White Guide is a world-class review of swedish restaurants and food experiences. The 2013 awardees are undoubtedly worth their awards, but there is one that is just a little bit better.
I am referring to the White Guide Global Gastronomy Award awarded to the peruvian Gastón Acurio. Personally I was initially flabbergasted, as I could not fathom how food from Peru could win over my personal love for the thai and the genuine schezuan kitchens. I was wrong…
Why are they better? Because beyond lifting a fairly unknown kitchen to the level of wonderful food experiences worthy the global connoisseurs – Gastón Acurio with his chain of restaurants Astrid&Gastón are targeting the glocal challenge of unemployed youth. Setting up gourmet cooking schools in slum areas and providing opportunities and jobs for youth, as well as making worldwide statements, when in 2011 their chefs wrote the Lima Declaration in which they encourage chefs around the world to engage and to inspire the young people who will become the chefs of tomorrow.
“We dream of a future in which the chef is socially engaged, conscious of and responsible for his or her contribution to a fair and sustainable society.”
Governments of the world have proved unable to solve the problems of the world, making it all the more obvious that new, innovative models for change need to come from the individuals and small & large businesses as well as cross-sectoral collaborations including the public sector.
What Gastón Acurio is achieving is more than just satisfying our tastebuds, he is setting an example as a changemaker. Making the world a better place, one business at a time, one kitchen at a time. I hope to see initiatives like this coming to life in Sweden and across the world, as it is vital that the youth of today are given the chance to take their place in society, seeing that the future is their’s for the taking.
What restaurant will be the first in Sweden to take on this challenge? Let me know if you need some help!