Article Laura Bourven
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It was in 2017 that chef Éric Ticana, the uncle of an autistic child, decided to create with the help of Jérémy Vivet, director of the Mercure Hotel where chefs cook, Autism Awareness Day and to inclusion. Representing France at the 2016 and 2017 World Sushi Championships, he took advantage of his visibility to raise awareness about this disease and rally other leaders to the cause.
At first, this event took the form of a dinner party. Today the whole day is full of activities and moments of sharing with a dozen chefs, including Guillaume Gomez, former chef of the Elysée Palace and sponsor of the event.
This day, the 4th edition of which took place on Saturday 18 June in Bussy-Saint-Georges (Seine-et-Marne), aims to inclusion, thanks to many activities, but also to raise awareness of autism and discussion.
The goal is to reach out to the public, reassure young parents who have children with autism, and show them that they are not alone.
The association AIME 77 (Autism Inclusion by Educational Method), which accompanies autism in inclusion in society, helped organize the day and was present to discuss.
Often culinary activities
The appointment of the day was given at noon with the street food prepared by the leaders of the brigade of the blue tables, the color of autism. This year, they were a dozen to answer and proposed workshops such as a sushi workshop, a table art workshop or still often a cooking class. Xavier Rousseau, chef of the France football team, was present to “give a little of my time and have fun with the kitchen.”
Pour Guillaume Gomez, cooking is important for people with autism. Actually, the relationship of children with autism to food is complex : Some will want to eat only foods of a certain color while others must know how many grains of rice are on their plate before eating it, explains the chef.
For him, “culinary workshops bring down barriers and we see children making progress through these days.” So, the kitchen allows integration to others and to society, and therefore to inclusion.
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