International Chefs Day – welcome from Rick Stephen

My dear colleagues,

With many celebrations around the world and also here in Asia with our own traditional holidays it is time for chefs to unite once again for our own special day ‘ International Chefs Day’.

Celebrated throughout the 100 countries that belong to the World Association of Chefs Societies, 10 million chefs reflect on this day, created by Dr. Bill Gallagher Honorary Life president of WACS.

The day is about the white coats that are dotted throughout our world and what are we Chefs are doing for mankind and not just in our world of kitchens, it is also about goodwill, friendship, comradely and to help those who may need that little extra care or for us to go one more step, to create a special day for someone or a group.

The 2014 theme is ‘Pass it On!’ so as a chef what are we going to pass on?

Knowledge – there is no greater thing that we can Pass On than our knowledge, years of learning, training and making many mistakes is a great learning curve for all, and now it is time to Pass it On to not only our younger generation but to all who want to progress.

Wisdom – some people are born clever and others learn from experience,listening or sharing information, as Chefs we can Pass it On the wisdom that we have gained in respect to business, a new cooking technique or even networking with suppliers.

Communication – an art that modern technology has bypassed, and we need to Pass it On the ability to talk to people one on one and inspire them, lead them with direction and also to lead them on the correct path in general, too often we are stuck with our face in the computer or our handphone to look up and verbally communicate with our peers, our parents and more importantly our families. A chef, who can communicate one on one with his team will find his team will respond far more enthusiastically and with better results than using communication from a computer generated message.

Passion –can be through inspiration or hands on leadership, to be able to Pass it On or to be able to inspire a young chef to achieve their own goals and to go beyond their dreams, can only leave you with a great sense of achievement and pride which is what our industry is based on, Passion, Pride and Inspiration.

Skills – there are chefs that are so naturally talented then there are a few of us that work hard at trying to be talented, so the challenge here to you is to take up a mentorship and Pass It On the skills of cooking, communication, your passion and your vision to others, so they may embrace some of your philosophies on our great industry and not allow them to die through natural attrition.

Giving back to the community – as a chef, we are surrounded by food types of all description on a daily basis, we can determine how much food we waste or how we can control this area whether you call it sustainability or any fancy word that we want to use. There are communities here in Asia that are not so fortunate as others and as a chef we are inspired to Pass it On our food, our friendship and the love of people by giving back to the community and sharing our food for all to enjoy.

Some chefs may measure themselves by how many medals they have won, what accolades follow them or how many stars their restaurants have, but we should be measured on how much we have Passed it On from the list above or what’s in our hearts to our younger generation, our own communities or for those in need.

Dear colleagues, I wish you a great International Chefs Day !

Dr. Rick Stephen CMC Continental Director – Asia