Unilever chef Andy talks to Indonesian mayor about school food
10/12/2013 - 16:14

Andy Lagor, the Unilever Food Solutions chef in Indonesia to see how his company’s work with the World Food Programme (WFP) is progressing, has talked to the mayor of a town where he has helped local school children.

After helping the head mistress, seven cooks and mothers who support the school meals project by cooking and preparing food for 248 pupils each day in Kupang, he travelled the following day to meet the local mayor, known as the bupati.

He says: “I have no idea how the driver got me to the bupati’s office, what with all the small scooters weaving in and out of us.

“It can only be described as traffic carnage. But, eventually I got there in one piece.

“With representatives from the World Food Programme, I spoke to the bupati about how and why children are suffering from malnutrition in Kupang.

“He’s a very humble man and really passionate about feeding his people. He can often be found planting crops in remote villages outside of the city centre, to help residents become self-sufficient.

“He also told me that he’d removed most of the flowers from his garden because ‘the flower is only good to touch, see and smell, not eat; the flowers don’t feed anyone’.

“He accompanied me to a local school, Negeri Beslue, and we were greeted with another traditional dance by the children. They were happy to see us, and so were the school cooks after I told them I’d cook with them.

“Again, parents had donated all the ingredients, with support from the World Food Programme and the Unilever Foundation.

“Once the children had been fed, I was fortunate enough to be taken to a local culinary school and to try one of the students award-winning dishes: banana, mung beans, rice and salted fish stew followed by fresh mango.

“After, I went to a local night market. Packed with food carts set against a backdrop of colourful fireworks – it was amazing. Stopping for dinner, I decided to try the shrimp and shellfish for a truly authentic taste of Indonesia.

“Yet again, the flavours and taste combinations were fresh and delicious.

“The whole evening was unforgettable and I’m already looking to see how I can replicate these flavours in school meals back home – so watch out.”

When he left Kupang his next destination was Jakarta to visit the culinary team at Unilever Food Solutions’ headquarters in Jakarta.