Washington, D.C… Many cooks in the kitchen was the recipe for delicious and nutritious foods today at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va. Senegalese healthy foods school founder Ali Baba Gueye and Victor Albisu, a member of the State Department Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, shared their experiences with T.C. Williams Chef Craig Scheuerman’s class.
The American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) hosted the program to highlight Gueye’s knowledge, including expertise resulting from training supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service. Gueye has a powerful story to tell about how the U.S. healthy foods movement is going global. He sees an important role for U.S. high-protein soy flour and other soy ingredients for Africans to produce their own healthy foods. Albisu joined Gueye in creating soy chili and other foods with the students.
“Soy flour and other soy ingredients are good for your health,” says Gueye who also cites more opportunity for African bakers to profit because it increases the volume of the bread made with it.
Gueye started his culinary career as a dishwasher 27 years ago in New York City. After working his way up the culinary ladders of New York and around the world, he is progressing on his vision to establish a health-focused culinary school in 54 African countries. Gueye opened his first healthy foods culinary school in Dakar, Senegal last year. “When the students finish, we will try to help them get jobs in the hotel industry or to be entrepreneurs to hire more people and create more jobs,” Gueye says.
WISHH selected Gueye to return to the United States in late September to gain more ideas for his healthy foods and soy baking through a course at the Northern Crops Institute in Fargo, N.D. USDA Market Access Program funding also supported Gueye’s training. WISHH used soybean checkoff funds to support Gueye’s Washington D.C. area-demonstration with Albisu that featured CHS soy flour and textured vegetable protein.
The T.C. Williams High School volunteered to have the demonstration at their school as an opportunity to provide students with international and healthy backing experience. Briana Harvey, a senior in the class, reported that she learned about the importance of protein in developing country diets, and soy foods taste good too.
The U.S. State Department launched the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership on September 7. The initiative is in partnership with the James Beard Foundation and includes acclaimed chefs, such as Albisu. A true Washingtonian, chef Victor Albisu uniquely combines extensive knowledge of the tastes and bounty of the District with a sophisticated appreciation of his rich Cuban and Peruvian heritage and global travels. He has worked at L’Arpege in Paris, and Marcel’s in Washington, DC. Albisu was the Chef de Cuisine at the Contemporary Latin American restaurant, Ceiba, in the District downtown and BLT Steak.