeout and provide incentives for doing so. Work with suppliers to reduce plastic packaging for delivered goods.
  7. Promote Biodiversity: Incorporate diverse and heirloom varieties of fruits, vegetables, and grains into your dishes. Incorporating beans and legumes into your menu not only promotes biodiversity but also provides a nutritious and sustainable protein source. Experiment with lesser-known ingredients that can add unique flavors and nutritional benefits to your menu.
  8. Engage in Community Outreach: Partner with local food banks and shelters to donate surplus food. Organize cooking classes and workshops that teach sustainable cooking techniques to the community. Participate in local farmers’ markets and food festivals to promote sustainable gastronomy.
  9. Lead by Example: Demonstrate leadership in your kitchens by ensuring fair wages, equal opportunities, and continuous training for your team. Champion women’s empowerment in agriculture and culinary arts, advocating for better representation and support in these fields.
  10. Advocate for Change: Participate in community and industry initiatives that promote sustainable food systems. Collaborate with local schools and organizations to teach children about healthy and sustainable eating. Be a citizen chef by advocate for policy changes supporting sustainable agriculture and food systems.

By embracing these actions, chefs can make a significant impact on global sustainability efforts.

Local to Global: taking your impact to the world stage

Chefs can further this impact by engaging in policy advocacy and public education. By collaborating with governments, NGOs, and industry stakeholders, chefs can influence food policy to support sustainable practices. Participating in forums, policy discussions, and campaigns allows chefs to advocate for a food system that prioritizes sustainability, inclusion, and health.

By reducing food waste, sourcing sustainably, and supporting ethical practices, chefs can contribute to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and SDG 13 (Climate Action). Moreover, by advocating for fair trade, local sourcing, and protecting the livelihoods of farmers and producers, chefs also support SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities).

On this Sustainable Gastronomy Day, let’s celebrate the transformative power of chefs as agents of change. By taking simple, everyday actions, chefs can lead the way toward a more sustainable and delicious food future for all. Through education, advocacy, and practical action, culinary professionals can make a lasting impact on both people and the planet.

Join Us: how you can inspire change with Worldchefs
The Feed the Planet team, June 2024. Read more about the Feed the Planet partnership here.

“Chefs have become increasingly involved in
the global movement to reduce food waste,
championing food waste reduction efforts in their
own restaurants, as well as empowering local
communities to fight food waste. In June 2018, the
World Association of Chefs Societies (World Chefs)
met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to shed light on the
links between the culinary industry and food waste,
environmental degradation, and hunger.”

Chefs As Agents of Change, FAO and UNESCO Collaboration on Food and Culture

Worldchefs offers resources and education to empower culinary professionals worldwide to be food champions. Whether it be tuning in to Worldchefs’ webcast Sustainability Around the World or exploring Feed the Planet programs, everyone has the opportunity to take action.

One key initiative is Sustainability Education for Culinary Professionals, an open-source online curriculum available on Worldchefs Academy. This comprehensive course, consisting of eight lessons, equips chefs with the knowledge and tools to think and act sustainably. Topics range from sustainable sourcing and food waste reduction to energy efficiency and community engagement. By completing this course, chefs can become champions of sustainability, influencing their peers, patrons, and the broader community.

This October, Worldchefs’ global community will gather together in Singapore for the 2024 Worldchefs Congress. Join the discussion surrounding the biggest challenges and opportunities facing culinary professionals and help inspire trends that will shape the future of the hospitality industry.

Check out the Speakers to discover hospitality professionals paving the way toward a sustainable future. Meet industry leaders like Emile van der Staak, Head Chef of Restaurant De Nieuwe Winkel, and thousands of chefs from around the world with a shared commitment to making a difference.

“The food forest was the catalyst for our story around botanical cuisine. We realise that many of the challenges we face come back to our plates. Our food system is one of the biggest drivers of global warming. That’s why we only use plants: botanical gastronomy.” — Emile van der Staak

Register now to expand your network and gain skills for a more conscious kitchen.

Cover image: A plate from Restaurant De Nieuwe Winkel’s current menu: Awakening.


For more on Social Impact in the Kitchen, join us on June 25th to discover the inspiring journey of Jordann Norbert.
#THISISWORLDCHEFS
Categories
Blog

The Secret to Elevate Your Drink or Dish

The Secret to Elevate Your Drink or Dish

Dilmah Elixir of Ceylon Tea is a dream ingredient for elevated gastronomy and mixology to create exotic and sophisticated dishes and drinks. It is a natural extract of single-estate tea infused with other high-quality ingredients to make a range of.

It is equally useful for professional mixologists and chefs, because high-quality ingredients are all available in one bottle, and a new creative flair can be added to whatever you wish to create.

When cooking, world-renowned Chefs have used it in salad dressings, marinades, desserts, soups and sauces to add a unique flavor profile to their dishes. With its real tea content and naturally sweetened flavor profile, it can be used in a number of ways to heighten sweet or savory dishes.

For the mixologists, whether you are making iced tea, cocktails, mocktails, smoothies, slushies, or milkshakes simply pour the Elixir of Ceylon Tea into the drink and give it a mix. 

Since only the finest Ceylon Tea is used when creating the Elixir, it is rich in plant antioxidant goodness and uses low sugar. That combination makes it a guilt-free indulgence that is quick and easy to use.

This May, Dilmah’s all-natural Elixirs of Pure Ceylon Tea made a spectacular debut in Asia’s Cocktail Capital! Tea Grower and Dilmah Chairman/ CEO Dilhan C. Fernando, led guests on a delightful journey, tasting our exceptional teas and discovering the unique terroir of Ceylon before introducing our low-sugar, naturally sweetened Elixirs with their distinctive flavour profiles.

