Food and friendship feed children in need
Chefs are prima donnas who throw kitchen utensils at their underlings, right? Maybe. But not always. Chefs are also people who care about others, and would travel around the world to make a contribution.
In 1993, legendary South African chef and culinarian, Dr Billy Gallagher, issued an invitation to chefs around the world to come to South Africa and share their knowledge, skills and compassion to raise money for charity.
More than 100 chefs heeded that call and so the World Chefs Tour Against Hunger (WCTAH) was born. Ten years later the call went out again and over 200 chefs came. 2003 was also the first year that Chef Martin Kobald participated in WCTAH. “The culinary world is one of great rivalries but even greater friendships,” says Chef Martin. “WCTAH is a powerful expression of this.”
The most recent WCTAH, convened by Chef Martin Kobald, brought 246 chefs to South Africa. From 21 to 30 August 2011, the group travelled around the country hosting events, showcasing their skills and distributing food to children. In the process more than R6 million was raised for charity, far exceeding the target of R2 million. Over the past four years, that money has ensured that more than 8 000 children per month have received food. For some it is three meals a day, for others a sandwich and milk at school; for all it means not going to bed hungry every night.
“WCTAH is not only a creative and inspiring way of raising funds,” says Chef Martin Kobald, “it is also extremely savvy about making the most of the results of its efforts.”
The money that is raised is held in trust and a portion is invested to earn interest. Bidvest, WCTAH’s main sponsor and partner, assists with disbursement to the charities to get as much value from the money as possible through bulk buying. In addition, the fund is topped up with annual events. In 2013, for instance, R220 000 was raised when Chef Martin Kobald summited Kilimanjaro with a group of chefs.
The next WCTAH will take place in October 2017, and planning has already started to make the fourth tour the most successful and inspiring one yet.