While at the International Foodservice Editorial Council Annual Conference late last year, I received a cookbook from an organization called Café Reconcile. This unique organization believes what a lot of people today believe – when gathering around a table to enjoy a meal, something special happens. This group takes that lesson to the next level. They host a training program for at-risk youth in the economically-distressed Central City neighborhood of New Orleans where they learn life, interpersonal and work skills empowering them to enter the second-largest non-governmental workforce in New Orleans – the entertainment and hospitality industry.
The cookbook I received features some of the traditional New Orleans favorites they serve during their lunch operation, from Crawfish Bisque to Banana’s Foster Bread Pudding. Each recipe, some created by students and staff of Café Reconcile, is down-home soul food at its best. When you add a bit of social responsibility on top, it tastes even better.
This organization teaches the youth of this area all aspects of working in and running a restaurant, something FoodChannelPRO readers understand isn’t an easy task. There are a few different ways you can help support this cause if you so choose. Donations are accepted on their website, gear (including the cookbook) can be purchased, or next time you are in New Orleans, stop by for lunch – you don’t be disappointed.