Star mixologists Bannie Kang and Vijay Mudaliar impressed the gathering with their tea-inspired iced teas, t-cocktails, and low-ABV creations. Tea is truly a natural luxury that inspires, and Dilmah’s Elixir of Ceylon Tea range can effortlessly elevate this experience to extraordinary heights. After all, it’s mixology and gastronomy inspired by nature. 

Dilmah brought the exciting news to Asia first but it is soon to be unveiled in other regions. Stay tuned!


ABOUT DILMAH TEA

Sri Lankan family tea company Dilmah, was established by Merrill J. Fernando to bring quality, Single Origin Ceylon Tea, garden fresh and unblended, to tea drinkers around the world. His Dilmah Tea brand was the first genuinely ethical tea brand, bringing a smile to the faces of the underprivileged in Sri Lanka, whilst giving consumers quality, authenticity and natural goodness in their cup of tea.


BECOME A WORLDCHEFS PARTNER

Partner with Worldchefs to get connected with our international membership of professional associations, hospitality schools, and companies around the globe.

Learn more about our partnership opportunities here.

Categories
Blog

Real Tea for Real Tea People; the newest addition to the Dilmah family

Real Tea for Real Tea People; the newest addition to the Dilmah family

Dilmah Tea is delighted to introduce yet another exquisite addition to their long-standing legacy of producing exceptional teas at Dilmah. This collection features some of the finest Ceylon tea, meticulously packaged in luxury tea bags. This selection pays homage to Dilmah’s humble beginnings in 1985 and reflects the values, principles, and unwavering commitment of their Founder, the World’s Teamaker, to produce the finest Ceylon tea.

Crafted with care by a family of tea growers, each of these small-batch, luxury, artisanal teas embodies their passion and love for tea.

It’s not just tea. It’s real tea for real tea people.

Shop the Dilmah 85 Reserve and more: https://shop.dilmahtea.com/collections/85-reserve


ABOUT DILMAH TEA

Sri Lankan family tea company Dilmah, was established by Merrill J. Fernando to bring quality, Single Origin Ceylon Tea, garden fresh and unblended, to tea drinkers around the world. His Dilmah Tea brand was the first genuinely ethical tea brand, bringing a smile to the faces of the underprivileged in Sri Lanka, whilst giving consumers quality, authenticity and natural goodness in their cup of tea.


BECOME A WORLDCHEFS PARTNER

Partner with Worldchefs to get connected with our international membership of professional associations, hospitality schools, and companies around the globe.

Learn more about our partnership opportunities here.

Categories
Blog

A Chef’s Guide to Food as Medicine

A Chef’s Guide to Food as Medicine: a prescription for a paradigm shift
chef hippocrates
food as medicine
culinary medicine
nutrition and health

The notion that healthy diets support good health is by no means a new concept. Hippocrates of ancient Greece, considered the father of medicine, famously said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This age-old wisdom continues to resonate, reminding us of the profound connection between diet and health.

In today’s world, where a myriad of crises impact our food systems and our health, understanding the role of food as medicine is more crucial than ever. Each meal presents an opportunity to support our health or undermine it, highlighting the importance of food in promoting overall wellbeing.

As chefs, we hold the responsibility of harnessing the power of food to nourish not just appetites but bodies, minds, and communities. Through culinary expertise, chefs have the power to transform ingredients into potent prescriptions for health and food systems transformation. As we delve deeper into the concept of food as medicine, let’s explore how chefs can deliver on this responsibility one dish at a time.

Culinary Medicine: empowering healthier choices

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”

― Ann Wigmore
food as medicine
culinary medicine
nutrition and health

The impact of food and diet on health is undeniable. There is an overwhelming body of evidence linking poor diets to diseases like heart conditions, diabetes, and cancer. But food isn’t just a culprit; it’s also a remedy. The evolving field of Culinary Medicine is helping to bridge the gap between allopathic medicine and the healing power of food, marrying the two iconic white uniforms: the chef’s jacket and the doctor’s coat.

Culinary Medicine is a multi-disciplinary approach combining the art and science of food and cooking with the evidence-based practice of medicine. It involves incorporating culinary knowledge such as meal preparation, knife skills, and recipe modification to improve the nutritional quality of the foods. The foundation of that nutrition knowledge and culinary skills is used to help individuals make healthier food choices and improve their health.

Whether it be in the clinic or the kitchen, education is a central tool in advancing conversations around preventative medicine and overall health literacy. Food, a great connector, is a gateway to deeper discussions about health and nutrition, empowering individuals to make informed dietary choices.

With so many people craving information and guidance when it comes to healthy diets, chefs can help bring great nutrition and health literacy to the table. Through educational initiatives led by chefs, communities can gain a better understanding of the role of food in promoting good health and in preventing and managing chronic diseases. By fostering a culture of culinary education and empowerment, chefs can inspire individuals to become proactive stewards of their own health.

From the Clinic to the Kitchen: integrating the science of medicine into culinary tradition
food as medicine
culinary medicine
nutrition and health

Chefs, armed with their culinary expertise, have the remarkable ability to unleash the magic of food by selecting and combining ingredients rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds. Take, for example, the vibrant hues of fruits and vegetables, each color representing a unique array of phytonutrients with distinct health benefits. From the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric to the cardiovascular support offered by leafy greens, the palette of possibilities is as diverse as it is delicious.

