‘Souper’ chef serves recipes

The Tribune (NZ) - - WHAT'S ON - RICHARD MAYS

Soup is all part of winter’s ap­peal.

The ‘‘ap­peal’’ is Or­phans Aid In­ter­na­tional, and chef Taka Moriyama at Massey Univer­sity’s Whar­erata Func­tion Cen­tre in Palmer­ston North, is on the end of the serv­ing ladle.

In eight years, Moriyama, who moved to New Zealand from Ja­pan in 2005, has raised $30,000 for Or­phans Aid by sell­ing soup.

‘‘I didn’t know how much, but Or­phans Aid told me it was be­tween $7000 and $8000 last year.’’

Eight years ago, while re­turn­ing from a visit to Ja­pan, the chef, a Chris­tian, had an epiphany.

‘‘On the flight, I se­lected an Or­phans Aid doc­u­men­tary about the plight of aban­doned and vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren, and af­ter watch­ing it, started think­ing about what I could do.’’

The doc­u­men­tary was called Some­one Somewhere Loves Me.

Af­ter wrestling with the is­sue, it be­came ap­par­ent that he could use his skills and tal­ent as a chef to make a dif­fer­ence. Soup was the an­swer. With about half a dozen peo­ple on the ini­tial or­der list, he now reg­u­larly sup­plies up to 25 cus­tomers and their fam­i­lies pro­duc­ing on av­er­age 60 litres of soup ev­ery week.

On Thurs­day night, Moriyama, also af­fec­tion­ately known as ’’SoupER Man’’ is launch­ing an Or­phans Aid cook­book at Whar­erata called Ladle Me Happy.

The idea to cap­ture the recipes as well as tell the Or­phans Aid story has been around since 2012.

It’s now a real­ity, with Whar­erata do­nat­ing the venue for the launch and Or­phans Aid fundrais­ing din­ner, and lo­cal pro­duce sup­pli­ers do­nat­ing the in­gre­di­ents for the meal.

At­ten­dance for Thurs­day’s launch func­tion is over sub­cribed, but Ladle Me Happy is avail­able through the Or­phans Aid In­ter­na­tional web­site.

Whar­erata chef Taka Moriyama is launch­ing a char­ity soup cook­book.

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