29 October 2013

Young Chefs Cooking for 500 Boys at Youth Correction Centre in Myanmar

“ 2013 World Chefs Day – Myanmar by Young Chefs Club Myanmar “,-- the first initiative “To show your Ability “......as WACS President Gissur gave the theme for the 2013 International World Chefs Day.
Co founder of Myanmar s Young Chefs Club, Chef Dominic Mang came up with the idea some weeks ago,- to meet with the newly formed Young Chefs of Myanmar within MCA one or twice monthly,- collect some funds and use our profession to support others less advantaged people...Chef Dominic arrange all alone with the young Chefs of Yangon....

Quick we put the plan together to have the International World Chefs Day as the first project,- combined with a place where MCA had been many times since 2008 with donations of sport gear, medical and nutrition support as well the MCA Dental Team of Dr Julia & Axel Fruehbuss all to make the live at this correction centre for young boys a bit more pleasant.

“Hnit Aung San,- There where the Birds Sing “, is a Boys correction centre, established around 1930 by a Belgium Christian Priest as a Boys vocational training centre,- today hosts 500 young boys which got cross with the law, street kids but also many of whom were just at the wrong place the wrong time,: As the 11 years old Mg Khin Phyo Kyaw which sold quail eggs at the Nay Pyi Taw railway station and one day could not get out of the train fast enough and was bound to Yangon,- alone and homeless... There he became a street kid to survive,- was quick discovered and now a year at Hnit Aung San – the Government tries to find his parents back in Nay Pyi Taw. He goes to the 4th grade at the centres own primary school.

This place we had long, to long in mind to support more with there Chef Mrs Aye Aye ( a MCA member since 2008 ) – just to improve the working conditions , have work tables, a good roof and step by step better cooking facilities. Mid 2013 it was Chef Willment Leong which had at a Myanmar Minister meeting the Idea to support boys there but also the Girls centre in Yangon and train “Inmates  to be Chefs “ give them the tools and ease their return to society...... an in the pipeline project of World Chefs Without Borders.

Premium Foods Mrs Li Jun coordinated with Australian San Remo Pasta as a sponsor for the event,- a true un usual meal for all 500 Boys – first time in live a pasta..
Chef Dominic arranged all alone in Yangon as we were still in Rakhine Rural area and fixed it for 25.10.2013,- 12 young Chefs from different Restaurants and Hotels in Yangon joint,- at 6:00 am all were picked up by truck and off to the Delta – raff road for some hours. At Kaw Mu town than first to the local market purchase for the menu.

The Idea was not only to cook for the boys but also to raise their interest to become a Chef in future, a professional where one usually is never hungry and always can get a job.  42 young boys joined us as Helper Cooks
The Menu
Hot & Spicy Soup
Myanmar Cabbage Salad
Pasta Bolognese ( pork / non pork for other religions and 64 boys were vegetarian )
Crispy Pork Skin  , Steamed Rice
Purchasing List see below: ( cost around 300 $ US for 500 hungry Boys )
A menu was easy planned in Yangon n normal conditions:
 The menu was planned quick so it proved that many other thoughts had to be taken care of first:
-          Usually they eat with the right hand, no spoons and forks at the centre
-          That would have been a problem with Pasta we bought chopsticks and plastic spoons
-          Different religions means different ingredients – many eat NO Pork
-          64 were Vegetarians  
-          Still we were in prison, so how to handle knifes ......
All became easy once we arrived not before shopping at Kaw Mu city market, some shop owner made the best sales ever that day......

Once arrive we were welcome by the Manager of the correction centre, well known with MCA and the Chefs of Myanmar from  many other projects,- with us was Myanmar TV for news and documentary.
The real rural area field style Kitchen was the biggest challenge for the “ modern young chefs “ of Yangon, how to heat with wood, how early to start , when finally the big wok is hot for the meat and onions. All was mastered well, thanks also to Chef Thurein which had many experience from Dubai as just “ how to bake a Camel over 4 days “.

The Chefs teamed up in three groups and 42 boys from the centre attached as helper cooks for the different section, target was 17:00 pm Dinner for 500 boys and you better do not keep them waiting when hungry at a correction centre.

Chefs Dominic, Thurein and Nyi Nyi Win with one more chef of La Maison 20 took on the Meat and Pasta Sauces, later as well the crispy pork and the soup. Chef Win Ko, Khin Hnin Aung and Pasta expert of Cafe Di Bar Chef Myo Sandar Htun took on the salad and the pasta cooking a special duty without strainer and on wooden fire..Mrs khet Khet . and Chefs .Aug Din & Naing Oo assisted .

