A Taste of The STREETS

Last Thursday night, some of NYC's top chefs joined together for a tasting event and silent auction to benefit STREETS, a non-profit organization that is part hospitality school and part restaurant cafe in Hoi An, Vietnam. At STREETS, local disadvantaged youths are offered a training program designed to give them the tools and skills to achieve financial independence through culinary and hospitality training.

This year's fundraising event kicked off with a Chef Showdown during the VIP hour where The Meatball Shop's Chef Daniel Holzman went head to head with Texas acclaimed Chef Tim Love. The challenge was to make three Vietnamese Summer Rolls with a signature dipping sauce in ten minutes or less using one secret ingredient. Judges included Kerry Heffernan, Executive Chef of South Gate at Jumeirah Essex House, Rick Smilow, President and CEO of the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), and Mark Maynard-Parisi, Managing Partner, Blue Smoke & Jazz Standard. Although Tim Love is known for his BBQ skills, he went home the winner that night.

The event continued with a tasting event from several supporting restaurants, including Red Rooster Harlem, August, and many others like Morimoto, Rosa Mexicano, the Meatball Shop, Num Pang Sandwich Shop, and Blue Smoke & Jazz Standard. I had my chefs Joy and Maame from Red Rooster Harlem serving up the Rooster's Salmon and Fluke Tacos that were definitely a hit that night.

I'm glad to be able to help support STREETS and their mission to provide young adults with a chance for a better life through culinary arts. I'm a constant advocate that a career in cooking can give individuals amazing opportunities and STREETS is definitely proof that that can be achieved!

To learn more about STREETS International, visit their website here.  

For more updates on my events, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)