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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

B.C. chef savours opportunity to cook for Dalai Lama

September 28, 2009 - Fri Sep. 25 2009

Kelowna, B.C., chef Ned Bell is a high-profile, competition-ready man of

And this week, he's preparing to serve his most important guests ever -- an
eclectic mix of dignitaries and philanthropists attending the Vancouver
Peace Summit.

The guest list includes the Dalai Lama, leader of Tibetan Buddhists, and Bob
Geldof, the musician -activist.

"Am I nervous? Absolutely. Am I excited? Absolutely," the Okanagan-born chef
said this week.

The food will have to be of the highest standard -- yet simple enough to
appeal to a Buddhist monk.

Bell is taking a pass on serving meat for this gig. He's not even sure if
the Dalai Lama eats meat.

Instead, he'll be sticking with a fusion of Okanagan and Vancouver
vegetables with some Island cheese.

Fresh local food, simply presented.

"My belief system of sustainability in how I prepare my food is similar to
what they're trying to do with changing the world one step at a time," Bell

Bell is used to being in the spotlight. He was a regular on Food Network
Canada's "Cook Like a Chef" and was voted one of Western Living's "Top 40
Foodies Under 40."

On Sunday night, he will be one of several chefs serving an elite group at a
fundraising dinner for the Dalai Lama's Centre for Peace and Education.

"If we can focus on locally produced food that is grown, harvested,
nurtured, raised, I think they're going to appreciate that," Bell said.

"I'm just excited quite honestly, I can hardly stand it."

Workers at Kelowna's Cabana Bar and Grille, which Bell owns and serves as
executive chef, are excited for him, too.

"I think it's amazing. It's a great experience that doesn't come along very
often," said Gina Davidson.
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