On April Fools’ Day chef Joseph Oseli from Slovenia didn’t make fun of anyone, but rather did a very good job. In collaboration with the Centre for culinary training Horeca in the middle of Belgrade he organized a workshop for children without parents. Young people from state-run institutional care aged 14 to 16 are in the right age to decide which high school to enroll. Joseph wanted to show them how great and also hard the culinary field is. Their aspirations are very different – from player and singer to painter and hairdresser.
Of course, among them we also found chefs and waiters. Chef Joseph told them he always knew what he wanted to do, even though back then the cooking wasn’t the most modern and desirable profession. He also showed various photos from different events related to cooking – from fashion shows and weddings to presidential meetings and festivals. He explained that cooking is a very nice profession, which leads you to different parts of the world and you can learn a lot about different cultures and people. He also told them that it is a hard work and it is essential for young people that do not remain within the borders of their own country, but also go to study abroad.
The emotional lecture was followed by a workshop. First Joseph showed them how to prepare a tiramisu. Kids were excited, because they ate tiramisu for the first time. At the same time they had endless fun with pouring tiramisu in the cups. Then it was a pizza time and a great euphoria and competition for the best pizza began. Although they were all great at it, we were most impressed by little Tamara, who made a pizza in the shape of a heart just for chef Oseli.
Despite her sad story from home, she has a strong and positive spirit. Her boyfriend Alexander said he is really excited over this workshop, because he already attends secondary culinary school. 14-year-old Marko told us he came to institution for children without parents when he was 7 years old, because his parents were drug addicts. And even though he missed them is now happy here and he wants to become a painter. He showed us his talent for drawing and we were impressed. Sasha, who was abused by her mother, said they spend a really nice time within their institution, because they organize a lot of different events for them and she even got a surprise party for her birthday a month ago.
When the children ate their pizza, they also learned how to prepare gnocchi. In the end, they said it was the first time they were allowed to cook by themselves and they spent a wonderful day with Joseph and his team. They were so grateful they didn’t know how to thank him. When there was a time to say goodbye they couldn’t stop hugging him and crying.