Incorporating food as medicine into culinary practices not only elevates the dining experience but also empowers chefs to make a meaningful impact on the wellbeing of eaters. It provides a holistic approach to nourishment that celebrates the symbiotic relationship between food and health, without forgetting flavor. Dr. Timothy Harlan, a renowned physician and chef, emphasizes the transformative potential of a ‘food first’ perspective, where chefs bring their creativity to high-quality, nutritious, and local ingredients.

I come to the conversation from a ‘food first’ perspective, not from a clinical perspective, from ‘Look, this has to be great food that just happens to be great for you,’

That’s really interesting when you think about what it means to be a chef and the training that chefs get because you’re using great quality, fresh, and these days more and more local ingredients. In a way that just happens to be healthy. The unique piece for those of us who do what I do for a living is that we come to it from that ‘food first’ perspective.

― Dr. Timothy Harlan

Embracing the concept of food as medicine is not just a trend; it’s a paradigm shift towards a healthier, more sustainable food future. The food as medicine perspective reminds us to reflect on the many roles of food with reverence, and to take action to ensure our food system supports the power of food in better health and beyond.

Citizen Chefs for Citizen Eaters: putting food and health on the policy menu

Food as medicine solutions are undeniably making strides in improving health outcomes, yet it’s crucial to acknowledge that they are not a silver bullet. While Culinary Medicine holds tremendous potential, it must be complemented by broader policy changes aimed at enhancing access to and affordability of nutritious and culturally appropriate food options, and greater investments in health education.

Chefs play a pivotal role in advocating for these systemic changes. By championing sustainable sourcing practices, supporting local small-scale family farmers, and advocating for policies that prioritize food equity, chefs can contribute to building a more resilient and inclusive food system.

We need more citizen chefs for citizen eaters—individuals who actively engage in local food systems and advocate for policies that ensure equitable access to nutritious food for all. By becoming informed and engaged in dialogue around policy, we can drive positive change, increase access to nutritious options, and support initiatives aimed at promoting food justice. Through collective action and community engagement, chefs and eaters alike can work towards building a future where everyone has the opportunity to thrive, nourished by a food system that prioritizes health, equity, and sustainability.

food as medicine
culinary medicine
nutrition and health
food policy

Food as medicine represents one piece of the puzzle towards achieving a healthier future. While food as medicine solutions hold immense promise in improving health outcomes, they must be accompanied by systemic changes in food policy and greater investments in health education and access to preventative care.

Worldchefs’ members and food systems actors around the globe are advocating for a more delicious, equitable, and sustainable food system. By embracing the concept of the citizen eater and putting food at the top of the political agenda, we can work together toward a future where everyone has access to nutritious, delicious food for better health and better lives.


For more on Culinary Medicine, tune into our recent podcast episode with Dr. Timothy Harlan: Culinary Medicine: Bridging the Gap Between Food and Health.
#THISISWORLDCHEFS
Categories
Blog

My Dreams Came True – Jozef Oseli

My Dreams Came True – Jozef Oseli

About the Chef: Jozef Oseli

Chef Jozef Oseli
Chef Jozef Oseli, member of Worldchefs

Jozef Oseli was born on 4th of March 1949 in Medvode. He graduated from the Vocational School of Hotel Management and Faculty of Public Administration at University of Ljubljana.

At the age of 24 in 1973, he became head of organization and service at castle Brdo in Kranj, the residence of former Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito. During Tito’s presence, Jozef and his wife Metka, were responsible for Tito’s personal service at many state visits and other ceremonial events at Brdo. For their work, Josef and Metka received the state ‘Order of Labour with a Silver Wreath’.

Later he needed a new challenge, so he decided to make good on his desire to evolve even more in cooking. He enrolled into the E.A.C.H. School of Artistic Cuisine and Hospitality Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France. This was a turning point in his life and he began his second career.

In 1999 he presented Slovenian cuisine with 10 dishes in Fabien Ballasan’s book, World Delishes. From 2002 to 2008 he published articles in many different Slovenian Gourmet Magazines: ONA, LISA, DOBER TEK, GT and 5 ZVEZDIC, where he presented around 300 different international and typical Slovenian recipies. In the last ten years he was also a lecturer at the Academy Culinaire in Croatia.

As a chef and culinary crew leader of the Slovenian team he assisted at Miss World Competition on the Seychelles Islands in 1997 and 1998. In 2011 he led Slovenian team at the global event “World Chefs Tour against Hunger” in South Africa.

Experience and Association Membership
Best International Cookbook in the World Award 2023
  • Member of Worldchefs
  • Worldchefs Without Borders Committee member
  • Worldchefs global approved Judge
  • Member of Slovenian Chef Association
  • Member of Academie Coulinaire de France
  • Member of Emirates Culinary Guild
  • Member of Saudi Arabian Chefs Association
  • Chefs Association Mediterranean and European Region / SCMER /
    Split, Croatia
  • Ambassador for Slovenia Chefs Ass. European and Mediterranean
    Areas
  • Egyptian Chefs Association
  • Member of ACEEA (Asociatia Curturala Euro Est Alternativ) Romania
  • Manager R.T.D. Institut International Lausanne Suisse
  • Manager l’Escole Superieure de l’Hotellerie et de la Gastronomie
    Poznan, Pologne
  • Honorary Member of Chef’s Guild of Sri Lanka
  • Member of Myanmar Chefs Association
  • Member of Sommelier Slovenije association
Prizes:
  • Yugoslavian State Orders
  • Gold and silver medals and awards from the GTZ Slovenian
    Competition

My Dreams Came True

My Dreams Came True

My Life Experience

The first volume of the autobiography with the title “My Life Experience” presents the author’s early life, growing up and the beginnings of his professional path. There is a detailed account, supported by plenty of photographic material, of his work at the Brdo castle in Kranj, where the author and his wife Metka worked in the service of Tito, former president of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The book presents a great number of anecdotes connected with their work with Tito in the final decade of his life, which they always performed with the highest level of responsibility, professionalism and pride.

