Hanoi celebrates 15 years of administrative boundary adjustment 12th Vietnam-France decentrialized cooperation conference 31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Jun 04, 2023 / 21:23

CEO CookOff's special culinary event 2023 debuts

The event aims to raise awareness among the Vietnamese community about the importance of not wasting food.

The CEO CookOff 2023 program, incepted in 2012 in Sydney to promote sharing a meal with people in need, was kicked off in Ho Chi Minh City on June 4.

 Jimmy Pham founded KOTO, a not-for-profit social enterprise that empowers at-risk and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam through its holistic hospitality training program. Photo: KOTO

The debut in Ho Chi Minh City is one year after its launch in Hanoi, ahead of a star-studded culinary weekend led by kitchen luminaries, including Vietnamese-Australian chefs Thi Le from Melbourne's acclaimed Jeow and Masterchef Australia's Tommy Pham, visiting for the occasion.

The event will bring together 40 of Vietnam's most prominent CEOs with 10 chefs from Vietnam and foreign countries to serve 150 guests, raise funds for disadvantaged people in Vietnam, and prevent food waste across the country.

According to Jimmy Pham, founder of VietHarvest - a not-for-profit organization, 570,000 people in Vietnam are food insecure, while at the same time, approximately 8.8 million tons of food is wasted. "VietHarvest's mission is to bridge this gap and provide a practical and positive solution to reduce food waste and hunger," he said.

Reducing surplus food waste is a practical way to protect the environment, improve global food security and provide access to quality nutrition for disadvantaged communities. Illustration Photo

According to the World Bank estimates, out of every 10 tons of waste generated in Vietnam, 5.8 tons is biodegradable organic waste, the vast majority of which is food. An estimated 87,000 Vietnamese households waste food every week, making Vietnam second only to China in food waste in the region. Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development estimates that about one-third of this waste is fresh fruits and vegetables.

VietHarvest works to collect quality surplus food from hotels, restaurants, and other partners and delivers it via refrigerated trucks to underserved communities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The inaugural CEO CookOff will help raise locals' awareness of these global challenges and raise funds to support the Hanoi-based company's national expansion.

On the same day, VietHarvest signed a cooperation agreement with Vietnam Airlines and IHG, two organizations committed to supporting VietHarvest's development by donating unused food.