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Message from WACS President
We Are on the Right Path!
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
April 28th, 2009
Dear friends, since my last message one month ago, many things have been happening. Not only have I been travelling from one continent to another, meeting colleagues and friends from all over the world, but I also have had the opportunity to meet many potential sponsors. After these meetings, I am convinced that we are on the right path: Members are open, sponsors are optimistic and we in the WACS Board believe we are getting something done.
In this message I would like to give you a little update on what has happened and what is happening within WACS
In the last month, we have had continental meetings for all of Europe and the Americas and it’s great to see the spirit and enthusiasm of our friends. Members are not quiet; they are active and they have visions and dreams. Both meetings where used to discuss the past and the future, the upcoming Congress and the various WACS programs.
The meeting in Europe was held in Split in Croatia and the job our friends did was great. The city of Split is a beautiful city and the food from the ocean was fresh and well prepared. We had the opportunity to walk around the old town of Split and I have to say I would love to go back to spend time there in the summertime, it is a dream of a place. The meeting went very well. Many things were discussed and many different views were shared, which is something very good and very necessary.
The meeting for the Americas was held in Guatemala City and Chef Euda Morales did an outstanding job hosting this with her team. The meeting was held in a beautiful hotel and we had the opportunity to spend a day in a coffee plantation where we met 300 children (aged between 3 and 8) and looked at their school and where their breakfast and lunch is cooked every day.
It was truly heartbreaking to see this place and everyone involved felt something had to be done. I have asked Vice-President Hilmar B. Jonsson and Secretary General Helgi Einarsson to take charge in our Humanitarian program and set up a special program where we can help with building kitchens in places like this. Also, Mr. Claude Buzon from Canada has volunteered to take part in this. He was with us in Guatemala and he burned with desire to do something for this and I know he already has collected tools worth thousands of dollars to be sent to the places which need them. In the next months, this small team will outline a plan on how this work can be done in the future.
Our WACS Board meeting was held in Germany in mid-April. The board made many decisions that will have effect on our association for the future. This you will see soon when our minutes from the meeting have been approved and published on the website. We were guests of Axel Rhüman and his wife, in their hotel, who showed us wonderful hospitality and served us delectable food.
The Biennial Congress is coming up soon and you will be seeing monthly news about it. I just spent a few days with Jaqueline, Fernando and their team in Santiago, Chile, and I can tell you that the congress will be an experience for you all. The various approaches we are taking and the plans with speakers and programs will guarantee you a special experience but also give you a good taste of the character of the Latin American people. Please follow all news on www.wacs2010.com and make your registration early; also look for flights early to get the best prices!
I had the opportunity to take part in a great show in Perth, Australia, where I also had a meeting with Fonterra and Meat & Livestock Australia. As you may know, they have been partners of WACS for a long time and now we are in conversation about the future. The show itself was great, the competition was first class, the teams did a very good job. Watching the competition showed me that all countries are doing a great job and I look forward to the next big competition in Luxembourg next year.
In Singapore, I got the opportunity to have a meeting with our website team and Peter Knipp. It is a company full of activity but focused and by the middle of the summer (in the Northern Hemisphere) you will be seeing a new, updated website, coming on the net. We have been getting different ideas for this revamping from around the world so that the website will be focused on giving something to everyone. It will accommodate all four official WACS languages so you can send your news in French, English, Spanish or German. But, remember, if you, the members out there are not active, nothing will happen, so please make sure to send in news, articles and stories from your associations and countries! This is for all members, not just the presidents!
I also met with John Sloane, Otto Weibel and Eric Teo in Singapore. I am very happy to say that we have 100 % support from our friends in Singapore. It is so important that we all focus together to work on what needs to be done and I honestly believe we will get there with the team we have today. Thanks guys for your hospitality and friendship.
I stopped over in Prague for 24 hours to speak about WACS at the Czech Republic Chefs Association’s congress. I met many great people and I am pleased to say that our colleagues in Czech Republic have made the decision and made the announcement that they will be applying for the position of the next WACS Continental Director’s position for Central Europe.
I then was in Lisbon, Portugal for a few days where the Global Chefs Challenge Semi-final for South Europe was held. The area where the competition was held was very well done. The public had a great opportunity to sit and watch and take part. Fausto and Srecko did a great job and I congratulate you both and all the team working with you. Also I would like to say that everyone competing did an outstanding job. The winner from Portugal was a clear one, even if the jury had a very hard time making the decision with all other places. Well done chefs.
Finally, I went to Norway for 24 hours to support my good friend Harald Asa with the Nordic project with the Nordic Ministers. The project was about menu language. As much as we have respect for our gastronomy heritage from France and other places, it’s important to use our own language at home. This is part of each one’s identity. Harald, together with chefs from all the Nordic countries had been working on this for a months to see what can be done and how to get this idea out to the chefs. I think they did a perfect job. The first step is the need to teach chefs to write menus correctly and in their own language. I am sure that Harald will give you more news about this through our website with time and I hope other countries will see the value in doing this as we all have heart for our own languages.
I have been on the road for long time and I may forget to mention some of the places and I hope you will forgive me that, if I have. What is the most important is that the activity out there around chefs is amazing.
Over the next months we will keep on with our work and I hope soon we will announce new partners working with WACS, some great projects coming up with UNESCO and many other exciting things! Also, remember to stay in touch with our office in Paris.
I am home now for the next three weeks, giving some time to my family and helping my colleagues out with the Nordic Chefs Congress which will be held in the beginning of May.
Take care of your health, family and friends and have a great spring everyone, where ever you are and what ever you are doing.
“Positive thoughts are not enough. There have to be positive feelings and positive actions.”
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