During the auction dinner for Manq’a on Saturday January 12 € 15.400 was raised for Manq’a. Manq’a is a project of ICCO and Melting Pot Foundation in which young people in South America get training in becoming a cook. The auction dinner was held in restaurant RIJKS, Amsterdam, where topchefs Joris Bijdendijk and Nicolas Lopez prepared the menu for 120 guests.
120 guests were present at the auction dinner, coming from 15 different companies. In this way it was not only a nice evening with quality food, but also a good opportunity to network. During the evening several items were sold for Manq’a: a dinner in New York, a workshop salsa dancing, 25 bottles of fresh milk, a signed cooking apron of Manq’a and way more.
Joris Bijdendijk and Nicolas Lopez
The food was prepared by Joris Bijdendijk, executive chef of RIJKS, a restaurant in Amsterdam with a Michelin star. Nicolas Lopez was special guest of the event who had come over from Colombia especially for this event. His restaurant Villanos and Bermudas has been awarded a number 15 in the Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants 2018 list. In this restaurant he also trains Manq'a students.
Claus Meyer, world-renowned chef (a.o. founder of Noma), told about the creation of Manq’a. He set up Melting Pot Foundation which, together with ICCO, set up the gastronomy trainings for young cooks in South America: Manq'a. Conny Toornstra, ICCO's regional manager for Latin America, told what will happen with the proceeds of the evening: "With the proceeds, Manq'a wants to set up a catering business, so that the Manq'a schools can become self-sufficient. In this way the continuation of the schools in the future remains insured".
History of Manq’a
The idea of Manq'a started in 2013 in Bolivia. ICCO, in cooperation with Melting Pot Bolivia (from Claus Meyer), brought producers, processors of food and consumers together to train underprivileged young people to become cooks. Thanks to a contribution from the Postcode Lottery in 2013, the project was able to grow rapidly. 15 schools have now been set up in Bolivia and in 2015 the first Manq'a school was opened in Bogota, Colombia. More than 3,000 students have now graduated in both countries. Almost half of them have found a job in a restaurant, and more than 600 former students are setting up their own company.