Each year on October 20th, Worldchefs celebrates International Chefs Day. While it may sound like a celebration of what chefs do, it’s even more a call to action for what chefs can do. In this episode, Ragnar talks with Emmanuel Lorieux, Nestlé Professional’s Global Executive Chef and Global Culinary Partnership Manager, and Vanessa Marquis, Worldchefs’ International Chefs Day Committee Chairperson, about how chefs can get involved on this year’s important date.
International Chefs Day was created by the late and beloved Dr. Billy Gallagher in 2004 to celebrate the profession and to inspire culinary professionals to use their knowledge and skills for good. It is a day of both reflection and service to the important role that chefs play in society as educators, connecters and storytellers with a tremendous responsibility to both feed and nourish their communities.
“Progress is incremental so concentrate on what you can do today that you couldn’t do yesterday.” – Dr. Billy Gallagher
And inspire he did. Chef Billy paved the way for chefs to carry a sense of pride and commitment to the future. 10 years after he introduced International Chefs Day, Nestlé Professional partnered with Worldchefs to help take the impact so much further. Together, we’ve helped chefs worldwide to teach kids about the importance of healthy eating by hosting fun-filled workshops around the globe. In 2019, nearly 70 000 children and more than 1 800 chefs took part in the annual event, doubling from the year before.
“Worldchefs has done a tremendous job of keeping the vision alive of late chef Dr. Bill Gallagher, his vision and creation of ICD back in 2004. Since then Worldchefs uses international chefs not only to celebrate us and our noble profession, but always remembering that it’s our duty to pass on our knowledge, our culinary skills as well to the next generation of chefs,” says Vanessa Marquis. A leader in her own right, she’s seen firsthand how ‘the power of the white jacket’ can capture the imagination of both young industry professionals and young children alike.
“When we wear that toque, we wear that jacket and they see us showing them and we’re eating it as well… We’re pretty darn cool in the little one’s eyes! So they look up to us and they want to try it.” – Vanessa Marquis
Chef Emmanuel Lorieux, a father himself, is acutely aware of the importance of bringing kids into the kitchen at a young age. “Young people – five, six and even after – they are really curious about everything. They want to see everything; they want to know about everything. They ask a lot of questions, which is perfect to involve them in the shopping process, the cooking process and also teach them what is healthy.” For Nestlé Professional, they value that cooking together helps kids develop healthy eating habit, and are committing to helping families have better nutrition habits through education, awareness, and their Nestlé for Healthy Kids initiative. Present in 40 countries and 19 different languages, they’ve reached 355 millions parents since November 2019, parents they hope will help spread the world about this year’s International Chefs Day theme, Healthy Food for the Future.
This year has made it perhaps more apparent than ever that we must take action now to ensure a healthy planet for future generations. With production and consumption of food being so critical to that goal, this year’s theme is focused around sustainability and the environment.
To help chefs take a leading role in this conversation, Nestlé Professional created a toolkit with everything you need, from guidelines, an engaging presentation, colorful placemats, nametags, and recipe cards. All that’s left to do is download the toolkit and take it to the children. “Everything is done for you,” says Vanessa. “Nestlé has done a bang-up job in getting this completely set and done for you with no stress level, because we want you to be able to make sure that you have an opportunity.”
Given the limitations and health concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nestlé Professional has produced a special digital toolkit to make sure that chefs can safely deliver a virtual workshop. They’ve also put together a kid-friendly booklet with tips for living sustainably.
“We know you’re busy everyday in your chef life and Nestlé did a great job by creating this toolkit and to make sure that you can just print it out and go with it.”
Vanessa and Emmanuel want to encourage everyone to get involved in International Chefs Day, however you can. From your own children, nieces, nephews, neighbors, e-learning classes – your International Chefs Day event, big or small, has so much impact. Despite the pandemic, they’re both optimistic that our community will do everything they can to deliver. “If they don’t have time to do an event Thursday [October 20th], they’re thinking ‘you know what, on my one day off I can film a short video and then provide it to children to view.’ I think our numbers are going to be outstanding.”
We think so, too. Help us make their optimism a reality, and join us October 20th for International Chefs Day.
You can download the International Chefs Day 2020 toolkit today at www.internationalchefsday.worldchefs.org. If you are planning to host a Healthy Food for the Future workshop on or around October 20th, please let us know! Contact Vanessa at [email protected].
Don’t forget to tag us @worldchefs on Instagram, @wacsworldchefs on Facebook/Twitter and use #InternationalChefsDay #ThisIsWorldchefs #NestleProfessional on social media so that we can see and share your photos!
Nestlé Professional has so many resources to help hospitality professionals stay at the cutting-edge of industry trends. For more on sustainability tips and more, check out their latest issue of Nutripro: Nestlé Professional Nutrition Magazine. Read the Make it Sizzle — The New Plant-based Meat Alternatives issue here.
Nestlé Professional is also launching a new digital magazine specifically to address environmental topics for the foodservice industry. Read more about the launch of Planetpro, Nestlé Professionals sustainability magazine, here.
For delicious plant-based menu options, get inspired with Garden Gourmet®, plant-based meat alternatives that offer a versatile choice of vegetarian and vegan products without compromise on nutrition, taste and texture. Explore the range here.
Learn more about Emmanuel and Vanessa in our recent blog post: Meet the Chefs Who Are Championing Healthy Food for the Future on International Chefs Day.
Special thanks to Emmanuel Lorieux and Vanessa Marquis for joining us as guests.
We also would like to express our utmost appreciation to Nestlé Professional and their entire team for their continued support of International Chefs Day, Worldchefs, and the culinary community at large.
World on a Plate is supported by Nestlé Professional, making more possible.