Support the Gulf Coast TODAY!

Below is a letter we sent to our friends and colleagues in the Gulf Coast:

Dear Friends of the Gulf Coast,

As the oil spill crisis continues to unfold, I wanted to let you know that you have been on the minds of the CulinaryCorps volunteers you have so kindly embraced over the years.  Many oakley sunglasses cheap have asked how they can help, if their skills can be of any use as the gravity of the situation settles into our consciousness.  It is clear that you are all in our thoughts and prayers as is your wetlands, your wildlife, your communities and your livelihoods.

And while we may not be of use on the front-lines of the clean-up effort, we wanted to let you know that CulinaryCorps will be making a donation to OxFam America to help provide assistance to those who require it in both the short and long term.  While we fully realize this is just a very small action for such an enormous heartache, we hope to continue to support the cleanup efforts in any way we can.

Time has proven that when hardship strikes, the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast rise as inspirations to us all.  Here is to your renewal of strength and courage so you may rise again.  We have no doubt you will.

With love and eternal support,


Here are a few of the responses we received.  Wise and poignant words that we should all heed:

“Thank you so very much for your generosity in thought and deed.  Here in Pass Christian, there are significant preparedness measures being executed should the oil reach us.  Berms on the beaches, booms at strategic locations at entrance to bayous, constant surveillance of tides and currents are measures that give us hope….while we worry.   It is our hope at the Boys and Girls Club, that we may provide a stable environment for our children who live in an unstable world. Your compassion is very much appreciated.”

“Unfortunately here we go again…….(only this disaster is in slow motion).  Please spread the word to everyone who works in kitchens or eats food (everyone) that Louisiana seafood is still SAFE TO EAT and still offers the best shrimp, oysters, crabs, and fish in the United States – best shrimp and oysters in the world.  It is very important that this word be spread because our fishermen will have a tougher time surviving the level of misinformation out there than the oil spill itself!”

“Please tell people to call their representatives and demand that they be more supportive of us  and place pressure on them to get the oil leak plugged.  It’s been a month and a half now, and the support from Washington has been as non-existent as it was during Katrina.  Very sad.”

“If you have about 15 minutes there is a video of a local radio host that is very worth your while. He can explain, better than I, what’s going on in the gulf and how it will impact the nation I wish everyone could see this:”

“Thanks so much for your kind words. It really is a Cheap Oakley very sad state of affairs in our precious Gulf right now. I am just holding out for a minor miracle and cling to the hope that BP figures something out SOON.”

We cannot risk losing these precious foodways…AGAIN!  What can YOU do to help support the Gulf Coast?  Maybe it is a donation to Oxfam America, The National Wildlife Foundation, The White Boot Brigade or the Save Our Coast Foundation?

Maybe it’s hosting a restaurant fundraiser in your own community like Leslie B, a 2008 CulinaryCorps alum?

Or maybe it’s scheduling a last-minute getaway to New Orleans to take part in the Second Annual Oyster Festival, spearheaded by the venerable P&J Oyster?

Whatever you do, remember the slogan of Southern food activist Poppy Tooker: “Eat It to Save It”.  These words have never rang more true than right here, right now.

CulinaryCorps Support of Haiti

Over the last 72-hours, many have contacted CulinaryCorps about whether we will be sending chef volunteers to Haiti.

The answer is yes! However, not as first responders in the months after the disaster.

Overseas emergency relief embodies many logistical challenges. We believe whole-heartedly in supporting the organizations that are able to mobilize skilled volunteers and Gafas Ray Ban Baratas materials quickly and efficiently to assist with first aid, housing, security and mass food distribution. Therefore, we encourage everyone to donate as little as $5 to organizations who have proven track record of successful disaster management: The Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders and are all organizations we support. If you want to play a more active role, put your skills to use! Host a benefit at your restaurant, start a bake sale with fellow pastry chefs, auction your skills as a private chef…allow your strengths as cooks to shine through.

However, we also urge those who want to get involved to think about the long-term recovery of the nation. As our work in New Orleans has taught us, other organizations must be willing to help RECOVER, REBUILD and REVITALIZE a community hard-hit by disaster once the debris has been cleared.

This is where CulinaryCorps can engage.

Our efforts are best suited to pick-up where the emergency crews left off, and in doing so, fight “volunteer fatigue” that so often plagues monumental recovery efforts.

