Combating Hunger, Creating Opportunity

DC Central Kitchen is America's leader in reducing hunger with recycled food, training unemployed adults for culinary careers, serving healthy school meals, and rebuilding urban food systems through social enterprise.
Instagram Pinterist Facebook Twitter

Latest Updates

Updates for Events


Join DCCK at One Eight Distilling on August 13

, July 24th, 2015

Web Story

On Thursday, August 13 from 6-9pm DC Central Kitchen and DC Loud, an organization that promotes local nonprofits and community causes through live music, will co-host “In Good Spirits: From the Kitchen to the Community.”  The evening fundraiser will take place at DC’s brand new distillery, One Eight Distilling.

The event will feature live music from local R&B artist Lamont Bagfeel & Hippie Control and folk group Letitia VanSant & the Bonafides and include a silent auction. Auction items include a $100 gift certificate to Cactus Cantina, 2 inbox field seats for an upcoming Washington Nationals game, a 3-night stay in Exuma, Bahamas, gift certificates to Wonderland Ballroom, and more! Tickets are $20, include a complimentary cocktail from One Eight Distilling, and can be purchased online here. We’ll also be selling food from our social enterprise Fresh Start Catering. 100% of proceeds benefit DC Central Kitchen’s Culinary Job Training Program!

We hope you’ll take a few hours to come out and support DCCK at this great new spot in Northeast DC.



DC Central Kitchen marked 100th graduation on July 10

, July 13th, 2015

SONY DSC

On Friday, July 10, DC Central Kitchen celebrated its milestone 100th graduation at a ceremony held at the Ronald Reagan Building. Sixteen graduates of the life-changing Culinary Job Training Program were recognized for their perseverance overcoming chronic unemployment to begin new culinary careers.

Mayor Muriel Bowser presented a Mayoral Proclamation to the graduates, in which she stated: “I, the Mayor of the District of Columbia, do hereby recognize the achievements of DC Central Kitchen’s 100th graduating culinary class and call upon all the residents of this great city to join me in commending Class 100 and DC Central Kitchen for their efforts to feed the soul of the District of Columbia.”

DC At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman and Councilmember Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) presented a ceremonial resolution on behalf of the Council declaring July 10 “DC Central Kitchen Day” in the District of Columbia.

Other notable speakers included DCCK Board Chair Emeritus and Chef/Owner of ThinkFoodGroup José Andrés, television and radio host Tavis Smiley, DCCK Chief Executive Officer Michael F. Curtin, Jr., DCCK Founder Robert Egger, and Vice President, Food & Beverage Culinary and Global Corporate Chef of Marriott International, Brad Nelson.

In its 25 years of operation, the Culinary Job Training Program has produced 1,500 graduates. In 2014, DCCK produced 96 graduates with a 93% job placement rate.

DCCK’s 100th Class was sponsored by the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, with unique educational experiences provided by Marriott International.

The landmark event earned DCCK media recognition from DCist, as well as NBC4, WUSA9, and Good Morning Washington.

Be sure to visit DCCK’s Flickr page to check out some great photos from Class 100′s journey!



DC Central Kitchen and Playworks team up to provide healthy snacks for DC youth

, June 22nd, 2015

SONY DSC
Earlier this month, DC Central Kitchen visited a group of 60 local elementary students to share healthy eating tips and kid-friendly recipes.

Our nutrition outreach team joined the 4th and 5th graders during their “Junior Coach” training at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy with Playworks DC, a national organization that brings positive play and physical activity to schools. The students attend six DC public schools in low-income areas across DC’s Wards 7 and 8.

DC Central Kitchen’s nutrition lesson included guidance on healthy snacking and demos for two easy-to-prepare recipes: banana butterflies and edible ladybugs.

To make it approachable for the students, our team used simple recipes with 3 or fewer ingredients —each snack took only about 5 minutes to prepare! Students also went home with recipe cards to create the snacks again at home.

DC Central Kitchen and Playworks are already planning for further ways to partner and provide nutrition education and physical activity promotion for DC’s youth. To learn more about DC Central Kitchen’s community nutrition outreach, visit http://www.dccentralkitchen.org/healthyfutures/.



DCCK to celebrate milestone 100th graduation

, June 5th, 2015

80th Graduation - Hat Toss

DC Central Kitchen will celebrate the graduation of our 100th Culinary Job Training (CJT) class on Friday, July 10 with a ceremony held at the Ronald Reagan Building.

The renowned culinary program equips jobless, formerly incarcerated, or homeless adults for careers in the food service industry through a life-changing 14-week program. Over the course of the program, students receive in-kitchen training, job-readiness skills, and self-empowerment sessions that provide a holistic approach to furthering their personal and professional growth.

