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 

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