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Grand Rapids, GRCC training local chefs to prepare for disasters

GRCC Culinary training.jpg
Posted at 9:18 AM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 09:18:25-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — West Michigan chefs will be better prepared to step up during disasters thanks to special training hosted by Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education and city officials.

Chefs from area hotels, restaurants and hospitals will join GRCC instructors for Chef Relief Training on Nov. 22 and 23, according to a news release Monday.

Jose Andres, a famous chef and founder of the nonprofit World Central Kitchen, launched the intensive training course this year to prepare chefs to safely and effectively provide meals for their communities after a disaster.

The course is based on the nonprofit’s real-world experience in the aftermath of “countless” manmade and natural disasters, according to Werner Absenger, program director for the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education.

“The WCK training will help us prepare for events that hopefully will never happen,” Absenger said. “But should it, we will have a solid plan in place to provide food to aid first responders and the community in dealing with the aftermath of disaster and minimizing its deleterious effects.”

GRCC is providing the training for free.

Allison Farole, Grand Rapids’ emergency management administrator, said the training gives the city an important resource.

“I am excited to see this partnership established to help build resilience in our community and ensure we are setting up local chefs and our hospitality industry up for success to recover from any disaster,” Farole said.

Chefs participating in the training will also share the results with GRCC’s Student Food Pantry.