The CJT program began in 1990, as soon as DCCK landed its first kitchen space—at the time, in a row house on Florida Avenue NW. The three-month program was designed to be shorter than a formal cooking school, but more comprehensive than a general job readiness service. Trainees were recruited from homeless shelters and halfway houses, gaining culinary skills as they helped prepare the meals DCCK delivered to those same housing programs each day.

The program got a major boost from the hospitality industry, which soon saw CJT as more than a charitable service—rather, it was a source of human capital. Chefs donated their time as guest lecturers and became internship supervisors. Marriott International began as a DCCK food donor, but soon began investing in the training program. In 2008, the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation ‘sponsored’ the full cost of an entire CJT cohort—putting people back to work in the face of a recession. Since then, Marriott has supported an entire class each year, including DC Central Kitchen’s 100th class.

In its 25 years of operation, the CJT program has produced 1,700 graduates. Since the recession of 2008 alone, CJT has prepared 600 graduates with a 90% job placement rate.

We hope you’ll join DC Central Kitchen as we celebrate the accomplishments of our 100th CJT class in the company of friends, family, and esteemed guests on Friday, July 10. Television and radio host Tavis Smiley, DCCK founder Robert Egger, Chef José Andrés, and local elected officials will join friends and family to celebrate the remarkable achievements of Class 100 and the 1,700 men and women whose lives have been changed by the self-empowerment and self-sufficiency  the Culinary Job Training program imparted on them.

We hope you’ll join us at this celebratory event!

When: Friday, July 10, 2015
Informal video presentation will begin at 1:30 p.m.
Ceremony will start promptly at 2:00 p.m.

Where: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC

Ceremony is taking place in the Amphitheater. Please follow signs for “The Capitol Steps”



Join DCCK on June 4 for #DoMore24

, May 19th, 2015

Website Do More

As a proud member of the United Way of the National Capital Area, DC Central Kitchen will again participate in the third annual Do More 24 fundraiser on Thursday, June 4. This one-day fundraiser is a local movement that encourages our community to contribute to local causes and organizations to solve our region’s most pressing challenges. More than 500 nonprofits that serve in D.C., Maryland and Virginia will participate this year.

There are several ways you can get involved and support DC Central Kitchen’s Do More 24 campaign:

1. Donate.  Visit our dedicated fundraising page. We’re hoping to raise $10,000 – the cost to support one student through our life-changing Culinary Job Training program.

2. Come to our event! On Thursday, June 4 from 5-7pm, DCCK will host our very own #DoMore24 happy hour at the Gordon Biersch located in Gallery Place (900 F Street, NW). Enjoy free passed appetizers and proceeds from the “charity keg” benefit the campaign. Come get some free swag, eat and drink with friends, and support Do More 24!

3. Tell your friends! Invite your personal networks to join us on June 4! The more the merrier.

3. Keep following us! While we’re on several social platforms, most of our #DoMore24 updates will live on Twitter. Retweets welcome!

As always, thank you for supporting DC Central Kitchen. We hope you’ll join us on June 4 and give where you live.

 

 

 



DC Central Kitchen serves up 108 dishes in 3 hours for the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge

, May 17th, 2015

healthy lunchtime challenge

For the fourth year in a row, DC Central Kitchen’s school foods team was chosen to prep, cook, and plate more than 100 dishes based on recipes submitted by young people in all 50 states. The catch? It had to be done in a mere three hours!

First Lady Michelle Obama, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Education teamed up again this year to create the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ State Dinner – a competition that engages kids ages 8-12 in creating an original, healthy recipe. Finalists’ recipes were cooked and plated by DCCK on May 15th for the official judging, and one winner from each of the 50 states will be selected and have the opportunity to attend a Kids’ State Dinner at the White House in July.

It took more than a week’s worth of planning to prepare for last week’s event, which included recipes like sriracha shrimp over quinoa with vegetables, a sweet turkey chili with kidney beans, and fish tacos. Judges included Debra Eschmeyer of first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program, representatives from the Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture, as well as two kid graduates of Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters class.

DC Central Kitchen’s culinary team while busy in the week’s leading up to the judging, were well-suited to cook and plate the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge kid-created recipes. As the primary school food provider for 10 DC schools, DC Central Kitchen knows a thing or two about developing meals kids will actually eat. From our Fresh Feature Friday taste-testing activity that engages young people in their very own lunchtime ‘food democracy,’ to the 6,300 locally-sourced, scratch-cooked, healthy meals served every day to kids in DC’s low-income communities – DCCK has what it takes to meet the incredible task of assembling more than 100 healthy recipes in a short period of time.

You can learn more about our school foods program in our latest annual report.