The chefs come from all over the world – Peru, Brazil, Ethiopia, Turkey and Iran to name only a few countries – and work around 16 hours a week preparing, cooking and serving food to the public. Many of them have arrived in the UK with sparkling CVs – chefs include doctors and PhD holders – who have been unable to find work in their adopted home country, due to childcare responsibilities, unrecognised qualifications, lack of formal networks and, sadly, discrimination.
All of the chefs who have gone through the programme so far have secured further employment in the food industry afterwards, and some are developing their ideas into their own food businesses. After working with Mazi Mas, some of the women have gained further employment beyond Mazi Mas and the social enterprise hopes to help them eventually set up their own food businesses.
Mazi Mas was one of Nesta’s 2014 New Radicals.