Recipes

The second volume of the trilogy – “Recipes”, contains about 500 recipes that he collected, recorded, developed and prepared throughout the years. His private archive collection is much more extensive, therefore he made a selection of some of the most interesting recipes for each category: Slovenian recipes from the 18th and 19th century, a selection of Tito’s favorite dishes, wok specialities, bread, and some interesting food decorations. The book also offers some recipes from the best restaurants and culinary specialities from Brazilian, African, Arabian, Indian, Malaysian, and Japanese culture.

The recipes are suitable for all culinary enthusiasts and offer several options how to spice up daily menus as well as ideas for special occasions.

Adventures by Chef Jozef

My Dreams Came True box set

The third volume – “Travels with Chef Jožef”, takes the reader on a journey to 26 countries where the author worked, upgraded and shared his vast knowledge. The anecdotes recount his inspiring life story and the enormous amount of effort that he put into his professional development.

There are stories from his many visits abroad where he worked as a chef, led culinary expeditions, organized and participated in countless charity events and represented Slovenia as a culinary ambassador of knowledge, international judge at culinary competitions as well as member of the Chefs without Borders committee.

The book was written to record and keep for posterity the amassed professional knowledge and countless unforgettable experiences with colleagues across the globe, as well as to serve as an inspiration to younger generations to become interested in this hard and responsible profession.

For those interested buying, you can order books directly from Chef Jozef. My Life Experience for 55,00 EUR, Recipes for 65,00 EUR and Adventures by Chef Jozef for 50,00 EUR. A set of books is 150,00 EUR. Shipping not included.
Email [email protected]
to order.

Categories
News Member News Industry Trends Blog Company / Partner FeedThePlanet - Blog FeedThePlanet Education

Young Chefs Are Taking the Industry Back to School

Young Chefs Are Taking the Industry Back to School: In Conversation with Rebecca van Bommel, Worldchefs Young Chefs Ambassador

What do the next generation of industry leaders have to say about key challenges for the future? We hear from Rebecca van Bommel, an up-and-coming culinary voice and one to watch. Her early career already has an impressive résumé: Worldchefs Global Development of Young Chefs Committee member, Culinary Federation Canada’s Young Chef Liaison, Red Seal Certified Young Chef, and competitor with Culinary Team Canada. She shares her insights to help pave the way for young people in hospitality.
How did you wind up in this profession? What was your pathway?

I knew from the start that I wanted to pursue something in the culinary field. I’ve always loved baking, making different desserts for my family and friends, cooking. As soon as I finished high school, I went straight into a two-year culinary school program and that just solidified the passion I had for the industry and how much I loved it. From there, I did some apprenticeships in Ireland and really enjoyed that as well, and just kept cooking. I did a few different avenues—hotels, local pubs, a Michelin star—and then COVID hit and the industry slowed down a bit. Some chefs I had been working with previously on a contract basis at food shows reached out to me and had a food sales position open. And that’s how I transitioned over into that avenue. I’ve been enjoying it.

What do you love about being in the food broker world?

The food broker world I love because you get to see behind-the-scenes. I get to interact and talk with different chefs every single day, talk to them about what products they’re using and why, and get a little insight into their restaurant or their business and how they run things and what they prefer. It’s really cool for me, coming from a chef background, to get a behind-the-scenes look into different chefs’ lives, so that’s been enjoyable for me.

You also cook at a retirement home. What is unique about serving that market?

Working in the retirement community, that opportunity also presented itself during COVID. I got into that world and realized—wow—they make really good food. We serve steak, we serve lamb, we serve lobster tails to our residents.

Depending on the restaurant, you often don’t get to talk to the people who are eating your food. Retirement is completely different because it’s the same people every single day, and you can actually build a relationship with them, find out their likes and dislikes. There’s a lot of creativity allowed in retirement. You’re not making the same dishes every day like you would often in a restaurant. Every day is different. And you can take what the residents are telling you, what they love, what they don’t love, and take that into account and create amazing food for them.

Competition—it’s something you do a lot at a very high level. Any lessons learned from the competition world?

I did my first competition while I was still in culinary school. It was a small, local one. I said, ‘I’ll do this just for fun. See where it goes. Just have fun with it.’ I got 1st place. And then I was kind of like, oh, this is fun.

It’s a good stress. It’s a stress, but it’s a stress that motivates you to want to try better. Segueing from that competition, I was invited to compete at the Culinary Olympics on a regional team. And that was probably the most stressful summer of my life—the practicing and preparing—and I said, ‘I will never do this again. This is not worth it.’ But then we got to IKA. Just to see all the other competitors and how big it is, and how proud you feel. Now I’m on my third Culinary Olympics team, and I don’t think that’s over any time soon.

Let’s jump into the world of sustainability. Where are our young people in this equation?

I think young chefs especially are extremely aware about sustainability in the industry and in their careers. I know it was something we talked about when I was in culinary school and how important it is to prevent food waste. Food waste is a huge part of it, and I think young chefs for the most part are very much aware and try to do their best about that. Another big factor is plastic waste, which again resurfaced with the pandemic because there was a lot of single-use plastics that were necessary at the time.

Young chefs are definitely aware of it and know that in order to have a bright future it’s something that they need to be mindful of on a daily basis. The issue with young chefs is sometimes they don’t have the support in their jobs to be able to do those types of things.

