Even in 2020, we keep making sustainable cooking the preferred choice.
2020 has been a difficult one, no doubt. But we have been working so hard to make sustainable eating and cooking the preferred choice, and transforming so many people’s lives, that we couldn’t just stop now.
Without expecting it to be so, this year became a great challenge to adapt our Like A Chef program, but now we can proudly say: We did it!
Before the lockdown started in Curitiba, Brazil, Like A Chef was a 12 week program in an Electrolux Kitchen, followed by 24 students per wave and a group of chefs that used Worldchefs’ curriculum to train them in sustainable cooking. This meant daily meetings of 25 to 28 people, in a close space, for 3 consecutive months, where they’d be cooking and taking food to their homes. Clearly, this wasn’t the model we could keep using during 2020 but we still wanted to help people improve their lives by learning how to live a healthier life and get the tools they needed to find a job or become entrepreneurs. With the global employment rates going down and the hospitality’s industry taking the worst part, our goal became more important than ever and that’s why we developed our new Like A Chef’s blended learning program!
Blended Learning Program
3 weeks of online training + 1 week of practice in the kitchen. The first week is all about the basics. Using the Worldchefs Academy app, the students get to learn everything they need to start into the culinary world. Terms, utensils, mise-en-place, types of cuts and more. This online course is open to everyone, its certifiable and available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Do you want to check it out? Just have to click here.
During the second week, the students get the chance to put everything they’ve learned online into practice. Divided into 2 groups of 6 students each, the 12 selected people get to cook and learn with well experienced and recognized chefs in the Electrolux kitchen, always following the safe distance measures and every health recommendation. In this new format, we reduced the physical exposure time in 91,6% and the number of students in 75%.
For the third week, we partnered with SEBRAE, the Brazilian Agency to support Small Entrepreneurs. For 5 days in a row, our students got online classes related to markets, trends, business administration and everything they needed to know in order to start their own business, even in the middle of a pandemic.
Finally, the fourth week counted with the following 3 how-to workshops:
- “How apply for a job” by the Electrolux HR Team
- “How to manage food waste by Sodexo”
- “How to develop your own digital business on a food delivery mobile app” by Rappi
Followed by the closing event which, during this first pilot, consisted of preparing 160 Christmas meals to donate via “Mulheres do bem”, a local NGO that’s been working hard for a while into the pandemic now, bringing food to those who needed it the most.
The feedback we received both from the chefs and students was amazing!
Everyone was happy about this new format, especially because they found it easy to teach in smaller groups. Of course, not everything was perfect due to current circumstances, there’s still a lot to improve when it comes to online learning environment (interactions aren’t the same, it gets harder to learn when you can’t practice while you’re receiving the information, there’s a lot of distractions going on at everyone’s home…) and in this type of program, everyone would love to spend more time in the kitchen. But even so, we managed to deliver the Like A Chef new frame work starting with the first group of 12 students and successfully graduating 8 of them.
We gladly counted with the participation of one former student as the chefs’ assistant for the whole week of practices. 5 different chefs shared their knowledge with our students, 2 of them being completely new to the program. 13 different recipes were taught, 160 meals were donated, and nobody got sick during the whole experience!
For us, this counts as a huge win for Like A Chef program, otherwise severely hit by the restrictions of the pandemic. Now we can’t wait to implement its new format in all the countries we’ve already worked before and to see it growing and reaching new locations, always with the purpose of making eating and cooking sustainably the preferred choice.
Feed the Planet is an initiative founded by Worldchefs to inspire sustainable food consumption among communities and culinary professionals as well as to support people in need through education. Powered by Electrolux Food Foundation and AIESEC, the vision of Feed The Planet manifests in 4 major projects: Like A Chef, Food Heroes Challenge, Food Waste Challenge and Sustainability Education for Culinary Professionals. Since May 2020, the webcast Sustainability Around the World hosted by chef Chris Koetke is broadcasted, featuring outstanding culinary sustainability enthusiasts across continents.