WATCH | Mandela Day: Chefs, volunteers cook over 90 000 litres of soup for the needy

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Students at HTA School of Culinary Art  in Randburg with Chef Dasen Suragaser filling up a bucket with soup.
Students at HTA School of Culinary Art in Randburg with Chef Dasen Suragaser filling up a bucket with soup.
Alfonso Nqunjana
  • Chefs with Compassion ventured on a #67litresChallenge at the Culinary School of Arts in Johannesburg for Mandela Day.
  • Pupils, chefs, volunteers and culinary students used rescue food to make the soup.
  • Students were excited to take part in the initiative and have encouraged others to do the same.

Armed with their kitchen tools and aprons, chefs, corporate communities and volunteers dedicated 67 minutes of Mandela Day to a #67000litres soup challenge.

They gathered at the Culinary School of Arts in Johannesburg where they made the soup for hundreds of people.

"We have everyday South Africans nationally embarking on the soup challenge by using their 67 minutes for Mandela Day, but more importantly, feeding hundreds of people who will receive a hearty meal from Chefs with Compassion," the organisation's national project manager, Coo Pillay, told News24.

Pillay said food wastage was high in South Africa, and that it made no sense in a country where food insecurity was on the rise.

We work on a three-value system, which is rescue, cook and feed. The rescue part involves going to manufacturers and retailers by rescuing food that is still in a good condition [and almost expired], and the chefs come together to produce the right nutritional meals.

Pupils from the Culinary School of Arts were delighted to participate in the #67000litres challenge. They wore their chef uniforms, diced vegetables and filled buckets with nutritious soup.

Chef Dasen Suragaser from the Garden Court Hotel in Sandton supervised the culinary students in the kitchen.

"For some of the soup that was cooked, we used a lot of the rescue produce. This contained potato peels, carrots, lettuce heads and we added a bit of spices and cooked chicken. We cooked the food as we would cook it home," Suragaser said.

One of the students, Khanya Mlotha, 20, said: "We need to save food as much as we can. As upcoming chefs, it was a great initiative as we can show our classmates how we can use rescue food instead of throwing it away, to help other people."

Brendan Rainers, a 17-year-old Grade 12 pupil at Michael Mount Waldorf School told News24 he always wanted to know what it was like to cook rescue food for people.

An HTA School of Culinary Art student smiling after a productive day in the kitchen.
An HTA School of Culinary Art student smiling after a productive day in the kitchen.
Ra'eesha Moosa is a volunteer for Nosh Food Rescue and as part of the #67litreschallenge she also prepared soup at HTA School of Culinary Art.
Ra'eesha Moosa is a volunteer for Nosh Food Rescue and as part of the #67litreschallenge she also prepared soup at HTA School of Culinary Art.

"I joined as part of my school as I have to complete a 10-hour community service and I've always wanted to be part of the soup kitchen," Rainers added.

He said former president Nelson Mandela would be unhappy about food insecurity in the country.

"The former president would be unhappy with the situation. If the youth is not getting enough food to eat, they won't be going to school or playing a part in the economy. It will just self-compound and worsen the situation in the country," he said.

Overall, Chefs with Compassion exceeded its target and made 90 679 litres of soup.


Buckets filled with freshly cooked nutritional soup by Chefs with compassion at the HTA School of Culinary Art .
Buckets filled with freshly cooked nutritional soup by Chefs with compassion at the HTA School of Culinary Art .
Culinary students who were being facilitated in the kitchen by Chef Dasen Suragaser from the Garden Court in Sandton pose for picture after a productive day.
Culinary students who were being facilitated in the kitchen by Chef Dasen Suragaser from the Garden Court in Sandton pose for picture after a productive day.
 Culinary students who were being facilitated in the kitchen by Chef Dasen Suragaser.
Culinary students who were being facilitated in the kitchen by Chef Dasen Suragaser.



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