The world’s best chefs and the most remote rural communities have one thing in common: they both rely on agriculture.
Chefs for Change is a global movement that unites the worlds of high-end cuisine and international development. Its founders are renowned chefs Joan Roca, Gaggan Anand and Eneko Atxa, together with NGOs Farm Africa and Technoserve.
Chefs for Change follows the journeys of chefs as they visit agricultural programmes across Africa, Asia and Latin America, and share the stories of the small-scale producers they meet.
In May 2019, chefs Gaggan Anand and Andoni Luis Aduriz visited Tanzania’s Babati District, where they met rice and sunflower farmers and cooked a meal with local restaurateur Mama Zai.
Rice has always been central to Gaggan Anand’s cuisine, so meeting with rice growers who have worked with Farm Africa to increase yields and reduce food waste was a clear highlight for the chef, who commented:
“Rice is life. We worship rice as a grain in India and Asia. Here in Africa, it could be solution to the hunger problems of the modern world. The amazing thing that Farm Africa has done is to involve Andoni Luis Aduriz and me in Chefs for Change in Tanzania. We learnt how they are helping the farmers source the right seed, get the highest yield, minimise wastage and help them store so they can sell at the highest market price."
Gaggan and Andoni also met with sunflower growers and followed the onward journey of the sunflower seeds into a local mill, where they were pressed into sunflower oil. Andoni commented:
“Fats, sunflower oil in this case, believe it or not, is a central product in the diet of the Tanzanian population. To make people self-sufficient in the production of this raw material is to advance food security.”
In May 2019, Luke Dale-Roberts, chef at The Test Kitchen in Cape Town, South Africa, travelled to Kenya’s Kisumu District to meet fish farmers working with Farm Africa.
Luke helped out with a fish harvest on a fish farm run by Suzanna in Vihiga, western Kenya. Luke commented: “I’m here in Kisumu, Kenya looking at what Farm Africa is doing here with fish farming: tilapia and catfish farming. It’s a great privilege for me to be involved in Chefs for Change, seeing the way food can be grown and farmed in a sustainable way.”
After helping out with Suzanna’s fish harvest, Luke then travelled to a fish farming training centre in Tigoi, where he worked with fish farmer Zinath to develop a new tilapia recipe.
To find out more about Chefs for Change, including information on how to get involved, please visit the Chefs for Change website.