Pan-African Cooking Center: Ivorian school seeks to combat illegal immigration
A Pan-African cooking center has been set up in the Ivorian capital Abidjan. Its goal is to rediscover the recipes of the African continent, while training young people in the catering industry. And as CGTN's Thuli Tshabalala explains, the goal is to enable them to thrive at home rather than emigrate.
It is the very first school of its kind in West Africa. With local ingredients--the students are learning how to make African cuisines with a hint of freshness and modernity. The students are all young people who once thought of immigrating to other countries.
KARMELLE BIYOT FOUNDER, THE PAN-AFRICAN COOKING CENTER "What we teach them is to have a perspective on things in order to enhance the local environment. There are several examples of people who have left the United States, France, England to settle here and who have managed to make profitable exploitations, make money, and make a living from their business. So our idea is to show them that you do not need to travel or risk your life at sea to succeed because you can earn a good living here."
They cut, mix ingredients and create new flavors under the supervision of Chef Loic Dablé.
LOIC DABLE MANAGER, THE RESTAURANT MIGRATION / PANAF "We train young people returning from Libya, Morocco, Mauritania. The idea is to take them in the restaurant and train them, to give them a high-quality training over 6 months with the same requirements during my years of training in France."
The center offers 4 types of practical training namely cooking, pastry, bakery and service.
COULIBALY KASSOUM STUDENT, THE PAN-AFRICAN COOKING CENTER "My dream was to live in Europe. So I left Cote d'Ivoire for Libya. I crossed the desert and Niger and it was very difficult. Unfortunately, I could not enter Europe and thanks to the IOM I returned to Cote d'Ivoire. Today, I am learning how to cook from a great international chef. I would like to continue in this field so that tomorrow I can build my own business."
Students must combine finesse and creativity because the meals they cook are directly served in the restaurant of the center.
AGNES CUSTOMER "I have been here in Abidjan for 4 years and I think it's quite unique. We found the staff very professional and we encourage the restaurant to continue along this path."
The Pan-African cooking school was opened a little over a month ago and has for this first wave 10 students. In the long term, the promoters have the ambition to train 200 students per year or 100 per semester. Thuli Tshabalala, CGTN.