Emma’s Torch in Carol Gardens, Brooklyn, a non-profit restaurant and workplace development center is offering culinary classes to refugees. The students who enroll in the two-month program learn everything from how to use a knife in the kitchen to how to have a great interview.
“It’s like a combination of what you would learn in culinary school and also what you need to access the job market in the US,” said the owner and creator, Kelly Brodie. “Whether it’s as a culinary assistant instructor for a student who really wants to be a teacher or working in a high-end French restaurant for a student who really wants to work in fine dining, we have a wide network of supportive chefs that we send our students to.”
The students learn from their culinary director Alexander Harris, who told Pix11 he “jumped” at the chance to be a part of the program.
“I thought that it was a great way to give back to the industry that made me the person that I am today,” he said. He also notes that the best part of the program is the “transformation” the students go through.
“We’re just really hopeful that we can help them see a better side of humanity,” Brodie says of her students. “A side that believes in them and wants them to succeed.”