I super last monsoon rain came over us and the old roof let the chefs move the tables until a dry place was found,- the rest of day was excellent weather important as mist hot cooking was outside and the skilled boys of the centre did a great job to assist the Chefs specially while controlling the heat under the woks.

Right in time at 17:00 pm was pick up time and all dinner tables for 500 boys at Hnit Aung San were arranged , the Young Chefs of Myanmar served the “ First Ever Pasta” to the 500 boys and all liked it very much,- the pasta was just enough for every one – so we had another 400 normal portion of rice cooked and with the vegi and Bolognese sauces they cleared this as well – double portions no problem for boys between 12 and 18 years..

At the end the Young Chefs joined the boys for a plate – the first meal after 12 hours good working with a lot of fun, team work and a day sure never to forget for both the boys at the centre as well for the young chefs of Myanmar.

Looking forward to have this as a kick start for Wold Chefs Without Borders President, Chef  Willment s idea to establish a regular cooking training for young prisoner on simple to cook and in streets to sell BBQ items to give these all fine boys a real good chance after their  term is over at Hnit Aung San.  Hopefully good International Kitchen Equipment companies can assist Chef Aye Aye at the centre – the roofs can be done and good working conditions first be established, they can do it for Sea Games – they could do it for 500 Boys to get a chance to learn a sustainable good profession as chef.           

Back on the raff delta road, we reached Yangon at 22:00 pm . – all was a great successful and with lots of fun day for the Young chefs of Myanmar, -- for more info on MCA mail to angel@myanmar.com, visit www.myanmarchefs.com and follow Myanmar Young Chefs @ Facebook.     

Thanks to Le Plantuer, La Maison 20, Lillis Bar, Restaurants as well, Laguna Lodge & Park Royal Hotel Yangon to support the young chefs at this valuable event. Thanks to San Remo Pasta & Premium Food Service for sponsorship as well to Shwe Yin Mar Coffee for all breakfast parcel and Coffee arrangements to the Young Chefs of Myanmar.     

The Purchasing List saw: ( around 300 $ US for 500 hungry Boys ), many we left for next days use.
40 kg San Remo Pasta - sponsored
 2 Tin Tomato Pasta – 40 $ US
50 kg Onion – 60 $ US
25 kg Pork – 110 $ US
16 kg Garlic – 20 $ US
50 kg Tomatoes – 57 $ US
1,6 kg mixed Nuts – 2,5 $ US
1,6 kg Chilli – 2,5 $ US
16 kg Salt – 1,5 $ US
14 No Cabbage – 7 $ US
1 bot Fish sauce – 1,5 $ US
16 Ltr Cooking Oil – 16 $ US

Bdl Parsley – 1,5 $ US
With Thanks to all which made this day possible, specially, the Young Chefs of Myanmar.

Oliver E Soe Thet
President Myanmar Chefs Association
Global Board World Chefs Without Borders
WACS member , Yangon 26.10.2013 

03 October 2013

Chefs Without Borders - August Report

On behalf of World Chefs without Borders committee members, I have attached our organization presentation (PDF format), we are all open for constructive comment and willing to serve your association country if needed. Hopefully we can work together and create some "dream" for the LESS-FORTUNATE one and to give is better than to take : )

First step to assist us: click on this or copy and paste and play the quiz
Our chef ego can be worth nothing but our passionate heart worth at least an hot meal for the hungry children

For every person who takes this short hunger quiz, a child will receive a warm meal thanks to an anonymous donor to WFP. Test your hunger IQ, then challenge your friends!

With WACS having 10 million members world wide, we have just created 10 million hot meal in just 2 minutes of your time (not include 30 friends you have invited)

Willment Leong

Committee Chairman - World Chefs without Borders
Founder Chairman - Thailand Culinary Academy
Vice President - Thai Chef's Association
Mobile Number - 66817355800


Jasper Jek - 2014 WACS Congress Stavanger

Come & join WACS Young Chef Ambassador Jasper Jek
at the Stavanger Bill Gallagher Young Chefs Forum in 2014.

