Regina Tchelly was 18 when she came to Rio with her baby. She worked as a housekeeper for rich families. “I was very chocked when I saw all the food wasted by inhabitants and at the markets”.
Even more because the food that was thrown away often contained more vitamins and nutrients than the children of the favelas found in their daily meals.
She invented a banana peel cake, fried melon rinds, a quiche of broccoli stems. Her recipes were an astounding success, quality meals at a low cost. She tackled her dream of becoming a Chef for 11 years and, in 2011, she launched Favela Organica with 70 dollars in her pocket.
« We teach people how to optimize each step of the food cycle, from the seed to the compost” Regina says with a glowing smile.
Her cooking classes attract those who need to save money, as well as the middle class searching for healthier and more responsible way of nourishing themselves.
Some learn to grow their own organic garden in small spaces. Pesticides tend to concentrate on fruit and vegies peels so it’s essential to grow organic food.
Our energetic Chef and her initiatives became very popular and Favela Organica has expanded throughout Brazil.
Where others saw garbage, Regina Tchelly saw new recipes to invent. And you, dear Future Shaper, what new opportunities could you grab around you?
See her cooking book in Portugese Guide to the Gastronomy of the Favelas of Rio,