Nachterstedt/MZ – A delicious grill smell is found in the square behind the Nachterstedt sports hall. Philipe Scholz turns small bun halves on the gas grill, for which the burgers are ready. The bread should be crispy. Meanwhile, the boys and girls of the Nachterstedt primary school “Glück auf” carry the meat skewers. “All vegetarian,” Scholz dismisses, pointing to the many pots and bowls that are filled to the brim with ingredients on the table. “We want to work sustainably,” says the chef, who is away from home for barbecue ninjas. And he adds: “We only have this planet.”
That is also why Zwickauer is there. “I think the project is just great,” says the chef, praising the selection of dishes: tarte flambé, vegan burgers, vegan meatball skewers with wok vegetables, and an apple crumble with homemade ice cream for a sweet dessert. The vegetarian component has many advantages. The practical ones, like the hassle-free transportation of groceries and the fact that all children can eat with them, regardless of whether they are carnivores, vegetarians or students with special religious training. But it’s also a matter of attitude: “We want to show that there’s more than just sausage and steak,” Scholz says of organic and meat-free products. “Barbecuing sounds banal at first, but it’s not,” Mario Bergmann, the inventor of the grill ninjas and president of the nonprofit Free Child and Youth Welfare Partnership Initiative, explained last year.
After a pilot project in 2019, the team, made up of more than 30 volunteers, wants to show the little ones and young people in kindergartens and schools in particular, but also residents of facilities for the disabled throughout the country, what great that it can be a healthy meal. And that the project, which has the financial support of the Salzland Savings Bank, is also well received by children, Philipe Scholz can attest to this. For four years, the young man was a chef in a nursery. And he knows how to use it to ignite the enthusiasm of the dwarves. Also in Nachtstedt. Here the primary school children had fun all morning chopping vegetables, kneading the dough for the tart flambé, covering the small flat cakes themselves and threading the mini meatballs onto skewers.
“It’s great, fantastic, ideal,” says Lolitta Falk, looking over the shoulders of primary school students at work and happy to help out a bit. “The children have worked hard,” says the caregiver, who has been working at the school for ten years.
And director Hans-Jürgen Teuke also says: “Healthy nutrition is a very, very important topic for us.” Vegetarian alternatives. “And it’s just a change for the kids.” Since the classes at the Nachterstedt school are all larger than the possible number of 24 students, the teaching team gave a kind of eulogy. Six children per year were allowed to attend. “As an incentive. As a reward. For those who have worked hard for a school year,” says Teuke.
“Delicious,” enthuses one of the girls as she eats a piece of the grilled tart flambé. And Philipe Scholz is happy. She has already worked for Grill Ninjas seven times, most recently at Hoymer Elementary School.
“I’ll be in a different place every day for the next two months,” he announces. The chef always has the whole team with him. Until the black tent on which the letters Grill Ninjas are emblazoned in neon letters.