Are they empowered to make that change?

I would say it largely depends on what type of restaurant they’re in. For example, I’ve worked in a small local pub that got a lot of their ingredients from local farmers, and we used everything we could. We’d use carrot tops to make pesto and if we were to get fresh meat in, we’d use every part of the animal.

But then on the other hand, you have things like fine dining and Michelin stars, where they’ll make a square pan of something and cut out circles, and then you have all this waste. Or they’ll only pick the most perfect-looking carrots to put on the plate because of course we eat with their eyes first, and that’s important for that level of dining.

I think it depends on where they’re working. Young chefs in a smaller, independent restaurant would feel more empowered than say, a Michelin-starred restaurant where there’s that level, that standard that they have to keep up. And it’s so much harder to do that sustainably.

How about in competition?

With competitions it’s very hard to keep it sustainable, especially with the number of practice runs you have to go through to get to the competition. But I know even in the rules and the judging criteria, they’re becoming a lot more mindful of that.

In the past, where you might have used plastic tasting spoons, now the standard is to use wood or bamboo, something compostable. Same with sorting waste. They really focus on that. If you have trim from vegetables that you could use in a soup or use in another dish—save that, set it aside, put that to use. It’s a big focus, but it’s hard to do.

Another thing we try to do on our team—one of our competitions is cooking for 110 people. If we’re going to do a practice run, we want to find either 110 people we can feed so that food is not going to waste, or somewhere we can donate the food.

What would your advice be to a young person who wants to do things sustainably at a workplace where that’s not a priority?

I would say to start with a small change, because even the small things make a difference. You’re not going to change the chef’s mindset overnight and suddenly everything’s going to be sustainable. But if there’s one little thing, one little practice in the restaurant where you could suggest a more sustainable alternative, start with that. And that might open the doors for future conversations. That might get the chef thinking as well, ‘What else could I do? That was an easy change that didn’t affect the quality of my food at all. What else could I do to be more sustainable?’

Is sustainability something that is top of mind for young chefs looking for a place to work?

It’s hard to speak on behalf of all young chefs, but I would say sustainability isn’t necessarily top top. It’s definitely cuisine, style, food, and skill. But there is a niche in restaurants that are nose-to-tail or farm-to-table. In that sense, a lot of young chefs look for those types of establishments and want to work there, and those are more sustainable establishments naturally.

I don’t think they go in looking for sustainable businesses, but they might go looking for something that operates in that sense, where they’re very mindful of using local fresh ingredients and using every part of the ingredient.

What do you want to see from employers today?

Young people, we’re kind of driven by low risk, high reward. Going back to the pandemic as well, when a lot of chefs didn’t have work because restaurants were closed, it gave them a chance to breathe and a lot of them realized, ‘Why am I doing this to myself? Why am I working crazy, long hours, no days off? Really tough work environments, stressful work environments, no breaks. Why, when I could have better work-life balance?’ I think the pandemic brought that into focus. The working conditions that are typical of our industry, I’m not saying everywhere is like that but it’s kind of classically how it’s been.

There’s a big lack of workers because young chefs have realized ‘I don’t want this life anymore and if you can’t give me a more balanced schedule, some benefits, health benefits or otherwise, and better pay, I’m going to go to another industry.’

Do you think the foodservice community is doing enough to support young people as they grow into this profession?

A resounding no. What young chefs are looking for, and I hate to say it this way—money is a huge driver because at the end of the day, if you can’t put food on your own plate, why are you going to spend your time putting food on other people’s plates?

There are a lot of supports in place, like from Worldchefs, but when it comes to the actual work side of things, the typical environment, especially in restaurants, in the culinary industry, it’s not supportive of young chefs.

Can you give us one piece of advice for young chefs, and one piece of advice for those of us who have been in the industry for quite a while longer?

The piece of advice I have for young chefs I’m borrowing from one of my instructors in culinary school who told me this and it hit home and enhanced by experience as a young chef.

Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Volunteer for everything. If you’re in school and there’s an event happening and they need two volunteers, put your hand up and join. If they’re having an amazing guest speaker but you have to give up your Saturday afternoon, go to that guest speaker. It’s going to enhance your experience and enhance your education. You can go to culinary school and pass all the courses and get the diploma, but if you haven’t gone above and beyond and done all the extras and joined competitions, you’re not getting the same experience as someone who has.

Go online, go to Worldchefs, take part in these webinars, take part in these free courses, especially the sustainability ones because that’s where the future’s going. And do all these extra things and you will have so much more knowledge and so many more tools to empower you going out into the workforce.

And for the more established generation of chefs?

Listen to the young chefs. While more accomplished chefs, of course they have a world of experience. They’ve been here, they’ve been there, they’ve done this and that in many competitions and cooked in many different places and have tons of knowledge and experience from that.

But still, keep in mind to listen to the younger generation of people who aren’t so established, people just starting out. They also have very valuable ideas and valuable knowledge themselves and can teach you things that you may not have even thought of. Sustainability would be a huge one of those because it’s something we think about a lot more and we grew up with and know more about that we could teach to you.


chefs
young chefs
rebecca van bommel
sustainability

Young Chefs get a discounted rate to Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2024, in Singapore this October! Don’t miss the Bill Gallagher Young Chefs Forum and your chance to connect with industry leaders!

Looking for more ways to get involved with an international community of motivated Young Chefs? Learn more about Worldchefs’ Young Chefs Club here.

