Paragon offers some overseas trips to Italy, Japan, and another yet to be announced location. The Italy and Japan trip cost $3,000 and are educational in nature. I would love to go on one, if not both, trips but certainly do not have the funds to do so. I'm trying to brainstorm some fundraising ideas to get me onboard.
At first I thought about preparing food to bring to work and sell to co-workers but the work vs return may not be worth my while. I might make a few hundred dollars over the course of the next few months, if I do it right. But in that case I might as well get a second job on the weekends.
The other idea I've been bouncing around in my noggin' is an actual fundraising event. This might just start off as a car wash/BBQ where I flag people down off the street and try to hustle a few bucks. But I also am envisioning an annual event that would involve, in addition to the car wash and BBQ, some carnival games and attractions, live music from local bands, an art gallery for local artists, and booths where local purveyors, farmers, ranchers, resterauteurs and the like can promote their businesses to the community. I've written a synopsis/proposal and am going to run it by some of the chefs at my school to see what they think. The idea behind this mothership would be to "Save The Food" in Colorado Springs. The concept is to get the community to support the education and training of up-and-coming chefs. The funds raised would help to offset the costs of these trips, allowing the students to benefit from training directly under the master chefs of the world and experiencing other cultures and cuisines first hand.
I compare it to music. In order for a young, budding virtuoso to create and perform truly great music he or she must first know what great music is and experience it at the hands (or mouth, or fingers, or whatever) of great masters, both past and present. The advantage somebody studying music has is that they can pop in a CD or DVD and hear Bach or Beethoven or watch Phillip Glass, etc. They can listen and know how the history of a culture affected its composers, and how they in turn communicated through their music. How does somebody studying food gain this sort of enlightenment? We can't listen to a masterpiece. It must be tasted and experienced. Also, musicians and conductors travel the globe, performing to the masses. Chefs do not. They work from their restaurants and any time spent traveling is not to cook banquets for eager to learn students. We must (and should) go to them and experience their culture.
I'll post more later after I get some feedback from the chefs at school. I know I'll get some "how cute, the little wanna-be chef wants to start a fundraising carnival" smirks and some odd looks, but I figure it would be at the very least a learning experience and at best my ticket overseas for some awesome opportunities to learn.