Young Chef - The life cook project for the young vulnerable to learn culinary skills and explore meaning of life.

Young Chef - The life cook project for the young vulnerable to learn culinary skills and explore meaning of life.

South Korea
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The purpose of Young Chef Project is providing life changing opportunities for the vulnerable especially from 18 to 25 years old young people who couldn't nurtured enough from parents, communities and lived on the street or social shelters for juvenile delinquency. We expect them to transform their perspectives towards themselves and find inner strength to manage their life through cooking.

This project is not only for incubating trained chefs, rather it creates various opportunities for them to experience 'working together, living together' in Young Chef community through whole year long process.

To expose their journey to the world, I hope our perceptions become more inclusive and the vulnerable get hope that actually works.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Our target community is young koreans from 18-25 years old who don't get enough nurturing financially and mentally by splitted family, abundant by parents, lived at governmental shelters, homeless, uneducated. Also young people who don't have motivations on their lives.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our principle is 'Learning by Doing'. We not only teach them, also make them learn by applying and doing it at the field. we set this priority by learning from our failure of Young Chef season 1. at that time, we just tried to provide quality culinary lessons without proper motivation and rewards and now our revised scheme is focus on how to make every lessons applicable and worthy. Our education system includes not only providing professional trainings, but also letting them perceive cooperations and teamwork in working environments so that they have ability to deal with co-living in communities as peacemakers. Young chef who cook the dish which makes people sit around the table together and share meals and happiness. The Young Chef could make good changes in the world.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

1. Running Young Chef Restaurant and Cafe Young Chef is running an Korean restaurant in Haja Center (Career Center for Teenagers Seoul) and they serve korean menus during lunch time and major customers are alternative school students, Haja center staffs and guests. They are involved from panning menus, recipes to management under mentoring by professional chefs. Also they run a cafe near the restaurant and they get barrister training, pastry cooking lessons and vocational internship simultaneously at the cafe. 2. Farming Since 2010, Young Chef members go to monthly field trip to experience organic farming. They learn not only how to grow healthy ingredients, also learn the responsibilities as a chef and the beauty of labor. In addition, they get new social community and personal connections, so called alternative family and home town. please visit our website for more information:
About You
Organization Yori
About You
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Facebook Profile카페-슬로비-Cafe-Slobbie/103768156383897?sk=wall

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Organization Yori

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

Han Young-mi, the founder of Organization Yori started her career as a staff at Haja center from its very beginning in 1999. Haja center initiated to make preparations and solutions to facing unemployment among young people after IMF shock in Korea in 1998 and She had various experimentations as a director and mentor with teenagers such as 'Young artist gallery invasion', 'flea market for young artist', 'design-festa', and so on. On that base, they finally decided to establish a social enterprise in food industry, Organization Yori and Han, Young-mi was appointed as a co-founder and it was benchmarked Jamie Oliver's Fifteen. However, instead finding start chef who lead the project, she made a humble team with migrant women and teenagers and after 3 years of pre-production process, Young Chef Project was finally started in 2010. Alongside Young Chef project, Organization Yori opened multicultural fusion Asian restaurant 'Oyori' and Community cafe 'Slobbie' downtown shopping area in Seoul for young chefs to help their financial independence and adaptation to community.
Since its opening in April 2011, Community cafe 'Slobbie' is going to become a cradle for Young Chefs' educations and adaptation to the world.
Through this hub of Cafe Slobbie, She tries to make an inclusive community for co-existence and co-living.

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

7 members selected for 'Young Chef' season 2 is on the way with more vocational approach including various master classes and internships

14 members selected for 'Young Chef' season 1, 6 of them finished, 4 went to internships in food industry and further studies.

incubating Young Chef project with various experiences and projects

'Cook the Career' foundation for teenagers started and ended up with 1 barrister, 1 accepted to University in culinary major and other 6 had gap years to explore and continue their career in food industry.

How many people have been impacted by your project?

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

Here's our action plans for next 3 years:
-Making continuous partnerships with various food related industries who has same initiatives and philosophy so that building a group of healthy and stable internship/work places for Young Chefs.

-Planning open a 'Young Chef Restaurant' (temp. title) in last 2012 with business partners mentioned above and building a restaurant partnership as an alternative 'social network franchising'

-Stretch this connection to ingredient producers (farmers) so that ultimately, completing a healthy eco-system in food industry which works with Young Chef.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Dealing with the vulnerable - This type of teenagers tend to have difficulties carrying on continuous long term tasks due to lack of exposure in educational environment and supportive living environments and it occurs quitters.
To solve this problem, it's important to make a roll model among Young Chef and make a specific case they can inspired and influenced. Also it's important to make social infra for Young Chef members can treats fair enough and grow healthy.
Financial difficulties - Financilly unstable situations threatened to make long-term, time consuming schemes like Young Chef project.
We need various international/domestic funding and sponsorships to carry on this project until it settles and make own ground.

Tell us about your partnerships

Haja Center as Hub and it's connected social enterprise network groups such as a film factory Nu:n, Yooja Salon, Brasstong, Bookteller's quilt, Community Supported Agriculture Kongseal-N, etc.

Cultural Anthropology center of Yonsei University as socio-cultural mentoring.

Road Scola, Alchemist Project is same incubated group with Young Chef

Local farms who provide fresh local greens and ingredients for Cafe slobbie's menu.

3-4 restaurants who already made partnership with Cafe Slobbie.

Explain your selections

Haja center has supported half of our annual budget since its foundation year. and half of them has made from our own running business.

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

Making Young Chef Foundation and its sponsorship Group and
social franchising for building up alternative mechanism in food industry so that it brings up Young Chef.

Project Young Chef is just sprouting and it's still weak and vulnerable as our young chef members.
We see the prosperous future among these sprouts and basically it takes time to grow big enough to move to the big bed and we try to prepare good soil for this future.
We spend 3 years for preparing good soil and making good sprouts and good samples to bear fruit at the end.

Which barriers to employment does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.


Lack of access to information and networks


Restrictive cultural norms


Lack of skills/training

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

To be prepared enough to be a chef, a great patience, self discipline and challenging yourself are required. These tasks are much more difficult to the young vulnerable and sometimes they bounce off the system. However i believe we still need a plan B to embrace and accept them.
On the other hand, reality is harsh for who doesn't fit themselves in social rules and standards and employers don't have patience or exceptions for the vulnerable. But would it be the excuse to take second chances away from the vulnerable?
Among various options and changing environments, it's always hard to make the right and best decisions n terms of Young Chef educational methods and providing career opportunities at every moment of choices.

Are you trying to scale your organization or initiative?
If yes, please check up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.


Enhanced existing impact through addition of complementary services


Influenced other organizations and institutions through the spread of best practices


Other (please specify below)

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

For immediate future, we plan to settle running Cafe Slobbie and make firm ground for Young Chef to excersice.

and for further plans:

Making the original culinary training model for the vulnerable
Promoting local food movement
Approaching social networking franchise

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

Government, NGOs/Nonprofits, For profit companies, Academia/universities.

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

We plans various collaborations to expose our business and get funds and sponsors but not specified yet.