The first groups of the 5th edition of ‘Gastronomia do Amanhã’ receive, in Barcarena, certificates of completion in cooking courses and in other areas focused on entrepreneurship. The project, sponsored by Albras, offers, free of charge, opportunities for qualification and development of new sources of income for residents of the region.
The courses started in January this year. In Barcarena, the project has already carried out training in the communities of Itupanema, Vila Nova and Vila do Conde. Participants had an intense week of learning, with chefs and experts in other areas. The program included theoretical and practical classes on notions of cooking, biosecurity techniques, marketing and entrepreneurship. Students also learned to develop datasheet for food and cooking techniques.
Learning that stimulates the realization of dreams. At 30 years old, driver Rafael Margalho wants to be a reference in barbecue. The young man has a small restaurant in Vila do Conde. Despite spending part of the day driving, his true passion is in the kitchen.
“I have always enjoyed preparing meat for barbecue. I've taken training courses, but ‘Gastronomia do Amanhã’ made me see a range of new things that I want to put into practice in my kitchen. I really want to expand my menu”, says Rafael.
The project allows for training that multiplies knowledge to the local community. That's what Carla Vasconcelos, 52, who lives in the Itupanema community, has been doing. Trained in the first group, in Barcarena, the self-employed remains in contact with a participant in the course, with the mission of encouraging gastronomic entrepreneurship among women in the locality where she lives.
“The project goes beyond the five days of training. We created a group in the course, and we continued exchanging ideas on the social network. We talk about recipes, and we also encourage other women in the community to think about cooking as a source of income”, points out Carla.
During the cooking classes, the students handled food provided by the Tipitix project, as cassava, cassava flour, fruits, foliage and regional seasonings. All ingredients were made available by family farmers from Barcarena who participate in the initiative.
Tipitix is an initiative of the Hydro Sustainability Fund and the Mitsui Bussan Foundation of Brazil that focuses on community agri-food entrepreneurship and income generation in Barcarena. The project, implemented by the Peabiru Institute, encourages an increase in the quality and added value of local production, especially cassava. Voluntary and spontaneous investment, the project received the amount of R$ 1.5 million for the installation of a processing unit, inaugurated last October, which is offering several opportunities to entrepreneurs and social groups in the region.
The free ‘Gastronomia do Amanhã’ courses continue in Barcarena. In the coming weeks, classes will be held in the Laranjal and São Francisco communities. And as of February 21, training will take place in Vila de Beja, in Abaetetuba. Altogether, the project is expected to reach more than three hundred residents in both municipalities. All vacancies are already filled.
The project schedule, which trains people in situations of social vulnerability with cooking and entrepreneurship workshops, has five days of workshops, four of which are theoretical and practical classes and, on the fifth and final day, the result of this entire process is shared with the public in a gastronomic show, with the delivery of certificates.
Chef Verena Aquino, the project's technical coordinator, reports on the experience of helping people in this learning process to see gastronomy as a source of income.
“We organize everything so that students feel safe and motivated to continue cooking after the course is over. The language and classes are appropriate within what participants encounter on a daily basis. At the end of classes, we already had cases of students who set up their own restaurants and now have their own income”, concludes Verena.
The entire course is carried out adopting health and safety protocols due to covid-19, such as the use of masks and the use of gel alcohol. For more information, you can access the project's social networks or call (91) 98391-4039.
‘Gastronomia do Amanhã’ is sponsored by Albras via the Culture and Achievement Incentive Law Embrasesc, Special Secretariat for Culture and Ministry of Tourism.