What an honor & a delight it is to volunteer an hour a week out at Brownsville Community Culinary Center, Lucas Denton's & Claus Meyer's cafe, bakery, and 40-week culinary training program (where I touch on DOH issues and review the Food Protection Certificate curriculum). Last Sunday's commencement ceremony for "Team C" had a deep family vibe, as one of the graduate's brother thanked the program for helping his sister grow and stop drinking, a mom cried as she spoke of her daughter's development & increase in self-confidence, a husband praised his wife's new-found ability to cook... and prominent members of the Brownsville community thanked Lucas, Philip, April, Sarah, April, Chef Rodney, Chef Susan, Chef Mette, and other luminaries of BCCC for their extraordinary work of not only bringing a vision of the future to Brownsville but in offering economic & emotional opportunity where there had only been systemic oppression & neglect. BCCC and the Melting Pot Foundation are doing tremendously important work in helping to foster the next generation of cooks, chefs, and hospitality professionals. Despite being a tiny part of BCCC's big picture, Chef Rodney and team honored me with a completely unexpected Educator Partner award. I was (am still) flabbergasted and absolutely humbled. Check out the Melting Pot Foundation project for yourself... totally inspiring, full of love & dedication, and a ton of hard work & struggle. Just like good food.