Communities
Diversity and inclusion

Supporting the professional integration of refugee chefs

Refugee Food Festival
Elior is pursuing its civic action strategy within the context of the Refugee Food Festival, an international solidarity event that promotes the integration of refugees thanks to the universal dimension of cooking. For the fourth year running, the Group is welcoming refugee chefs into some of its B&I restaurants; an operation designed to raise public awareness to the status of refugees.

Backed by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the Refugee Food Festival is a touring, citizens-initiative project, developed by the Food Sweet Food association. Its objective is threefold: to foster a change in public perception of the welcoming and status of refugees, to step up the socio-professional integration of refugee chefs and to offer guests the opportunity to discover new tastes and saviors from other cultures.

Elior notably invited a Central African cook, Yvette Dezzou, to cook for the employees of one of its B&I restaurants in Rueil Malmaison. For a day, Chef Dezzou tried her hand at cooking for the contract catering segment by proposing culinary dishes from her native country to employees lunching in the canteen. Delighted to cook within the framework of the festival, Yvette saw this as an opportunity to help people discover the dishes that she has been cooking since her childhood: plantain, spinach with peanut sauce and marinated beef skewer, etc. Together with the Elior teams, she cooked for 200 people, which enabled her to discover the specific characteristics of contract catering.

Refugee Food Festival

Yvette arrived in France in 2019. In the Central African Republic, she employed all her skills in efficiently managing a restaurant which served her country's culinary specialties. When she arrived in France, she decided to pursue her driving passion for cooking. She enrolled in the Sesame Commis Chef training program at the Refugee Food Festival and rapidly obtained her professional CQP certificate. Drawn particularly to the contract catering segment, her experience in the Elior canteen within the framework of the Refugee Food Festival was a great opportunity for her and served to confirm her choice!

Refugee Food Festival

At the same time, Elior continues to back actions supporting the professional integration of refugee chefs. The Group’s HR department and recruiters are mobilizing to support the training and integration of refugee chefs, by organizing job dating and job interview simulations.

Refugee Food Festival

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