Learn more about Worldchefs’ Feed the Planet programs at www.feedtheplanet.worldchefs.org.

chefs
young chefs
rebecca van bommel
sustainability

Start your journey towards a more conscious kitchen with Worldchefs’ FREE online Sustainability Education for Culinary Professionals course on Worldchefs Academy! Learn about key topics in food systems at your own pace, and give your career a boost with a valuable digital badge to show you’ve completed the training program.

Feed the Planet is powered by our friends at Electrolux Food Foundation. Visit the Electrolux Food Foundation website here and explore Replate at replate.com.

Categories
Industry Trends Blog

It’s Time for Michelin to Break the Glass Ceiling

By Clare Crowe Pettersson

Paris│28 March, 2024

Earlier this month, The MICHELIN Guide revealed its 2024 selection of top restaurants in France and Germany. The century-old institution can make or break a restaurant. It could also be doing a lot more to break the glass ceiling.

Leaning on young chefs to grow its audience and stay relevant, the Michelin Guide has focused in on the next generation of industry leaders under the age of 40. While more young chefs than ever were honored by the prestigious award, the Guide faces criticism for its continued disparity in gender representation.

The Michelin Guide France includes 639 Starred French restaurants—the most of any country in the world. With 52 chefs celebrating their first Star this year, only six women were among them. In Germany, only three of the 36 Starred restaurants have women as head chefs.

The women behind France’s 2024 Michelin Stars

Eugénie Béziat, the first-ever female head chef at the Ritz Paris’ flagship restaurant, L’Espadon, was the only woman awarded her own one star. For reference, Auguste Escoffier, Worldchefs’ first honorary president, was the Ritz’s first head chef, co-founding the luxury hotel in 1898.

Anne-Sophie Pic remains the only French female chef to earn three Michelin stars for her restaurant, Maison Pic.

Manon Fleury and Laurène Barjhoux earned a star for their Paris restaurant Datil.

Adeline Lesage of Nacre, Emilie Roussey of Le Moulin de Cambelong, and Florencia Montes of Onice earned a star alongside their male co-chefs.

With more and more female-led top restaurants, why aren’t they in the Guide?

About a quarter of chefs are women, and more women are working in kitchens than ever before. So why is recognition so elusive?

In her speech at the 2024 ceremony, The Michelin Guide’s International Director Gwendal Poullennec asked, “Where are the women? Too few women are leading kitchens, despite the fact that more and more of them are working in kitchens.”

A study conducted in 2022 found that of the 2,286 Michelin-starred restaurants spanning 16 countries, just 6% were led by women, and the percentage of the World’s Best 100 restaurants with a female head chef just scratched past 6.5%. For every female-led Michelin-starred establishment, there are 16 run by men.

Industry awards like Michelin are the epitome of global recognition for chefs and restauranteurs, with the power to determine their success in the fine dining realm. With such an established platform to lead, they have an important role in the movement towards a more diverse, equitable, and sustainable hospitality sector.

Increasingly, women are in top kitchens around the world. The question isn’t just “Where are the women?”, it’s why aren’t we honoring the whole cast of characters, male and female, behind a restaurant’s success? Michelin Stars are not awarded to chefs, they are awarded to restaurants. However, the reality is that the system gives credit to the head chef and does little to platform the rest of the team. Michelin, and the industry at large, must address this and do more to highlight the team effort behind the success of a restaurant, from the sous-chef to the dishwasher.

We need more recognition for every member of the hospitality staff. We need greater visibility to encourage diversity at all levels. We need more women in leadership roles. For fine dining, the most marginalized shouldn’t be the niche, they should be the norm.

Women do belong in the kitchen

Whether it be a century ago or today, women often go unseen and unheard.  The reasons behind the underrepresentation of women in leading culinary roles are complex and deeply rooted in sexism and structural inequalities.

So many chefs credit their mothers for inspiring them to pursue culinary careers. They reference their recipes, recounting stories from a matriarch’s kitchen featuring techniques and flavors that would surely put some professional kitchens to shame.

Recognizing unpaid domestic and care work is central to understanding the unique constraints for women in the labor market. It’s a reality most of us have witnessed first-hand over generations. Women are time-poor, exhausted, undervalued, and deprived of the self-care, development, and financial independence necessary for full participation in the labor market. This perpetuates the unjust gendered division of labor, creating a key barrier before women even get into the workplace.

“Across the world, without exception, women carry out three-quarters of unpaid care work, or more than 75% of the total hours provided. Women dedicate on average 3.2 times more time than men to unpaid care work. There is no country where women and men perform an equal share of unpaid care work. As a result, women are constantly time poor, which constrains their participation in the labour market.”

International Labour Organization, 2019

Despite women making up 40% of the global workforce, they still take on the bulk of childcare and household duties. This makes building a career challenging enough, let alone navigating the unique and intense demands of a culinary career. The culture of top-tier gastronomy is especially difficult to reconcile with family life.

The answer isn’t to pretend that gender-based issues don’t exist but to have a supportive workplace where these issues can be addressed and navigated, for chefs of all genders. The long hours, low pay, and lack of benefits that characterize the culinary profession represent a huge issue for every industry professional, regardless of gender. The lack of an appropriate support system for food workers is an issue that impacts men and women alike.

For the industry to move forward, leadership needs to meet the needs of their staff, prioritizing human rights over profits. Rather than focusing on the bottom line, we need to push beyond the basics to empower staff with access to healthcare, better work/life balance, mental health support, and support for a plethora of other challenges from eating disorders to job security.

We need more conversations in our community to address these issues. But it is not only women who are calling for change in the fine dining industry. The culinary space is having a harder time attracting new talent, with young people opting to pursue other professions in light of its reputation.

