Eziko and Italian association partnership pays off

Graduates who learnt the art of Italian cooking and wine at Eziko Cooking and Catering School.

The Dante Alighieri Society is on a mission to showcase Italian food, wine and culture to the people of Cape Town while also helping the youth learn much-needed skills.

A partnership with the Eziko Cooking and Catering School in Langa saw the Italian association train 15 young people at Eziko Restaurant.

The students graduated on Thursday November 22 after an intensive six-month training course run by top Italian chef Andrea Volpe, to the delight of those who gathered at Eziko Cooking and Catering School.

They learnt the art of Italian cooking as well as about wine.

President of the Dante Alighieri Society, Simonetta Depaoli, said she was happy that her organisation is finding a way to teach township people about their cuisine.

Ms Depaoli said the training would also help the graduates find jobs.

She said there is a growing number of Italian tourists coming to the townships so it would be good to have restaurants that can cook their cuisine and know the culture of Italians.

“We also would like to create a network and grow together with local people. But we want to teach an authentic Italian cuisine and style. There is no better way to do that than a place like Eziko,” she said.

She said they are committed to collaborating with restaurants and the community.

Congratulating the graduates and welcoming the relationship between the two organisations, director and founder of Eziko, Victor Mguqulwa, said the aim is not only to promote Italian culture but also to find jobs for the struggling people of Langa.

Mr Mguqulwa said the alarmingly high unemployment rate needed to be tackled and was one of the reasons why his school was formed.

He said it was exciting to see young people interested in cooking and coming forward to get training.

“We want to see young people working and providing for their families. We are here to create jobs. There are many young people sitting at home doing nothing. But we want them to know that Eziko is here for them,” he said.

He also gave credit to the Dante Alighieri Society for using Eziko to train local people.

He said there are more programmes that will come of their partnership.

He assured the community that Eziko would continue to provide the necessary programmes for residents.