The chef from France’s presidential palace traveled to Israel to give a cooking class to gay Jews and Muslims who have been rejected by their families, AFP reported Monday.
Guillaume Gomez, the head chef of the Elysee presidential palace, participated in the annual So French, So Food festival in Tel Aviv. He partnered with Beit Dror, an organization supporting gay people in Israel ostracized by their families.
Gomez taught the young people to make cannelloni spinach gratin and apple pie.
“It’s good for them to participate in this workshop,” Beit Dror director Yael Doyon told AFP. “This moment of happiness for these young people is not insignificant.”
One Jewish participant, identified only as “O,” said his ultra-Orthodox family kicked him out when he came out at age 16. “What a chance to cook alongside a chef of this level,” he said.
An 18-year-old participant who went by “L,” whose father is Muslim and his mother Christian, said he was a victim of physical violence during his adolescence. “Beit Dror saved my life,” he said. “I don’t believe in religion any more; I believe in myself now.”