For anyone entering the industry, and for the many of us who take pride in being a part of it, we have to imagine what we want our lives to look like. For young professionals, envisioning their future might include marriage, children, owning a home, and holidays abroad. For the average person working in a kitchen, is this a realistic vision? It should be, but for most culinary professionals, it’s a long way off. Collectively, we need to work towards a standard for livelihoods that makes these milestones achievable.

What would a women-led industry look like? Perhaps if the female chefs of times gone by had been given the same opportunities to shape our current realities as their male counterparts, we’d see a lot more cooks enjoying better health and being able to afford childcare. Far beyond advocating for women in the culinary industry, we need to advocate for real solutions to long-standing failures for working people.

Incredible progress has been made, thanks to generations of women breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes. Still, so much more work is needed to address the disparity in gender representation, particularly in leadership roles and pay equity. Gains in culinary education standards, apprenticeship opportunities, and mentorship provide hope for a more inclusive industry ahead.

Rewriting the standards (and history) of excellence

Eugénie Brazier was the first woman in history to earn three Michelin Stars (six, actually, with three Stars at two different restaurants). Known for exacting standards, the Lyon-based chef and restaurateur was one of the most influential figures in gastronomy during the 20th century. A single mother, by the time she turned 40 she was the chef-owner of two restaurants and one of the world’s most decorated chefs. She was a mentor to many who passed through her kitchen, including legendary chef Paul Bocuse. Why did he erase her from his history? If only he hadn’t. If only more of us knew her name and credited her legacy.

The new generations are less chauvinistic, which is great to see. I want to see more balance between men and women in kitchens, respecting one another.

Janaína Torres, The World’s Best Female Chef 2024

Until more women and people of color are recognized by a system that puts so much stock in fine dining guides like Michelin, we’re still stuck in the past. As an organization that prides itself of setting the highest international standards, Worldchefs is proud to recognize the many women who make this industry what it is, from the nonnas whose recipes grace our menus to the female-led kitchens shaping the future of the sector.

As we close out Women’s History Month, we renew our commitment to moving the dial on gender equity in kitchens around the globe. Not just as a step towards achieving gender equality, but as a step for a better future for all.


#THISISWORLDCHEFS
Categories
News Member News Industry Trends Blog Company / Partner FeedThePlanet - Blog FeedThePlanet Education

Sustainability Champions at LPU Laguna

Sustainability education is becoming increasingly important as we face new challenges due to the climate crisis. At Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) in Laguna, students are not only learning about sustainable practices—they’re also putting their knowledge into action through their participation in Worldchefs’ Feed the Planet programs.
from principles to practice

As part of the Sustainability Education for Culinary Professionals initiative, LPU Laguna students undergo training in sustainable cooking techniques and work with local farmers to source seasonal, organic ingredients. The program has had a significant impact on the students, who have gained a deeper understanding of the importance of sustainable practices in the food industry. They have also developed new culinary skills and techniques that allow them to create delicious and nutritious meals using locally sourced ingredients.

Beyond the students, the benefits are far-reaching. A positive impact on the environment and the local community is clear, too. By sourcing ingredients locally, the program reduces the carbon footprint of the industry and supports local farmers, who are often small-scale and face challenges in accessing markets.

The success of Feed the Planet programs at LPU Laguna is a testament to the power of sustainability education. By providing students with the knowledge and skills to create sustainable food practices, they are not only making a positive impact on the environment, but they are also preparing for careers in the food industry that are increasingly focused on sustainability.

a feed the Planet champion

Chef John Carlo Palacol, a faculty member of LPU, is making waves as a sustainability educator, inspiring students to be responsible stewards of the environment through their love of food. Palacol, a graduate of Culinary Arts and Hotel and Restaurant Management, has been teaching at LPU Laguna since 2015. With his extensive background in the food industry, he has been able to incorporate sustainability principles into his culinary classes, making sure that his and other chef instructors’ students understand the impact of their food choices on the environment.

Chef John Carlo Palacol
Sustainability Education
LPU Laguna
Chef John Carlo Palacol

He’s created a waste management program that teaches aspiring culinarians to sort waste and create nutrient-rich compost, spearheaded LPU Laguna’s Eye for the Green Kitchen program that teaches students how to cook from root-to-stem using locally sourced, seasonal, and organic ingredients and reduces the carbon footprint of the school’s kitchen, and mobilizing the culinary department to develop a sustainable farm, and soon a hyperlocal menus.

Palacol’s efforts in promoting sustainability have not gone unnoticed. This year he was awarded the Worldchefs’ Feed the Planet Champion Level 3 digital badge for his commitment to sustainable culinary practices.

As a sustainability educator, Palacol hopes to inspire his students to become responsible citizens and leaders in their communities. By instilling in them the values of sustainability, he believes that they can make a positive impact on the environment and create a better future for all. Chef John Carlo Palacol is a shining example of how educators can integrate sustainability principles into their teaching, inspiring students to become responsible stewards of the environment. He is a true champion of sustainability and a role model for students and educators alike.


Learn more about Worldchefs’ Feed the Planet programs at www.feedtheplanet.worldchefs.org.

Start your journey towards a more conscious kitchen with Worldchefs’ FREE online Sustainability Education for Culinary Professionals course on Worldchefs Academy! Learn about key topics in food systems at your own pace, and give your career a boost with a valuable digital badge to show you’ve completed the training program.

Feed the Planet is powered by our friends at Electrolux Food Foundation. Visit the Electrolux Food Foundation website here and explore Replate at replate.com.