We are currently keeping a close watch on organizations and partnerships that would allow us to do what we do best: mobilize the skills of culinary professionals to help protect the health, well-being and foodways of a recovering community. While we have no dates set yet, if you would like to be put on a list of potential chef-volunteers interested in mobilizing to Haiti, please e-mail

In the meantime, our thoughts and blessings are with the heroic folks helping to make sense of the mayhem…and our hearts are with the people of Haiti and their families abroad.

In good food and good service,

Christine Carroll, Founding Director

Help in Haiti

Various CulinaryCorps alumni and supporters are helping to organize tremendous relief efforts for the earthquake victims in Haiti.  Please read on for details:

Interested in volunteering your time?

Julie Schweitert, editor of, is working both to mobilize volunteers as well as provide relief Stateside. If you would like to put yourself on the volunteer list, please e-mail her directly at

For an update of their efforts, please visit the MatadorNetwork website.

Interested in making a donation?

Another chef and CulinaryCorps supporter recently alerted us to his cousin’s non-profit,  Founded by Wyclef Jean, this grassroots organization has been working on some pretty incredible projects, including the establishment of an Yele Cuisine association that allows women to cook and sell food to subsidize meals for children living in poverty.

Their efforts Ray Ban outlet are now shifting to emergency relief including food distribution.  Please consider DONATING to their work.

Today is the day when a few dollars can truly make a difference.  A kind gesture can mean the world.  And a compassionate heart can change a life forever.

Our thoughts are with you Haiti.

Give Back This Thanksgiving

Calling all chefs/cooks in New York!

Looking for a way to give back this Thanksgiving? Broadway Community is looking for line cooks and carvers to help create their INCREDIBLE T-Day meal!

Time: 10am-4pm.

Trust me, it’s an amazing day filled with lots of love…and 6 different flavors of turkeys!!  To take a peek at their entire menu, click here.

To volunteer your culinary skills, contact Chef Michael Ennes:

Chef Michael Ennes
Director of Foodservices, Culinary, Nutrition and Vocational Education
Broadway Community Inc.
601 West 114th Street
New York, NY 10025
212/864-6100 ext. 123

Chef and Training Opportunity – Kigali, Rwanda

Calling all intrepid cooks! Heaven Restaurant in Kigali, Rwanda is looking for a head chef and front of house manager to help further its social entrepreneurship vision.  This is a truly amazing opportunity for CulinaryCorps alumni looking for the next step or any other cook with a passion for travel and service.

For information on the job posting, please read below.  For general information about the restaurant, please visit
Job Titles: Restaurant Manager and Head Chef
Number of openings: 2 -Positions are Full-Time with a minimum 1 year commitment
Salary: Volunteer positions with excellent travel, health and housing benefits; negotiable stipend based on education and experience

Heaven is more than a place, it’s an idea. Rwanda is one of the most beautiful countries on earth, and has resourceful, energetic people looking to move the country Ray Ban outlet online forward quickly. That’s why Heaven Restaurant & Bar is in Rwanda. Heaven, which features international cuisine, is helping Rwanda develop its most important resource: its people. Heaven goes out of its way to hire employees from particularly vulnerable backgrounds and provide them with salaries, and health care in line with international standards. Heaven is committed to being Rwanda’s finest restaurant and training facility for the industry. Heaven was made in Rwanda: Rwandan craftspeople painstakingly produced everything in the restaurant. From the chairs and tables to the artwork on the walls, Heaven is the first international quality venue in Rwanda produced by Rwandans.

Heaven is a newly constructed restaurant, now open for 1 year, in the beautiful neighborhood of Kiyovu, near the commercial center of Kigali, Rwanda. Heaven’s founder (an American expatriate living in Rwanda) is committed to training staff in customer service and restaurant management, providing a venue with high quality local products for consumption, and creating an environment that promotes social and professional Ray Ban outlet exchange. Heaven is creating jobs and providing vocational training for Rwandans, and is striving to improve service standards to support tourism.

We are looking for a restaurant manager and a head chef to help us train our service and kitchen/bar staff and run a smooth operation! We need two individuals who would be willing to move to Rwanda and be intimately involved in customer service training, kitchen/bar management, and general restaurant operations. We are looking for people who are passionate about international development, up for an adventure, and who believe in the Heaven project as much as we do!

Restaurant management: oversight of all operations including reception, bar, kitchen, service, stewarding, and security; procurement; storekeeping; training; marketing; financial management.

Head chef: oversight of all kitchen operations including training of all kitchen staff; menu creation and introduction of new items based on local availability; tracking systems for all kitchen inputs; international-quality hygiene and safety maintenance.

Certification and training in business management, culinary arts or hospitality management. Restaurant/bar/kitchen management experience preferred as is proficiency in French and English.  Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel required.

