Monday, June 26, 2017

Rant: Chocolate Souffle & Hungry Children

Over the weekend, I was fortunate to attend, as a media guest, a Chocolate Souffle cooking class led by Chef Jacky Robert at his restaurant, Ma Maison. Jacky is a famed French chef, well known in the Boston area, and Ma Maison is an intimate, and reasonably priced, French restaurant. Jacky was very personable and helpful, making it easy for us to learn how to prepare a proper souffle. I'd never made a souffle before, though I've eaten plenty, so this was all uncharted territory.

Here are our finished souffles, fresh out of the oven. Generally, they looked pretty good, especially considering most of us had never made one before.

And this is mine. It should have been a bit higher (I mixed in the egg whites a bit too long) but it tasted delicious.

Though this event was fun, I was most struck when Jacky mentioned that he usually conducts these cooking classes as fund raisers, to raise money to fight childhood hunger, especially in the Philippines. Jacky is one of the founders of Chefs Feed Kids, a non-profit organization established to combat hunger, especially in the Philippines. As their website notes: "There are about 1.5 million street children in the Philippines. The very poor kids are thin, untidy, and undernourished, hardly equipped to survive the hazards of everyday living and working on the streets." Other local chefs also help out with this charity and you can see the list here.

In addition, Jacky also helped to establish On Board For Kids, another non-profit organization established to combat childhood hunger. Their full mission is "to provide food, education, shelter, clothing, and healthcare to children in need around the world." They sell a few products, t-shirts and cookies, to raise funds, but also host various events, where all the proceeds go directly to feeding & educating children all over the world.

Their next event will be held on Saturday, September 23, a Sunset Cruise, which will feature a number of local chefs, headed by Jacky Robert. Tickets cost $150/person and can be purchased online here. If the tickets do not sell out, you will be able to purchase them at the door for $180/person. This should be a delicious evening of food & fun, and it will all be for a great cause.

Childhood hunger is a serious problem across the world, even in our own country. In the U.S., approximately 13 million children live in households that do not have consistent access to sufficient food. Worldwide, about 3.1 million children die from hunger each year. There are a number of organizations dedicated to fighting this problem and they need your help. I have much respect for Chef Jacky Robert for his efforts to battle this terrible problem. I also have much respect for all of the others chefs who work with Jacky in this battle.

It was fun to make a souffle, but the most significant aspect of my experience was learning more about Jacky's efforts to save children. Please help him out, by attending the On Board For Kids Sunset Cruise, or making a donation to one of Jacky's nonprofits.

Save the children, save the world.

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