#National News

Gambia Chef Association marks International Chefs'Day

Oct 23, 2020, 11:44 AM | Article By: Sanna Jallow

The Gambia Chef Association on Tuesday joined the international community to celebrate International Chefs’Day.

The event, took the form of a march past from Traffic lights to The Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute, where a symposium was held.

This year’s event was held on different themes such as: ‘healthy food for the future, the importance of Gambian chefs in tourism and the destination Gambia through food’.

Mrs Cordu Jabang Senghore, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, who spoke on destination Gambia through food, said her ministry is aware of the importance of gastronomy and the need for diversification of tourism as well as the promotion of national and international economy.

"Chefs play an important role in consumer protection and the preservation of knowledge of our destination.

Dawda Nyang, director General of The Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute, said the day was established in 2004 by Dr Bill Gallagher and since then it has focused on educating the young ones to raise awareness about healthy food.

“It is also in line with the tourism policy within the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Since 2018 we are trying to change recipients to promote healthy eating for Gambians and non-Gambians alike and also for international visitors. That is why we started this journey with the Chef Association of The Gambia in 2018 and we want to continue working with them.”

Peter Mendy, a lecturer at the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute, who spoke on healthy food for the future, acknowledged the crucial role of chefs when it comes to delivering quality food in the industry.

"However, some of the challenges we face in the food system isthat we depend on only few variety of food which is rice and oil and it is very important to teach the younger generation on healthy eating.”

Ousman Manneh, secretary general of The Gambia Chef Association, who spoke on the importance of chefs’ in the tourism industry, said kitchens are the backbone of every hotel.

Manneh indicated that the importance of chefs is under estimated, saying a value should be added into local dishes.

 “We should turn back to our farmers to boost the economy of our country rather than buying vegetables at the supermarket .We had a discussion with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture on how to change that trend instead of using vegetables from the supermarket so as to patronise our own local farmers.”

Saikou Bojang president of The Gambia Chefs'Association, said food is just not what ‘we prepared it is far what u see on the plate’.

"Every tourism sector has to depend on chefs' to boost their establishment as we have entertainers, doctors. And we also combine ingredients not just only for the taste but also to boost our immune system.”