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Come bake with me for the youth

Popular Namibian chef, Sanet Prinsloo, with Lukie van Staden, an engineer in the Namibian office of Aurecon Consulting Engineers. Van Staden helped the Namibian Chefs Association with a sponsorship of N$5000 to promote cooking as a career among high school learners.

The Chefs Association was overwhelmed when 115 high school learners showed up for their first training session after an awareness drive to promote the chef’s career and cooking.

Chief cook and local celebrity chef, Sanet Prinsloo of the Chefs Association said the training sessions eventually stretched over three Monday at the Polytechnic Hotel School, starting with a round of familiarisation and ending with some serious cooking and baking.
Said Prinsloo “In March we launched an awareness programme where we invited schools to send the kids to spend a Monday afternoon with us at the Hotel School. We were overwhelmed by the response and had three fun filled afternoons in March. We shared a light lunch, took them on a tour through the school, sat them down for an info session and then they got to put on chefs’ hats and aprons and do a baking session with Chef Ralf. We had 115 participants.”
Accommodating such a large number of eager youngster who all want to be a chef, rapidly lead to an escalation in cost and the Chefs Association had to go find sponsors.
“We had expenses to cover after Superspar, Hartlief and Interpack helped us with food and juices, Bokomo and African Packaging with aprons and hats, and Elso with the cleaning material” she explained.
“We went to see Mr Lukie van Staden at Aurecon Namibia Consulting Engineers. He is a man with a vision for job creation and a passion for vocational training to get people into the workforce and into contributing to the wealth of our county. He gave us N$5000 to cover our expenses and he promised to give us another N$5000 for the next session to be held in September 2015” she said expressing her gratitude for this support.
Explaining the rationale behind their awareness drive, Prinsloo said “we need about 5000 trained chefs in Namibia. Maybe your son or daughter can fill one of those gaps. Did you know that they can do a course in Hospitality and Cheffing at the Polytechnic Hotel School in Windhoek? The Chefs Association of Namibia wants all the school kids in our country to be aware of the opportunities available once they finish school. Kids that go into hospitality studies will always have jobs.
Remember that the tourism industry is in dire need of well-trained staff to receive the tourist in a friendly and professional manner. Chef Ralph at the Polytechnic Hotel School will teach you the basics with patience and enthusiasm.”
The second baking sessions are scheduled for 14 and 21 September at the Polytechnic Hotel School. Learners from Grade 7 to Grade 12 can apply by sending a mial to service@namibianchefs.com.

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