Chef wants to show Sheffield youngsters what a knife can do in the kitchen
Knives are tools not weapons - that's the message from a Sheffield chef who is offering youths the chance to learn their proper use.
Karim Maoui has worked as a chef for the last 24 years and growing up in Pitsmoor, he said he had seen the effects of drugs, knife and gun crime.
Driven by frustration at what he claimed was a lack of action by the government and authorities to tackle knife crime, he has now founded Knife Life - a new community project.
Karim, aged 40, said: "Knives are tools not weapons. They were never intended to be used as weapons.”
Karim said he hoped to get young people into the kitchen as part of the project to give them new skills to go with a career, training and a long term job in the catering industry.
He believes that the discipline will give youngsters the work ethic needed to be successful and the tight-knit kitchen working environment will give them a support group and team for them to lean on.
“Being in a kitchen, it’s like being in a gang - the right kind of gang. No one cares where you come from or if you’re white or black as long as you turn up, work hard and care about it - the industry can take you anywhere you want to go,” Karim added.
Knife Life will not only be offering workshops in catering but they want to offer youngsters workshops in musical production, sport and training in local businesses.
Karim added: "I have the time and I’m in a position to do something now. The catering industry can take you anywhere if you want to progress - that’s the opportunity I want to give to these kids."