FOOD: DC Central Kitchen Warms the Soul

By Kathleen Nixon
November 9, 2012
Falls Church Times Staff

Food is central is to our lives and there are many folks who go without. While we are blessed with an abundance of food, we are equally blessed with passionate individuals who come up with ideas on how to tackle some of our society’s biggest challenges. One such program is DC Central Kitchen.  DC Central Kitchen was founded in 1989 to tackle the problem of food being wasted by restaurants, hotels and grocery stores and has transformed this food into over 25 million meals served at shelters and institutions in and around DC. But don’t make the mistake that this program is about meals, it is about transforming peoples’ lives through food.

There are many programs at DC Central Kitchen that bring the focus of food back to its local source and how the connection with food can change lives. Programs range from feeding the homeless to providing school children with healthy meals to adults getting back on their feet with culinary job training.  From Food Recycling, – tackling food waste; Healthy Corners-tackling food deserts; First Helping- tackling building trust with the homeless communities and Culinary Job Training – tackling the need for job training and empowerment, DC Central Kitchen reminds us that our connection with food has the power to change communities.

The team from DC Central Kitchen led by Ed Kwitowski, Director of School Food Services came to the Falls Church Farmers Market Chef demonstration to showcase how to use seasonal ingredients such as kale from Tree and Leaf farms, or butternut squash from Potomac Vegetable farms in an Autumn Barley Salad. While many folks appreciated the vegetarian dish that will help them with holiday entertaining this year, several folks also appreciated the Lamb Merguez that was added in from Jaime Stachowski.

Assisting Chef Ed was Anand Shantam a graduate of the Culinary Job Training program class 82, who currently works at Walker Jones Education Campus, part of the Kitchen Campus program.  She has a great passion for serving food with integrity and was recently honored at the DC Central Kitchen’s annual Food Fight with the Shining Star Award as she exemplified the spirit of empowerment and change. Also quietly assisting the team was Isaiah, whose background is in catering, who also works at Walker Jones Education Campus and would someday like to own a restaurant.

The morning was cold and the Autumn Barley salad was warming to the tummy. However this could not compare with the warming of the soul as the Falls Church community came out to support DC Central Kitchen and its Culinary Job Training graduates.

Tomorrow, Andrew Dixon, Executive Chef of Madfox Brewing Company will be final Falls Church Farmers Market Chef of this season. Andrew, winner of the 2012 Taste of Falls Church, will be cooking up a kale salad with butternut squash bacon.

November 9, 2012 


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