Updates for Events
On Friday, January 10, DC Central Kitchen celebrated with the graduates of culinary job training Class 98 at the US Navy Memorial and Heritage Center. We were honored to welcome Carla Hall as the special guest keynote speaker, who spoke about her perspective on what it means to experience life’s highs and lows, and how one must always look for the upside of feeling down and out.
Seventeen men and women commemorated the end of their rigorous 14 weeks of culinary training at a packed house that included esteemed chef and restaurateur José Andrés, as well as friends, family, and DCCK staff.
Class 98 also marked the sixth consecutive year of the J. Williard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation’s generous support of the culinary training program. Kathleen Wellington, director of culinary sustainability at Marriott International, shared her experience in the culinary field and stressed the importance of being flexible as your career path changes. The requirements of a job in the hospitality sector can change suddenly, and embracing those changes is a vital key to professional success.
Graduate Kevin Smith was elected Class Representative and used his speech to reflect on the growth Class 98 experienced during their time together. Smith reminded the audience that regardless of where you come from, what your background is, or the color of your skin, everyone experiences challenges in life. It’s a certainty that unites us all, he said, but it doesn’t have to define us.
Employers of the graduating class include Ingleside Rock Creek, Giant Foods, Harris Teeter, and Vision of Victor with an average wage of $11.10/hour.
Thank you to all of our generous sponsors who help make the culinary job training program and the success of our graduates possible! If you didn’t make it to this graduation, be sure to mark your calendars for Class 99’s graduation ceremony on Friday, April 10th!
Tickets to D.C.’s culinary weekend extravaganza, Sips & Suppers, are now on sale. Join Joan Nathan, Alice Waters and José Andrés on January 24-25 for two extraordinary evenings of fine dining supporting DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table.
Sips: Saturday, January 24 | 7:30 p.m.
Sips will feature top mixologists and chefs from across the country, preparing signature dishes and drinks throughout the evening. General admission tickets are now available for $95 each.
VIP tickets, priced at $200, are also available and include one hour early access to the Newseum, an exclusive VIP lounge with notable chefs such as Joan Nathan, Alice Waters and Carla Hall, a wine tasting featuring flights from acclaimed local Virginia wineries, epicurean hors d’oeuvres, and a VIP gift bag including a signed celebrity chef cookbook.
Suppers: Sunday, January 25 | 6:00 p.m.
Suppers will be held at more than 30 homes across the city featuring some of the nation’s most celebrated chefs. Toques such as David Chang, Cathal Armstong, and Charles Phan will descend on D.C. to prepare exquisite meals for Supper guests. This intimate setting allows guests to speak with these master chefs, dine on five course meals expertly paired with fine wines from around the world. Tickets for Suppers are priced at $600.
Sips & Suppers is made possible by the generous support of sponsors, including the Newseum, PNC Bank, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, and Whole Foods.
It was another packed house at DC Central Kitchen’s Class 97 graduation ceremony on October 10. Friends, family and esteemed guests joined DCCK staff, CJT graduates, and current CJT students at the commemorative event held at the U.S. Navy Memorial and Heritage Center.
Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie gave the keynote address, during which he spoke about his own story of success and the journey that brought him to public service. Though today the Councilmember is a law school graduate, he faced serious barriers in pursuing higher education. Raised by a working-class family in Northeast DC, Councilmember McDuffie worked as a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service before attending college and becoming the first male in his family ever to graduate from college.
Like many of our students, McDuffie knew he was capable of more, but had to seek the courage to try and maintain the perseverance to meet his own potential.
“Class 97, always remember your struggle, but never jeopardize the investments you’ve made.”
Sixteen out of 20 Class 97 graduates have already secured employment with an average starting wage of $12.07 per hour. Employers include the newly opened Willie’s Brew and Que, owned by former culinary job training instructor Chef Rock Harper, Sodexo food services at Venable and Howard University, Nando’s, CulinAerie, and Burger Works. The remaining graduates will continue to receive employment support from DCCK, including resume preparation, mock interviews, and job placement.
DC Central Kitchen’s graduation is always a high-energy, festive event that marks the end of a rigorous 14-week commitment our students have made not only to their culinary training, but to the self-empowerment and life skills they need to be successful in their lives and careers.
Thank you to everyone who joined us, and for the investments of our friends and champions that help make DCCK’s Culinary Job Training program a reality.
