Cooking at the workcamp >

Cooking at the workcamp

Let's now focus on how to make cooking management more inclusive, starting with the cooking team and then moving on to the cooking in general.

Chef and the team

The cooking team and its chef will depend on task division. Task distribution is crucial from the beginning of the project. As a camp leader, you'll need to learn to delegate. Managing the kitchen is part of it. It is important not to take on too many responsibilities, as you will have many things to think about and manage during the camp.

Task division can take various forms. In an unstructured way, you can let participants choose what they prefer to do. Or, in a structured way, you can operate with a lottery system where each participant draws five tasks to trade with others.

Once task division is done, the cooking team will decide who will be the chef. The term "chef" is used here as a leader who will make decisions rather than someone who will be above everyone else. In most cases, there is not an explicit election of the "chef," but it's implicit. For example, the chef might be the one with a recipe idea or the one who feels most comfortable leading a team.

The responsibility of cooking might be daunting for some; don't hesitate to make participants feel comfortable and take the pressure off. The goal of the cooking team isn't to produce a 5-star meal but also to learn. Sometimes, people are cooking for the first time, and it takes all their courage to dive in. Be encouraging! Perfection doesn't exist in any case.

Cooking process

Regarding the cooking itself, it's essential to consider all dietary needs: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, pork-free, etc. As it is explained in the Food Waste section, it's very practical to get in touch with the volunteer group before the project begins to understand their different dietary needs. This will help you manage the different meals throughout the project duration.

One of the golden rules is not to impose but to empower the group regarding each participant's dietary needs. The world is diverse, just like cooking. Involving volunteers in creating varied and balanced meals also means empowering them regarding their meat consumption and emphasizing environmental values - you do not forget about keeping an eye of the consumption of tap water spent during cookin, right? :).


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