Don't get left behind

02 October 2013

Myanmar Young Chefs Culinary Challenge a Huge Success

Look out Michelin – Myanmar chefs are aiming to reach international culinary standards. In a bid to identify and encourage a generation of kitchen wizards, the Myanmar Chefs’ Association held its first Yangon Culinary Young Chefs’ Challenge on September 25 and 26 at Aung San Stadium.
A young chef takes part in the Yangon Culinary Young Chefs’ Challenge in Yangon on September 26. (Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times)A young chef takes part in the Yangon Culinary Young Chefs’ Challenge in Yangon on September 26. (Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times)
“Participating in this event will help Myanmar chefs to reach international standards by gaining experience when they compete in other countries,” said Oliver Esser Soe Thet, president of the Myanmar Chefs’ Association and one of the competition judges.
Competitors had to prepare a main course for beef, poultry, seafood and pasta; decorate a wedding cake; carve fruit and vegetables; and make bread and pastry, plus two different desserts.
Contestants included 58 young chefs, all aged under 25, from 14 top Yangon hotels and restaurants, including Sedona, Traders and Parkroyal.
But it was the team from Le Planteur that stole the show, taking out the top prizes in the beef, seafood, pasta and poultry sections. Traders won best dessert, while Parkroyal took out the best pastry section.
“I prepared for about two months to compete in this challenge. I learned a lot from foreign chefs by participating. They taught us what to do and what not to do,” prizewinner Ma Zin Myo Nwe of Le Planteur restaurant told The Myanmar Times.
Ma Zin Myo Nwe said she loves cooking and hopes other Myanmar women will be inspired to follow her example.
While competing against each other, the young chefs not only showcased their skills but also exchanged views with industry colleagues and networked with international chefs.
“All participants are qualified professionals ... They need practice to take part in international competitions, but they should create Myanmar traditional food as well as international dishes,” said Ko Than Zaw Oo, who was one of the judges.
Other judges included Chan Tuck Wai from Singapore, former Ministry of Hotels and Tourism official U Than Lwin and Myanmar Chefs’ Association deputy leader Daw Thuzar Myint.

1st Yangon Culinary Young Chefs Challenge ended and supported WACS FEED THE PLANET initiative
The 1st Yangon Culinary Young Chefs Challenge 2013 successfully finished just few days ago. Even though the event is already behind us, excellent atmosphere, interesting program, satisfied competitors and sponsors as well as the great number of visitor will be still talking about this great competition and cheerfully waiting for the next one.
The entire competition was conducted under the supervision of WACS certified Judges and other national and international professionals that followed the highest standards. While the winners proudly and justifiably received their prizes, sponsors or the competition made sure they received some valuable awards as well. Furthermore, during the event educational workshop on food safety and hygiene, Halal diet and modern culinary trends was held thanks to the wonderful presentations made by international speakers. Furthermore, Myanmar professional baristas preformed a two hour session ‘Barista training’ as to educate young Myanmar baristas and raise the awareness of this important hospitality segment.

As being a WACS member since 2000, Myanmar Chefs Association has been actively involved in many aspects of raising culinary standards, helping national industry to flourish and also provide help those in need. Thanks to the initiative made by the President of the Myanmar Chefs Association and Board member of WACS initiative World Chefs Without Borders, Oliver Esser Soe Thet, and his team a great humanitarian action was taken. All the bakery and pastry products were brought to an organization that takes care for elder people, offering them a great gastronomy experience that mostly likely they haven’t had the chance to taste. Cooked meals went in hands of those in need, some skillfully and completely sanitary safe wedding cakes made by the competitors were sold for the Chefs Without Borders Myanmar, purposes that will be again use for humanitarians activities. Moreover, some hot meals made by volunteers and WCWB Myanmar Chefs were specially prepared for charity purposes. “It is all very possible if it’s well planned, taken care of and managed from the beginning”, said Oliver Esser Soe Thet.
Myanmar World Chefs Without Borders, national members of the Myanmar Chefs Association, were greatly active the last couple of years and showed excellent results in their humanitarian missions like, closely related also to WACS Feed The Planet initiative:
“Health Food for Healthy Teeth”, financial aid for medical operations and treatments, schools reconstruction and building, “Clean the beach” activity”, plenty of good actions in the field of community public service, donations for sport and recreational activities as well as the medical equipment, volunteer work to raise the educational standards and make knowledge available to everyone. As many new ventures to come, there seem to be no borders for Myanmar Chefs!
To take a look at the official 1st Yangon Culinary Young Chefs Challenge press release as well as the photos,
follow the links below:
Myanmar Chefs Association official press release
1st Yangon Culinary Young Chefs Challenge photo album