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Community spirit

Over fifty top chefs take part in event on Costa del Sol to raise funds for autistic children

Some 55 professionals from Michelin-starred restaurants took part in the seventh Chefs for Children initiative, which this year will donate its proceeds to Autismo España

María Albarral

Marbella

Friday, 26 April 2024, 09:56

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The laughter of the 150 or so children from local schools and from Autismo España was matched by the smiles from the 55 chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants who gathered on Monday 22 April at the Anantara Villa Padierna Hotel in Benahavís to participate in the cooking workshops organised by the Chefs for Children charity project.

Fun and charity were the order of the day with activities to teach the importance of healthy eating at a young age and to help the children who need it most.

“Being able to cook with all these children is a ‘gift’ and one of the really nice things that happen in this profession. You leave here much fuller, fatter and laughing and saying ‘how fantastic’,” described chef Ramón Freixa on the sensations that these top chefs feel in this initiative.

One of the new participants in this event is the television chef Alberto Chicote. “I am one of the latest additions to this great family. We have shared many experiences over the years and this is one of those that we are proud to be part of,” said Chicote, who added that “it is not only having the opportunity to spend a day with our colleagues, to attend this call, in this case for Autismo España, but it is one of those moments that you always remember as having been a pleasure to be part of”.

Chefs for Children is a charity project that raises funds for Autismo España (Autism Spain), a group of more than 180 entities that provide services to autistic people and their families. During the event there were various workshops and it finished with a gala dinner where the assistants could share a table with these top Spanish chefs.

Autismo España

“Obviously, as a leading entity in autism in our country, we are the ones who have the ability to fight and achieve a fairer, more equitable and friendlier society for people with autism, but we know that we cannot do it alone, that we need the support of society, the support of the companies and the support of sectors such as the one we have here today, which is the hotel and catering sector. For us, the support of the public is essential,” said the communication director of Autismo España, Amparo Rey.

This is the second consecutive year that Benahavís has hosted this event and the town’s mayor, José Antonio Mena, pointed out that “we are delighted to support this type of initiative and we will continue to do so because we are proud of it”.

Another of the hosts, the Hotel Anantara Villa Padierna, made its facilities available to Chefs for Children for the occasion. “Anantara has a big heart. We are not a team here, we are a family and as such we are proud to be able to do our bit, in this case, for children with autism. It is really important to us,” said the hotel’s director, Jorge Manzur.

Pilar Candil, director of Lima Comunicación y Eventos, the agency that organised the project, highlighted the importance of collaborating with this charity and gave as an example a case close to home.

“One of my best friends has a child with autism. I have seen how she had many questions and needed someone who could explain to her how she could treat her child and how they could improve his integration into society. That work is very important and we are here today to reinforce it,” she said.

Charity Dinner

The Chefs for Children project culminated with the traditional gala dinner. The Malaga chefs prepared the menu for this special occasion. José Carlos García, Mario Cachinero, David Olivas, Mauricio Giovanini, Diego del Río, Benito Gómez, Dani Carnero and Diego Gallegos were in charge of surprising the diners.

The project also had a wide range of sponsors including the Vocento group (publisher of SUR), the provincial authority through Sabor a Málaga, Porsche Marbella, Le Cordon Bleu Madrid and Fundación La Caixa, among others.

“This initiative is growing every day. As our motto says ‘eating healthy is fun’ and we will continue to educate and help children with this project,” concluded Candil.

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