If interested, please email CV and letter of interest to:

10 Unique Ways to Help Others

Woman’s Day journalist, Bunny Wong, wrote a great piece on cool and creative ways to volunteer.   CulinaryCorps made it as #2 on the list!

2. Cook Up a Storm
“We use culinary skills to do good,” says
Culinary Corps founder Christine Carroll. For a recent project, 12 cooks flew to New Orleans for a week to whip up meals for Habitat for Humanity crews, among other undertakings. Although the organization generally requires professional kitchen experience or a culinary degree, “there’s a bit of wiggle room,” says Carroll; non-cooks who want to contribute could help plan an upcoming trip. “It’s really incredible to see cooks blossom as chef-citizens,” she says.

Day 3: Culinary Spartans

You’ve got to love the bakers!  Up and out before the rest of the bunch, they sacrificed precious sleep to get their yeast rolls rising.  The remainder of us savory cooks arrived at Liberty’s Kitchen at 9am to find the National Guard putting up the evening’s tents and Chef Reggie (and his right-hand man Hardy), cracking on with the evening’s mise en place.

We quickly found our respective tasks and settled in.  Knives were sharpened, bandanas pulled on and workspace claimed.  Twelve cooks take up a lot of space Magliette Calcio A Poco Prezzo but everyone managed to find a little corner to call their own in the tiny cafe; a couple of the clever cooks even made a makeshift outdoor kitchen using butane burners, a frydaddy and a couple old metal cabinets.

Meanwhile, any idle hands were put to work turning a functioning parking lot into a celebratory space with a sparkle.  A few votive candles, sunflowers and vintage-looking string lights can really go a long way.  Pretty soon a once-dusty parking lot looked like a real space for a party.  And what a party it was!

At 7pm sharp the guests started pouring in.  The residents came out to support the mission of Liberty’s Kitchen not only with their hearts but with their wallets.  In return, they were treated to amazing music (Germaine Basil), superb cocktails (NOLA Brown and Blonde Ales) and stellar food.  The tasting menu resulted from a beautiful synergy between Chef Reggie and the entire CulinaryCorps team, and included:

  • Redfish Goujonette on Puree of Califlower
  • Pork Tenderloin Tournedos with Corn Pudding and Gingersnap Gravy
  • Andouille Sausage with Sweet and Sour Cabbage
  • Shrimp Remoulade
  • Pulled Pork on Sweet Potato Biscuits
  • Pasta Jambalaya Orzo with Smoked Chicken
  • Sweet Corn Cake Topped with Fried Quail Eggs, Greens and Bacon
  • Crawfish Risotto
  • Pissaladiere with Fig Olive Tapenade
  • Bayou Brownie with Caramelized Banana and Pepper Praline Sauce
  • Strawberry Po’Boys with Chocolate and Vanilla Custard

By 7:20pm, over 130 people had arrived.  The front of the house volunteers failed to show so a few CulinaryCorps cooks put on their best game faces, grabbed a tray and started passing appetizers.  The others either manned their “action station” cooking small bites for a hovering crowd or staffed the back kitchen to replenish trays, deep fry fish and flash pork tenderloins in the oven.

The night was like a dream.  Smiling faces, sincere thanks, feel good music, and seconds, thirds, fourths and beyond on all the menu items.  The crowd managed to make good on all the food we made and we had just enough to nosh while catching the last couple of tunes by the band.

As the night came to a joyful close, Chef Reggie relayed a conversation that he had with Keisha, their coffee bar manager.  He said to her that he was “so impressed with these CulinaryCorps cooks, they came in just like warriors”.  And she replied, “not just like warriors, like Spartans.”   We came, we saw, we cooked.

Best wishes for a successful grand opening Liberty’s Kitchen!  We’re behind you every step of the way.

Day 2: Nothing But Love

The day began with our jet fuel of choice on CulinaryCorps trips — cold-brewed coffee with plenty of milk and sugar. Hyped on caffeine and anticipation, our first assignment was to visit Liberty’s Kitchen to meet with Executive Director Janet Davas and to get an overview of the culinary training and job support program for at-risk youth.  But, more importantly, we wanted to get down to brass tacks about Saturday’s event with head chef Reggie Davis.  We gave him our shoplists and he gave us some wisdom; he said that “hope is a dynamic word, there is action in it.  You can ‘hope’ to make your Cheap NFL Jerseys train but if you don’t get your [butt] moving, you’re going to miss it.”  A poignant call to action if there ever was one.

