The Tablée des Chefs, to the rescue of the food

By Elsie Mendez @sabormexico

Each year, around the world, you can waste a third of the food produced, which end up in landfills that generate emissions of carbon dioxide as high as China or the united States. (FAO for its acronym in English: Food and Agriculture Organization) reports that developed countries waste around 222 million tonnes of food annually, equivalent to fill 2.5 football stadiums in a day. For this and more, organizations such as The Tablée des Chefs come to the rescue of those foods in a good state that can feed those who need it most.

One of the industries that more food waste it generates is that of Hospitality, which is integrated among others, Hotels and restaurants. At the last meeting of the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization) in San Sebastian, Spain, we spoke about the terrible damage to the environment caused by the thousands of tons of food thrown away due to the regulations and standards that many hotel chains imposed on their properties, in order to offer the best and most fresh to their guests and diners. To that add the fact of the thousands of tons of food that’s still in very good condition but as they were part of a buffet that does not already ended, the strips for the same reasons. A very sad reality in which the guests and tourists we are involved not being aware of these bad practices of the hotel chains and restaurants, for those same demands, which many claim as an example of status and luxury.

Aware of this serious problem, the chef Jean-François Archambault, of canadian origin, I think in 2002 the nonprofit organization La Tablée des Chefs, with the aim of combating food dependency that they live many people, as well as prevent food waste, involving chefs, cooks, pastry chefs and gastronomy lovers (foodies) both in Canada where he is originally the chef and since 2013 also in Mexico and France.

The literal meaning of The Tablée des Chefs is a “set of diners built by chefs, for us to work on — the rescue of surplus food, preparation of food for the benefit of the organizations food distribution and the transmission of culinary knowledge and nutrition to youth in difficult situations.

The mission of La Tablée de Chefs is to feed the most needy families and to educate the future generations with the purpose of developing their autonomy in food production.

To achieve this, in addition to adding to those who today are the leaders and heads of the kitchens of hotels and restaurants of each country, The Tablée des Chefs is convinced that by educating the future generations will share the principles of healthy eating, will develop food self-sufficiency and reduces dependence on food aid.

Since his arrival in Mexico, food companies, Ngos, restaurants and hotels have started to carry out the actions that will allow the reduction of those 31 thousand tons of food that is wasted in our country every day, in addition to help to the more than 28 million people who live in situation of extreme lack of access to food.

But How does it work? Through a series of activities, The Tablée de Chefs, together with their ambassadors performs actions that enable you to go forward on the goals. The main axes of intervention are:

    • Brokerage, sustainable food. Through this activity, The Tablée des chefs serves as a link between the banqueteros, chefs, cooks and event organizers and the local community organizations that distribute surplus food rescued to their beneficiaries in need throughout the City of Mexico. The Tablée des Chefs operates the logistics of the rescue food with the objective of achieving an effective deployment, easy and secure among the donors of the hotel industry, restaurant and institutions.
    • Preparation of food: Within this axis invites companies, universities, and civil society to show generosity and to give time for the preparation of food rations to the most needy people.
    • Culinary education. We work with young people to help them to eat healthily and with a limited budget. Of the hand of our Chefs allies, we work with young people to help them to eat healthily and with a limited budget. Since 2013, 180 young people have participated in our Culinary Education Program with the goal of entering the adult life with the necessary tools to achieve independence in food production.

Every time a hotel or restaurant decides to participarLa Tablée des chefs is responsible for providing the containers where they should save on their cooling chambers the surplus of processed food that is not consumed in the day and that by internal regulation can not or decide to use for the next day. The rule is that it must be food left over from the dishes prepared and are in perfect conditions to be able to store at a controlled temperature and which can then be offered in the community kitchens, the World Bank, based Food in Mexico or any other institution in need of food in good condition for its neediest members. Each week is coordinated with any of the participating institutions, for the collection of containers and power to distribute them according to zones. With this activity, we achieved an average of 5 thousand portions of food rescued per year.

Within the participating universities, there are programs for young people to participate in the production of parts that later will be distributed in community centres in annual activity, thanks to which, there have been 78,500 portions with more than 800 students participating.

With chefs and cooks as Eduardo Garcia of Maximo Bistrot, carries out courses for disadvantaged youth to help them learn how to eat healthily with very low budgets, and in this way help them to reach adulthood with better situations food. With this program from the 2013 200 young people have been benefited from the courses.

The task is not easy, as the work of the director in Mexico Florence Roy-Allard is add more and more ambassadors that would meet the mission of the association as well as companies that support with more donations that serve to expand the program across the country.

It is amazing that with the thousands of hotels and restaurants in the country only a few are part of this very important and very necessary program, and us as guests and diners, we can leave a note to encourage those places that we frequent to join this cause, we have the power as consumers rely more to those sites that take part in actions to help decrease the number of people with lack of food in the country.

As individual we can be part of the organisation by offering our time voluntarily to the activities of The Tablée des chefs, participating in their programs or with donations.

To learn more about La Tablée des chefs, their ambassadors and activities visit:

www.tableedeschefs.org.mx www.tableedeschefs.org.mx or write to [email protected]

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