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Like a Chef program ESAE DEI Award winner

Like a Chef Program Wins ESAE Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award

Read time: 5 Min
29th June 2023

Like a Chef  Program Wins ESAE Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award

  • The Like a Chef program, a Feed the Planet initiative driven by Worldchefs, Electrolux Food Foundation, and AIESEC, has won the 2023 ESAE Association Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award.
  • The European Society of Association Executives (ESAE) is the leading voice of senior-level managers in Europe. The ESAE Association Awards recognize exceptional achievements by Association members.
  • Like a Chef was launched in 2017 with a goal to educate and train 3000 people worldwide by 2030, and has reached over 1000 individuals with life-changing culinary training and career guidance. Learn more about Feed the Planet programs including Like A Chef at

Paris, 29 June 2023 – The World Association of Chefs’ Societies (Worldchefs), together with Feed the Planet partners Electrolux Food Foundation, accepted the 2023 ESAE Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Award for the remarkable impact of the Like a Chef employment training program.

The European Society of Association Executives (ESAE) is the leading organization for senior-level managers in Europe. Bringing together association leaders, ESAE facilitates the exchange of best practices among professional peers. The ESAE Association Awards were held on 15 June 2023 in Brussels, recognizing exceptional achievements by Association members.

Linh To and Cosimo Scarano accept the DEI Award celebrating the Like a Chef initiative.

“I am proud and happy having chaired the first-ever ESAE association awards. They recognize the achievements of association professionals by their peers, independently from any industrial or commercial interest,” said Mohamed Mezghani, the ESAE Board Member who initiated and led the Awards. “This inaugural edition rewarded projects and initiatives of high quality which will certainly inspire trade associations as well as professional societies. It’s this spirit of innovation and sharing that drives ESAE and its members.”

Jury member Frederic Hoffman presented the Award with Solange Cleutjens, who represented I am Amsterdam, to key representatives from Worldchefs and Electrolux Food Foundation.

“We are honored to receive the 2023 ESAE Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award for our Like a Chef employment training program. This recognition underscores the global impact and commitment of Worldchefs, Electrolux Food Foundation, and all our dedicated partners, as we celebrate the success of Like a Chef in empowering underprivileged individuals with professional skills and sustainable cooking methods,” says Worldchefs President, Thomas A. Gugler. “We express our deepest appreciation to the Worldchefs community all around the world, whose unwavering efforts fuel our Feed the Planet initiatives and share ‘The Power of the White Jacket’ through professional culinary expertise and conscious cooking practices across the globe.”

Impacting Communities

Like a Chef was launched in late 2017 with a goal to educate and train 3000 people worldwide by 2030. Founded and driven by Worldchefs together with Electrolux Food Foundation, the Like a Chef program is an employment training initiative that provides professional culinary skills to underprivileged individuals. The program emphasizes sustainable cooking methods with a zero-waste approach.

Adapted to each community it serves, the program empowers various groups in need, including refugees, single parents, cancer survivors, and orphaned teenagers, to provide for themselves and their families. With over 1000 graduates, there have been eight training centers around the world in Brazil, Poland, Egypt, Sweden, St. Lucia, Russia, and Ukraine.

“This project is really tailored to the needs of local communities. Together with our partner Worldchefs, Electrolux Food Foundation really wanted to give back to local communities and that’s the purpose and the secret of the success of this initiative,” said Cosimo Scarano, Head of Electrolux Food Foundation. “We are very honored to see the recognition coming for this program and are every day more and more convinced of its potential in changing people’s lives. Thanks to my team and to everyone who contributes daily to Like a Chef implementation and success.”

About the ESAE Awards

2023 marked the inaugural year of the ESAE Association Awards. The ESAE Association Awards identify projects that can be an inspiration for the greater professional community. Highlighting team members who usually stay out of the spotlight, the main goal is to learn from best practices and transferable knowledge. The ‘DEI Award’ celebrates projects built around the principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

“Our idea is really to share what we know best—how to cook—with people we need, and then to help them to find a job in a professional kitchen. It is an industry that is always looking for new employees, and then we also have people who are looking for opportunities to change their lives,” says Linh To, Worldchefs’ Event and Project Manager. “It’s been six years and we have managed to reach 1000 people. It’s a big achievement and we are very, very grateful to receive this commendation.”

Take action

The Like a Chef program is made possible with the support of Feed the Planet partners and the tireless contributions of Worldchefs’ members around the globe. Worldchefs extends the utmost gratitude to all program participants, local partners, sponsors, and volunteer chefs who contribute to the life-changing success of Like a Chef and all Feed the Planet initiatives. It is the dedication of Worldchefs’ global community that fosters resilience and solidarity in the industry and beyond.

“It’s an incredible honor to have been able to help change the lives of over 1000 people through the Like a Chef program, and the only way this is possible is through the diverse partnership of Worldchefs, Electrolux Food Foundation, and AIESEC, which together forms the backbone of Feed the Planet,” says Feed the Planet Chairman, Chris Koetke. “We look forward to expanding our program and reaching more lives in the years to come.”

To learn more about Feed the Planet and the Like a Chef program, visit

Read more in the latest issue of Worldchefs Magazine

Head to page 47 in Issue 29 to read more about how the Like a Chef program is changing lives.

From mastering the art of sustainable cooking to embracing the latest technological advancements in the kitchen, Worldchefs Magazine is your guide to staying at the forefront of the culinary profession. 


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