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

Restaurant Partner Profile: Willow Restaurant

, July 13th, 2014


Chefs and restaurateurs are busy people. So why do Chef/Owners Tracy O’Grady and Kate Jansen of Willow Restaurant spend hours of their precious free time in our kitchen?

Personally, I’m always inspired by the programs and the folks who beat the odds with the help of DC Central Kitchen. DCCK focuses on long-term solutions, which is key.- Tracy O’Grady, Willow Restaurant

DCCK’s partners like the team at Willow are a big part of helping us carry out those long-term solutions by directly working with DCCK’s students and staff, and expanding our network of supporters.

“There is no more generous group with their time than our friends in the hospitality business, and Tracy and Kate live that every day,” says DC Central Kitchen CEO Mike Curtin. “As a recovering restaurateur, I understand the immense demands on their time, yet they give of that time freely and lovingly in ways that continue to change lives and inspire others.”

Over the last fifteen years, Kate and Tracy have taught guest lessons through our Culinary Job Training Program and participated in “Heritage Days”—special events where top chefs prepare their favorite dishes with our students and offer advice about building a career as a chef.

Kate and Tracy also started a mentoring program for our female students with women of the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier, of which Kate and Tracy are members. The “Les Dames,” as they are affectionately called, offer advice, support, and friendship for the women in our program (and also treat all of our students to an incredible brunch the morning of their graduation day). Most recently, Tracy and Kate teamed up with Will Artley of Pizzeria Orso, a long-time supporter of DCCK and a current board member, to organize a fundraiser at Willow.

“We are foot soldiers for the kitchen,” said Tracy, who is also a DCCK board member. “We do not have huge resources to donate, but we participate every year in small ways. I think our importance to the Kitchen is our long-term support, and I think others can support in that way as well.”

DCCK’s Director of Job Training, Marianne Ali, has seen first-hand the impact of Kate and Tracy’s long-term support. “It is apparent,” Marianne said, “that even in their busy restaurateur lives, Kate and Tracy ALWAYS hold DCCK near and dear to their hearts.” And for that, we are very grateful.

Be sure to check out the Willow Team at the D.C. BRGR Bash on Saturday, July 19! For every slider Willow sells, D.C. BRGR Bash will donate $0.50 to DC Central Kitchen. Willow is the defending champion—so we can guarantee the burger will be good.

Get your tickets on Eventbrite here. The first 50 people to use the promo code “IHEARTWILLOW” will get $5 off.

Shophouse Test Opening Benefits DC Central Kitchen

, April 28th, 2014

On May 5th from 6-8 PM, join DC Central Kitchen at the new Shophouse at 710 7th Street NW for a special test opening. Show the staffers the image below at the door for admission and a free meal with an optional donation to DC Central Kitchen.Shophouse Opening Benefits DCCK

Sound Bites Tickets On Sale Now

, April 25th, 2014

Sound Bites
Sound Bites
DC Central Kitchen’s Outdoor Festival of Local Music, Food, & Change
May 4th, 2014 • 1 – 5 PM
The Ronald Reagan Building’s
Woodrow Wilson Plaza 

Tickets only $65 including food, beer, wine, artisian cocktails, bar battle, and music. On sale now!


Beer, Speciality Drinks, and Artisan Cocktails
Bar Pilar
Black Jack
Bloomery Sweetshine
Don Ciccio & Figli
Founding Farmers
Gordon Biersch
The Hamilton
Hank’s Oyster Bar
Honest Tea
Jack Rose
Red Bull
Roofers Union

Mixology Madness: The Battle of the Bars
Featuring Hanks Oyster Bar, Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Zaytinya, Founding Farmers.
Hosted by Scott Thuman (ABC 7/News Channel 8) and Tommy McFly (ABC7 News & 94.7 FreshFM).

Food from Hot DC Restaurants
Cava Mezze
DC Central Kitchen
Dolci Gelati
Dyvine BBQ
General Foods
Gordon Biersch
The Hamilton
Maple Ave Restaurant
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
Rappahannock River Oysters
Ronald Reagan Building
Taylor Gourmet
Water & Wall

Music from:
Billy Thompson (Band)
Ingelside Collective
Black Masala
DJ Harry Hotter

All proceeds benefit DC Central Kitchen.

More information and tickets:

Groupon Deal Supports DC Central Kitchen

, March 19th, 2014

Dine with Groupon this week and they’ll donate a meal to DC Central Kitchen. This is your chance to fight hunger and support life changing programs. Check out their daily deals here.

If you would like to donate to support our work, here’s our $10 groupon deal - the perfect gift idea! For every $10 raised, DC Central Kitchen can prepare and distribute four locally sourced meals.

Groupon is also the presenting sponsor of Sound Bites, DC Central Kitchen’s Outdoor Festival of Music, Food, & Change at the Ronald Reagan Building on May 4th, 2014. Tickets are on sale April 1st. For more information, visit

Nellie’s Hosts Drag Bingo Night for DCCK

, March 10th, 2014

Don’t miss this fun opportunity to support DC Central Kitchen. Join the team at Nellie’s for Drag Bingo Night on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014. $1 of every Nellie Beer sold will benefit DCCK. Bring your friends!

Drag Bingo Night Benefiting DCCK
March, 18th, 2014, 6:30 PM
Nellie’s Sports Bar
900 U St NW, District of Columbia, 20001

Please contact Nellie’s to register your team in advance: (202) 332-NELL.

Also, here’s the event on Facebook. Please invite your friends!

Empty Bowls Fundraiser This Saturday

, February 18th, 2014

In February, the Flint Hill School Pottery Club joined staff and volunteers for a pottery demonstration. Proceeds from the pottery sales benefit DCCK.

A big thanks to the Flint Hill School for supporting DC Central Kitchen through their Empty Bowls fundraiser. Check out this fantastic event on Saturday that aims to raise $10,000 for our work. Click here for details.

4th Annual Flint Hill School Clay Club Event
Saturday, February 22nd, 2014, 11 AM
3320 Jermantown Road, Oakton, VA, 22124
More info: