I am not a cook. However, my best friends will be starting an orphanage in Brazil, and have asked me to consider coming and running the kitchen. I am looking for advice, training, etc. I am excited to have found a resource for connecting with so many experienced chefs!
Hello from Wisconsin!
ChefTalk.com Top Picks
Sounds like quite an undertaking and I'd have some reservations about joining in. What is this person's qualifications? How deep is their knowledge of Brazil, its political climate, and regulations regarding the establishing and running of an orphanage? How many orphans will this place be housing? And finally, and no offense to your friend as I don't know you or this person, but is this whole thing on the up and up, meeting all national and international regulations regarding orphanages and the adopting of children. Unfortunately, a lot of these places deal in the darker side of unwanted children. Know what you are getting into.
If all this seems legit to you and its something you want to do, I would make sure I do 2 things. First, I would make sure I have a good resource library of nutritional information, maybe even try to get in a couple of courses. I would never pretend to be a dietician, but I would want to make sure that what I serve meets as many nutritional guidelines as I can. It will probably be pretty difficult on the budget you will have so all the more reason to understand how to get every bit of nutritional value out of the money you have. Secondly, and way down the scale of importance, I would make sure I have a good understanding of the cuisine of Brazil so that you can provide food that these children know and understand.
Oh, and learn Portuguese, starting now.
Thanks, Pete. No worries on the being legit issue; I would/could never think of giving up hearth and home, etc. if I didn't wholly trust the people involved, know them very well, etc. Naturally there will be challenges to getting all things lined up properly (gov't regulations-wise) before it gets set up, but that will not be my end of things. Hopefully, that will give me enough time to try and prepare!
The only Portugese I know so far is 'Obrigrado', which means thank you. Gratitude is always a good place to start :).
I am hoping for suggestions about what might be some good training programs. I have looked into Kendall College in Chicago and the culinary school at the Art Institute in Detroit (I live in the midwest). Kendall college does have a nutrition concentration, but Kendall College is just way out of my price range. I won't be able to afford student loan payments in future, so I have to save & pay as I go. Also, I am concerned that the focus of a big culinary school program on training one to be a chef for (most likely) a fine dining restaurant might be off the mark for my goals. Of late it has been recommended to me to go for on the job training, and I probably will, but I believe I need a foundation to start on. Any thoughts on solid programs that might lean more toward healthcare/school type food prep as opposed to Executive Chef?
I really appreciate any feedback you can give me!
Where in Wisconsin are you? You might want to check into Fox Valley Technical College, Milwaukee Area Technical College, or Madison Area Technical College. All of them have culinary programs that might be of use to you.
I am gathering from reading several of the threads that those might be the best fit. I am actually looking first at some community college programs in Michigan, since I have some family in mid-Michigan that I'd like to spend more time around before I leave the U.S. for a long period. This site has been a big help so far! As I learn I definitely plan to stay tuned in here...
By the way, I will need some time to save up $$ for school (won't be able to make loan payments, working in an orphanage!) and I've been thinking that perhaps I could get started with some good books; do you have any recommendations?
Oh, I forgot to answer your question--I'm in Madison. :)