Press Reports

Dec 8, 2008

Dreams Become Reality for the Challenged Aspiring to Become Pastry Chefs Course Completion Ceremony for eight students Tasting Party in Kobe

Realistic work opportunities

The completion ceremony for the confectionary classes was held at a restaurant in Chuo-ku, Kobe on Dec. 7th. These classes are intended to build people with disabilities into pastry chefs in Kobe, the City of Sweets. Eight graduates displayed their skills by exhibiting about 20 confectioneries including cookies, pudding, and the like. People involved have a solid belief in the positive outcome saying, "We find it highly possible that their products can be commercialized. It would increase the working opportunities for people with disabilities."

This course was originated by Nami Takenaka who is the Chairperson of Prop Station, a social welfare organization in Kobe City. Classes for the confectionary school began in June of this year in cooperation with Nitto Shokai (Osaka), a wholesaler of confectionary and bread making ingredients, and Nisshin Seifun (Tokyo), a major flour milling company.

A total of 16 men and women in their 20s to 50s around Kobe prefecture participated in the course. Instructors including Mr. Jyunji Yagi (57), a pastry chef at the confectionery shop Morozoff and a confectionery master authorized by the Austrian government taught secret confectionery recipes and the importance of repeated practice.

Having a son with mental retardation, Mr. Yagi volunteered with a desire to help people with disabilities become independent. He looks back at the classes and says "When I showed them examples, they kept their eyes on me all the time. I could feel their serious attitudes"

All graduates received a certificate at the ceremony and on behalf of the students Mr. Kenji Fukakusa who was working at workshop in Hannan City in Osaka stated "The experience I had here is invaluable. I will put forth great efforts in confectionery making."

Ms. Hitomi Yasufuku(48), director at a community activities support center in Kita-ku of Kobe City says with expectation, "It is not an unrealistic dream that professional chefs will be produced by this course soon." In the future the same kind of classes will be held in Tokyo and Ms. Takenaka said, "I hope this will create a wave from Kobe for the challenged that will expand throughout the country."

Participants tasting pastries the challenged made
Participants Tasting Pastries the Challenged Made

12/8/2008 Yomiuri Shimbun