André Wiringa Start Reverse
Reverse Leadership Strategy
Hospitality Brand Transformation
Customer Experience

Cover image: LPU Laguna CITHM 

Categories
Blog

Real Tea for Real Tea People; the newest addition to the Dilmah family

Real Tea for Real Tea People; the newest addition to the Dilmah family

Dilmah Tea is delighted to introduce yet another exquisite addition to their long-standing legacy of producing exceptional teas at Dilmah. This collection features some of the finest Ceylon tea, meticulously packaged in luxury tea bags. This selection pays homage to Dilmah’s humble beginnings in 1985 and reflects the values, principles, and unwavering commitment of their Founder, the World’s Teamaker, to produce the finest Ceylon tea.

Crafted with care by a family of tea growers, each of these small-batch, luxury, artisanal teas embodies their passion and love for tea.

It’s not just tea. It’s real tea for real tea people.

Shop the Dilmah 85 Reserve and more: https://shop.dilmahtea.com/collections/85-reserve


ABOUT DILMAH TEA

Sri Lankan family tea company Dilmah, was established by Merrill J. Fernando to bring quality, Single Origin Ceylon Tea, garden fresh and unblended, to tea drinkers around the world. His Dilmah Tea brand was the first genuinely ethical tea brand, bringing a smile to the faces of the underprivileged in Sri Lanka, whilst giving consumers quality, authenticity and natural goodness in their cup of tea.


BECOME A WORLDCHEFS PARTNER

Partner with Worldchefs to get connected with our international membership of professional associations, hospitality schools, and companies around the globe.

Learn more about our partnership opportunities here.

Categories
Blog

Finland wins the 26th IKA/Culinary Olympics

Finland wins the 26th IKA/Culinary Olympics

Four days of culinary spectacle in Stuttgart: Since the opening of the IKA/Culinary Olympics last Friday, more than 1,200 international chefs have provided moments of pleasure at the Stuttgart trade fair grounds. The Olympic champions have now been crowned: finally, it was Finland that came out on top of the superlative culinary competition.

The link to the original article can be found below.

“Four days, more than 1,200 participants from 55 nations and over 7,000 menus: The IKA/Culinary Olympics is a culinary competition of superlatives and the 26th edition of this event with a long tradition was a great success,” says VKD President Daniel Schade. “The atmosphere was captivating and special from start to finish. We received great feedback from the chefs, fans and guests – we are proud of that.” As the organizer of the IKA, the German Chefs’ Association (VKD) congratulates the winners of the Culinary Olympics. “All of the participants put fantastic performances on the plates and showed what true culinary artistry looks like,” says Daniel Schade. “We would like to thank all the chefs for being here in Stuttgart and are already looking forward to returning in 2028 for the 27th IKA/Culinary Olympics – again in Stuttgart and again alongside Intergastra.”

At the IKA/Culinary Olympics, international culinary talents are given a stage to showcase their skills. All participants are passionate about the cooking profession and once again provided great taste experiences and visual highlights that will be remembered. In the National Team category, Finland ultimately won the competition and took home “Olympic” gold. The team impressed the jury with its precision and artistic craftsmanship. The team from Switzerland followed close behind in second place, winning the silver medal for their outstanding performance. Bronze went to Iceland in the National Team category. The German National Team achieved ninth place in the overall ranking.

As in 2020, Sweden won gold in the Junior National Team category, defending its Olympic title. Norway took second place and silver. Denmark took bronze. The German Junior National Team came fifth.

There were special results this time in the Community Catering and Live Carver categories: The Compass Group Culinary Team Finland and the Swiss Armed Forces Culinary Team/SACT were rated equal on points by the jury to three decimal places. They therefore shared first place in the Community Catering Teams category and both received gold. The Norway Community Catering Team follows in third place with the bronze medal. In the Live Carvers category, An Xuan Li (Taiwan) and Tereza Buchtova (Czech Republic) shared first place. Kuan Ju Li (Taiwan) took the bronze medal.

The Winners in the Different Categories

National Teams

  • Gold for Finland
  • Silver for Switzerland
  • Bronze for Iceland

Junior National Teams

  • Gold for Sweden
  • Silver for Norway
  • Bronze for Denmark

Community Catering Teams

  • Gold for Compass Group Culinary Team Finland, Finland
  • Gold for Swiss Armed Forces Culinary Team / SACT, Switzerland
  • Bronze for Norway Community Catering Team, Norway

Regional Teams

  • Gold for PaisWorld Culinary Team Korea, South Korea
  • Silver for Skåne Kulinar, Sweden
  • Bronze for Cercle des Chefs de Cuisine Lucerne, Switzerland

Live Carvers

  • Gold for An Xuan Li, Taiwan
  • Gold for Tereza Buchtova, Czech Republic
  • Bronze für Kuan Ju Li, Taiwan

The medals of the individual exhibitors and live carvers as well as the ranking of all teams can be found at: www.culinary-olympics.com/ika-2024/medal-table.

The original article can be found here.


APPLY FOR A WORLDCHEFS ENDORSEMENT

Take your competition to the next level with Worldchefs competition endorsement, a prestigious recognition, achieved by competitions that meet the highest standards of quality. This endorsement provides exceptional opportunities for visibility to an audience of culinary professionals.

Benefits include:

  • Tap into a global community of chefs for greater networking and business opportunities.
  • Unlock new possibilities with optional digital badging and event competition software.
  • Gain free of charge digital badges for competitors and winners with co-branding opportunities.
  • Gain access to downloadable evaluation and scoring sheets on Worldchefs website. 

Learn more and apply to endorse your competition: https://worldchefs.org/Endorsement/

What are you looking for?

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors