Fair-Trade Cook-Off

A Different Kind of Cook-Off

Göttingen: 12 Students Participated in a "Fair-Trade and Organic" Cooking Competition

While it was a hectic week, all eyes were on the trainee kitchens of the Arbeit & Leben restaurants. Twelve students participated as a total of four groups in a cooking competition that utilised only fair trade ingredients and required them to come up with creative three-course menus. After each course was served, the audience voted for their favourite through applause, while a jury composed of industry experts gave their rating using a scale of 1 to 10. In the end, though, everyone went home a winner, as the cooks were each rewarded with a fair-trade, all organic food basket. Audience members were also duly rewarded for their presence: they had the opportunity to taste a range of dishes and were treated to short lectures about the fair-trade business between courses.

Fairly traded ingredients are especially a joy for farmers in developing countries, as they are paid fairly for their produce. As Outi Arajärvi, from the Development Politics Information Centre (EPIZ), stated in his opening speech, "Fair-trade produce is more than just fair-trade coffee and chocolate. This is what we want to show through the cook-off." Rice, oil, spices, coconut flakes and nuts - these are just a few things that come in fair-trade and which can be integrated into domestic kitchens.

It was thus against this background, as well as the campaign, Göttingen Is Fair!, that EPIZ got together with University of Göttingen students taking the project management course at ZESS (Central Institute of Languages and General Transferable Skills) to join forces for the cook-off. It didn't take long to find cooks: trainees and some of the Arbeit & Leben trainee restaurant staff members assisted the hobby cooks and Alexander Moritz from ZESS hosted the evening.

"This vinaigrette is really top-notch", noted Jörg Treichel, from Biohotel Werratal, praising the team, Die 3 KochFAIRrückten.
Two other members of the jury, Bernd Schütze from the Development Centre, Arbeit & Leben, and Heide Köhler from Soulfood, agreed. The top prize, however, went to the 'unicef-Team'. Still, all the teams were highly praised by the jury and everybody's tastes are different - the team that won the audience over came in last with the jury! Thus, all the cooks from the evening went home exhausted but feeling deservedly accomplished, unimamously agreeing that the cook-off had been fun and should definitely be repeated.

Source: Extra TiP from 9th June 2013