A quick once-over of the menu and a tour of the Liberty’s Kitchen spanking new digs and we departed confident about tomorrow’s event.  We threw in a minor diversion as we made our way to P & J Oyster Company.  Family-owned and operated for over 100 years, P & J has been shucking oysters in the French Quarter for generations.  Today was not a shucking day but we got to talk with owner Sal Sunseri and get a better understanding of what makes Gulf oysters so unique.  And turns out it was our lucky day as Sal sent us packing off to Camp Hope with a GALLON of freshly shucked oysters for the Habitat for Humanity volunteers.  Talk about a treat.

A quick bite at Parasol’s for po’boys (shrimp and oyster/roast beef) and various house specialties (HOT muffaleta, boudin balls) and we were refueled for our evening of cooking at Camp Hope.  A gutted elementary school, Camp Hope is equipped to sleep over 1,000 Habitat for Humanity volunteers at a time.  Today’s numbers are much lower (about 170 volunteers are staying this week) but no matter how many are boarding, there is always a hot dinner on the buffet line at 5:30pm sharp.

The kitchen is led by a cook with a huge heart, Chef Frank Grabosky, and supported by a rotating roster of AmeriCorps NCCC members.  Today Chef Frank greeted us with his patented laugh and easy-going demeanor, introducing us to his larder of mostly canned goods and frozen foods and leaving us at the stove with his blessing.  After splitting into four teams, we took stock of the offerings at hand created our “An Evening in Italy” menu:


– Fried Shrimp with Lemon Aioli

– Pasta a la Toscana with Artichokes and Olives


– Catfish Parmigiana

– Chicken Etoufee Italiana

– Heuvos Rancheros Frittata


– Chickpea Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette

– Panzanella Salad


– Banana Peanut Butter “Creme Brulee”

– Almond Stuffed Plums with Warm Plum Syrup

The teams set up their work stations and warmly brought the NCCC volunteers into the fold.  The AmeriCorps volunteers who helped us execute the meal were tremendous troopers, hanging in with the best of us as we chopped, sauteed and deep-fried our way towards dinner.

We were told that because French Quarter Fest was this evening, we could only expect to serve 100 people total.  But, as 5:30pm approached, word has spread that “the chefs were cooking” and a line started to stretch right out the door.  Over 200 happy customers later, CulinaryCorps got nothing but love as the team humbly accepted a standing ovation and appeals to “please come back tomorrow.”  We quickly passed the love right back, thanking them for the work they continue to do maglie calcio poco prezzo for this City.  It is volunteers just like them, and folks like Janet, Reggie and Sal, that inspire us to continue with our mission.  And get us excited about waking up really early and cooking again tomorrow.

[As a reminder, we’re chronicling the entire April 2009 trip at the CulinaryCorps blog (the planned itinerary is here).  We’re also posting updates via our new Twitter account.  Stay tuned!]

Day 1: And We’re Off

It was 3pm sharp and our group was already planning menus like a well-oiled brigade.  With shop lists due within the hour, a quick brainstorm led to three stellar dishes (one involving quail eggs, one wontons) to be executed as “culinary entertainment” for the Liberty’s Kitchen Gala on Saturday.   More details to come.

Then our “Edible Introduction” got us noshing on all sorts of wordly delights, including apple butters, spiced nuts, guava cakes, and salted chocolate caramels.  Next, we were off on a recovery tour with Ashley Graham of Share Our Strength, allowing the group to get a first-hand look at the ongoing efforts of those making change in the community.

We were pleased to find Make it Right houses in the Lower 9th Ward coming up like new growth in a forest; proud owners lining the steps and waving to us with smiles on their faces.  A quick stop at had us hugging our dear friend Darin (repairing houses of his neighbors and friends for over three years) and then back to Treme to Dooky Chase where an evening of some very fine food lay in wait.

Gumbo, bbq quail, fried cheap oakley oyster salad, chicken fried steak, stuffing, beans, jambalya . . . and that’s just naming a few of the dishes that graced our table.  All washed down with tooth-numbing sweet tea and glasses of good wine.  But the real treat was yet to come when we went back to the kitchen to chat with Ms. Leah Chase and laugh and listen . . . and to get hungry for the week to come.

Return to Service

CulinaryCorps was born in the Bush administration when a call for national service was at best a weak whisper.  We are incredibly pleased to read about the new administration’s support of organized volunteer opportunities for the country; the highlights of which are underscored in this recent Economist article.

Incredibly, our volunteer application was downloaded more than 130 times for our upcoming April trip and we received a record number of completed applications. We can only believe that with Obama’s continued philosophical and monetary support of volunteer service, this trend will happily continue.