Check out more great photos from Class 97′s graduation ceremony on our Flickr page.
Yesterday, DC Central Kitchen staff, graduates, and friends grew a little bit closer to each other as we shared in the delight of seeing our very own CJT graduate Howard Thomas on ABC’s hit cooking-themed daytime talk show, “The Chew.”
The show dedicated a significant amount of air time to portraying the work of the Kitchen and our graduates. Howard, who is currently the lead production cook at Washington Jesuit Academy for our Healthy School Food program, did such an incredible job representing the Kitchen and sharing his story in front of a live studio audience!
Thank you Carla Hall, Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly, Daphne Oz and the entire crew of “The Chew” for highlighting our work and our mission to use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities.
Check out a short clip of yesterday’s episode here!
It’s official! Tickets are now on sale for DCCK’s signature fundraising event, the Capital Food Fight™.
A-list chefs, culinary celebrities, and guests will gather on November 11, 2014 at the Ronald Reagan Building to watch four local chefs compete in an Iron Chef-style battle and four teams of pastry chefs compete in the High Stakes Cakes competition.
Presented by Walmart, the Capital Food Fight draws over 1,000 guests and offers culinary indulgences from more than 75 of DC’s best restaurants.
Hosted by Anthony Bourdain (CNN’s “Parts Unknown”) and Carla Hall (ABC’s “The Chew”), the Capital Food Fight™ culinary battle will feature local chefs Frederik De Pue (Menu and Table), Tim Ma (Maple Ave Restaurant, Water & Wall), Marjorie Meek-Bradley (Ripple and Roofers Union) and Javier Romero (Taberna Del Alabardero) who will prepare dishes with a secret ingredient and compete head-to-head in a live on-stage battle. The battle will be judged by renowned culinary celebrities, Daniel Boulud (DANIEL), Ted Allen (Food Network’s “Chopped”), David Guas (Travel Channel’s “American Grilled”), and Christina Tosi (Momofuku Milk Bar).
Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes” star, Duff Goldman, and Emmy-winning Senior Political Reporter for ABC7 News and News Channel 8, Scott Thuman, will host the Capital Food Fight™’s “High Stakes Cakes” competition, created and organized by Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Washington DC Chapter.
100% of the proceeds from Capital Food Fight™ benefit DC Central Kitchen to combat hunger and create opportunity in Washington, DC. Buy your tickets now before they sell out – they do every year!
What: Capital Food Fight™
When: November 11, 2014 – 6:00pm
Where: Ronald Reagan Building – 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC
Tickets: $250, available online at www.capitalfoodfight.org
Last Friday marked a DC Central Kitchen milestone: our first Culinary Job Training class from Central Union Mission graduated! Twelve weeks of hard work paid off for the 10 graduates who joined friends, family and DCCK supporters at Central Union Mission to celebrate their achievements and plans for the future.
Class 1 representative Lee Hylton addressed the audience, his fellow graduates, and the men and women of DCCK’s Class 97, who just completed their sixth week of training, and said: “Every day DC Central Kitchen exemplifies that there are still people who want to help others.” He added, “This program worked for me and my classmates, and it will work for you too.”
Lee, who spent 24 months in prison prior to starting the Culinary Job Training Program, secured a job prior to Friday’s graduation and started working this week at Acacia Bistro in the Van Ness neighborhood of Northwest DC. Other employers of the graduating class include Sodexo at Marymount University and Nando’s Peri Peri; and graduates are earning an average hourly wage of $11.62.
A steady job can mean a world of change for men and women overcoming obstacles like incarceration, homelessness and addiction. Our Culinary Job Training program works with students and alumni to help them secure a good job to support themselves and their families.
DC Central Kitchen’s Culinary Job Training program would not be possible without the investments of our community partners, including the Capital One Foundation, CityCenterDC, The City Fund, and the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region, among others. The Culinary Job Training program always has more applicants than it can accommodate, and partnerships like these create opportunities for us to provide more students with the critical tools they need to break the cycle of dependency and find jobs.
Thank you to everyone who joined us at this milestone event. We look forward to seeing you at 2pm on October 10th at the U.S. Navy Memorial and Heritage Center where we’ll celebrate DCCK’s 97th class of CJT graduates!
Check out some other great photos from Friday’s event!