Stopping the violence.


Founder of
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Joined Oct 5, 2001
So recently there was another high school shooting. I find myself getting to the point of being numb to these events so much so that it doesn't even shock me very much at all when it happens. I just know that I am thankful that it didn't happen in my area. Which makes me think what can I do as a memember of society of help stop this kind of thing? I don't have kids and I am sure many would say well teach your kids. But what about the kids that don't have a solid role models. What are ways you work with your community to reach out to kids? And more specifically are there ways our industry can make a change?
Joined Oct 5, 2001
Dear Friends:

What an excellent idea!

Several names came to my mind for a movement like the one Nicko envisions. I screened most of them out either because they were plain silly (such as "Cook don't Shoot") or because they were too ambitious. My name search pointed out the need for clarifying our intentions if we are to embark upon such a worthy voyage. Are we going to create something as a reaction to the school shootings or as an alternative to the spread of violent cultures? How do we define violence? What do we want to include in our list of objectives?

After careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that our movement needs to be against violence. Violence needs to be defined as any form of oppression and anything that puts at risk the mental, emotional and physical well being of any individual anywhere in the world. It is for this reason that I suggest the name "Cooks without Borders". Borders defines social, economic, state and personal limits. We can start a program with our local schools and expand. There are no limits to what a movement like that can achieve. We can invite to dinner the leaders of opposing inner-city youth gangs, or even the cultural and political leaders of enemy states that are at war. I just love this idea!

Count me in! Let's find out if there are enough of us who like this idea and are ready to commit to it.
Joined Nov 17, 2000
What a great idea! U. S. Chess supports chess in schools--they furnished me with some boards and chess sets a few years ago when I held a tournament for junior high kids. Chefs could be a great source of encouragement for kids of all ages. Since ours is a rural area, we don't have much access to the culinary world. If chefs could provide a web site that offered culinary information as a background to world cultures(think of the international nature of this board!), I know that I, for one, would use it to enhance my social studies and English classes. If kids could chat in a safe environment with chefs, they would learn a lot about hard work and dedication, and it might help some kids to think about cooking school as a post high school training choice. I know that most of my students did not even know such schools existed, just as most did not know that there are young chess champions around the world until I showed them Searching For Bobby Fischer. Neither chess nor cooking will stop violence, but people from both areas can have an influence on kids merely by showing an interest in them. Sometimes that's all it takes to have a positive effect on a young person. :D
Joined Oct 17, 2000
I first saw this thread early thia a.m. I contemplated ideas for solutions. I think what is lacking with these kids is some support. They dont feel socially accepted. I really dont think Cheftalk can directly be the answer. What could help is support from cheftalk to different organizations that are set up to deal with these youths. Church groups, Boy scouts, Girl scouts, YMCA,and other places like already have procedures or systems in place to give todays youth a moral perspective on life. I know that organizations like these and others, are always looking for help, and ideas.It is within these groups that Cheftalk can make a difference.Programs like a cooking demo, or a restaurant tour could make these groups more desireable to more kids. It doesnt take money, only time. I already am involved with my church, and both my children are in scouts. I voluntare some of my time now to work with these kids.

Make Bread, Not Violence.
Joined Dec 8, 1999
I love it, Papa! I would gladly donate my free time to this. I especially like the name; it doesn't imply any kind of political agenda on our part. Not taking sides, I think, is very important in any conflict resolution. It would be a good idea to come up with a mission statement first, defining who we are, what our goals are and how we plan to achieve them, and then work on the logistics from there.

[ March 15, 2001: Message edited by: Greg ]


Founder of
Staff member
Joined Oct 5, 2001
Wow all this after one day! Sounds like we are on to something. Here is something I had in mind. What if every chef invited one or two kids into their kitchen to work for a day? See what creative food is all about etc? Show them that there are ways to really do something worthwhile.

Greg I like the idea of a mission statement. My focus though is kids and violence. So maybe we can keep it to that?

Anyone ever start something like this? We definately need a name. How about "Cooking for Peace"
Joined Dec 12, 2000
I am relatively young and do not have children, but I feel that all of this youth violence and shootings at schools, etc... is very sad. It also bothers me that kids are committing suicide because of bullying.
Anyway I really like the idea of chefs taking kids in to teach them about cooking and showing them a positive spin on life. Here at home there is one gentlman who's been in martial arts since he was a teen, and now he has started a youth facility to teach kids the martial arts and also to give them a place off of the street so that they can be positive about themselves.

[ March 15, 2001: Message edited by: coolJ ]
Joined Oct 5, 2001
Dear Nicko:

I don't think that you should limit it to schools. I love the "Cooking for Peace" name too. But Peace in the US schools? It sounds as if we are implying that they are battlegrounds. This is a slap in the face that live in truly violent societies such as these engaged in war. I strongly believe that we should expand it.

Youth is not only in schools. It is in correctional facilities, in the streets, in labor camps that disguise as factories, ... .
We need to cover every child if we are to make a difference!
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Anything is worth the smile of a child...
When they shiver,we must hold them close to us.Look into a childs eyes and you can see the world.Slow down,hold there hands,tell them they are special and that you love them.
As they grow...hold onto that warmth,treat them with respect.If they are alone in the world give something up of your own so you may be able to lend them a hand.the greatest gift of all is the gift of giving.
always have a shoulder for a child to rest there head.
Peace be with our children,and strength and good will be within our hearts
Joined Aug 14, 2000
Like Nicko, I am not a parent. Therefore it is far to easy for me to say that "If the parents paid a little more attention...."

It seems to me that if we try to grasp the enormity of the problem we would be overwhelmed. In the face of such a daunting task, the tendancy is to do nothing.

I am going to try and reduce the issue to its most elemental state; one child. Later this month I am going to be a judge in a highschool "business" competition here in NYC. The students develop a proposal for a business. We review the proposal and then work with the students to refine them.

It is only a 3 hour commitment and I will only be worlink with one student, bit it's a start. Maybe if we all made some similar effort it might add up to something.
Joined Nov 19, 1999
I think you have all come up with a really exciting idea! Food does actually seem to touch the soul. I think that's why I love feeding the young kids I work for.

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