It’s ok for Maldivians to become chefs.

I have met chefs who are straighter than a radio antenna. Sri Lankan chefs Indian chefs. Chinese and Japanese chefs. It is a job that pays well. Besides, look at all the foods we cannot cook but enjoy eating. Sure, we have great respect for them. I met Maldivian chefs too. They smile but their eyes tell a different story.

Sadly, when we go to a Maldivian village the picture they have in mind is different. A different picture of a chef. It is different from reality. One man I spoke thinks that cooking is for women. In some villages men who show interest in the kitchen is faced with embarrassment.

What we can do? As individuals, we can look before we judge. Go to the kitchen, talk to chefs, ask about their family. After that please judge.

As hospitality professionals, we can talk to villagers about the kitchen and describe it as it is. If they have a view different from reality, we should correct them.

Hotels and resorts can also play some part in this. They can open their restaurants to the public. Let the public visit them. Let their chefs speak to to the public. Chefs are good at speaking.

Associations don’t have a big role but they can help hotels and resorts to connect with media. They can also raise awareness programs or create conferences. I haven’t seen a chef speaking in a conference but hopefully, that will change.

As for the media, they shoulder the responsibility of educating the public. They are much closer to the public than anyone else. So the media can help to provide the right image to the public, the right image of the chefs.

Among all, I believe that individuals play the smallest but the most important role. Those small things combined will produce the biggest result.

Original 14-11-20
Grammar – 28-11-20