It’s a story that’s been developing for nearly five years — Gastón Acurio, famed Peruvian chef with over 35 restaurants in 12 countries around the world, is giving back to the Peruvian community. Nearly six years ago he set up a culinary school in the Peruvian desert near Pachacútec, aimed at giving Peruvian youth a chance to learn a skill. Classes are taught as they would be at a culinary school anywhere else in the world, though at the end of the students’ time in the school, they receive a paid externship at one of Acurio’s many restaurants. The idea that food could affect a nation and give youth a chance at a better life caught on, and is now a film entitled Peru Sabé, which premiered last year.
With a school built and an empire that shows no sign of getting smaller, you would think that Acurio might just stop and enjoy what he’s accomplished. However, that’s not who he is. As part of his ongoing philanthropic work, Acurio is now putting gardens and kitchens into grade schools in the Pachacútec area. The goal is to give children, from the start of their education, the chance to understand and work with fresh foods, ultimately leading to a better life. There is an incredible video of the process here, with more news and updates sure to come. It’s nice to see a chef with such success and fame giving back to the land that made him famous. [via Somos, Peru Sabé, La Republica]