Covid-19, June 16, 2020, 5:48 p.m.

On Youth Day, when life gives you melons… you make melon curry!


Youth Day in 2020 has special significance for a group of culinary students who were brought together by Chefs with Compassion, a surplus-driven movement to nourish those in need.

It’s a day when their collective spirit for volunteering motivated them to brave the icy weather to prepare a meal from surplus rescued produce for children in need.


The 12 youths from six culinary schools (HTA School of Culinary Art, Swiss Hotel School, Capsicum Culinary Studio, the National Youth Chef Training Programme, JHB Culinary & Pastry School, and Culinary Passions School of Hospitality), arrived bright and early for a ready-steady-cook challenge. This is what Chefs with Compassion is all about – taking produce that would otherwise have gone to waste – no matter what it might be – and turning it into delicious, nutritious meals for people who would otherwise go hungry.































Faced with a mountain of melons and an abundance of cauliflower, Executive Chef of the African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel Autograph Collection, Adrian Vigus-Brown, who is one of the management team driving Chefs with Compassion, decided on a melon curry. He comments, “Today we’ve got youth cooking for the youth on Youth Day. Through Nosh Food Rescue NPC, Chefs with Compassion rescues produce and the chefs in our network of over 30 kitchen hubs turn it into meals. This means the chefs sometimes don’t have much of a choice of we’re going to do, but we do have a choice of how we’re going to do it. Today, we’re making a hearty, fortified curry for 150 children at the New Life Centre for Girls and Children ECDC in Mayibuye, two of the homes supported by Chef Citrum Khumalo and the CK Foundation.”


Chefs with Compassion has been serving meals to the needy since just after the lockdown started, and today has over 32 kitchen hubs who voluntarily give of their time and resources to convert the rescued produce into nourishing meals. The organisation is driven entirely by volunteers and, to date, Chefs with Compassion has served over 220 000 meals produced from 12,5 tonnes of rescued produce across the greater Johannesburg area and Pretoria, and is expanding its footprint into Durban, Cape Town, Rustenberg and Potchefstroom.


For more information and to assist with donations, surplus end-of-life products and logistical requirements, go to or follow them on Facebook/chefswithcompassion.