BY JAMES TWOMEY
A celebrity chef is encouraging kids to put down their knives and pick up a spatula in a bid to show them a life of crime might not pan out.
Some might be better known for swearing a lot or threatening staff with blunt cooking implements – but Michel Roux Jr on May 16 promoted cooking and hospitality to young people at risk of youth violence.
The Treehouse in Clapham saw a course which was judged by the nearly 70 guests who attended, all under the watchful eye of chef Michel.
He opened the evening by sharing some of his story growing up in South London and why it was important to him to champion young people from his area.
Mr Roux said: “I am a true South Londoner – it’s where I grew up and I love this area.
“With reports of knife crime on the rise, I want young people from here to have access to positive activities and opportunities like tonight where they can try something new that may lead to great things.”
One of the kids taking part, 15 year old Paris Milner, also shared her story about how BigKid Foundation had helped her find stability and family during some difficult times.
Paris said: “Everyone at BigKid has actually made an impact in my life, helping me become a more mature person. “I’ve actually felt like they were my second family.
Always supporting me and motivating me to do new things.”
The evening was sponsored by the Livelyhood Pub Group who work closely with BigKid Foundation and have donated more than £15,000 to them this year from their menu campaign alone.
BigKid foundation is a multi award winning charity that exists to help young people at risk of social exclusion and youth violence to find, develop and act on their own potential.
Founder and chief executive of BigKid Foundation, Shaninga Marasha, said: “With youth violence, particularly knife crime on the rise in the capital it has never been more crucial for young people to have the opportunity to get involved with positive activities that will give them new skills, opportunities and ultimately increase their life chances.”