CITY FLAVORS-Food Entrepreneurs from NYC Public Housing Present a Taste of Local Bites
"City Flavors - A Night of Local Bites" will present a tasty glimpse of the future of New York City's artisanal food scene on Monday, July 23, when 20 emerging food entrepreneurs will debut their savory treats, vegan temptations, soul food oeuvres and sinful desserts on the High Line. The entrepreneurs are residents of New York City Public Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings and graduates of the Food Business Pathways (FBP), the intensive 10-week program funded by Citi Community Development that equips NYCHA residents with the tools to launch their food businesses. The event is a fundraiser for capital to help FBP graduates start and grow their enterprises.
Each City Flavors participant has been paired with a mentor from one of the city's top restaurants and food purveyors to help them prepare for their first high-profile tasting event. Mentors, who will assist their mentees at City Flavors stations (with additional support provided by National Gourmet Institute students), include: Clark Wolf, specialty food expert, TV and radio host; Andrew Tarlow, owner of Diner, Marlow & Sons, Reynard, Roman's, and Achilles Heel; Bill Telepan, executive chef of Oceana; Ariane Daguin, chef and founder of D'Artagnan; James Kent, former executive chef of Nomad; Ardenia Brown, owner of Buttermilk Market and personal chef to Questlove; Jessica Weiss, pastry chef for four of Union Square Hospitality Group's restaurants; Danny Lee, executive chef of Burger & Lobster; Jason Hicks, chef /owner of Jones Wood Foundry and The Shakespeare; Saul Bolton, executive chef of The Norm, and McKenzie Foster and Marco Lanuto, chefs / owners of FryGuys.
City Flavors - A Night of Local Bites is being organized by the Food Working Group of the Fund for Public Housing, a non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of NYCHA residents by bringing new resources to their communities to reimagine and improve how public housing works in New York City.
"Food Business Pathways is an innovative program that invests in public housing residents who are entrepreneurs. The event will raise additional funding that Food Business Pathways graduates will invest in their business to expand market access, so their businesses can continue to grow," says Rasmia Kirmani-Frye, president of the Fund for Public Housing.
The FBP graduates who will present their local bites at City Flavors are excited about the opportunity the event represents.
"It is an honor to be asked to participate. Being a self-taught chef, I am excited about being able to tap into the experience of an established chef for help preparing for the event and even more excited about the opportunity to share Grace Kelli Cupcakes with a new audience," says Sandra Mathias, baker and owner of Grace Kelli Cupcakes. "It is my hope to be a part of more events like City Flavors to show single mothers they can pursue their goals and make their dreams come true. I know if I had not had the guidance and support that I was given, my cupcakes and treats business would not be here today,"
The city flavors showcased at the event will be complemented by beer, wine, liquor, and non-alcoholic beverages, from such sponsors as Tito's Vodka, Queen's Courage Gin, David Bowler Wine, Doc Herson's Spirits, Gus Grown-Up Soda, Spice Grove Roselle, and Sound Spark Tea.
City Flavors - A Night of Local Bites, will take place at the High Line's Chelsea Market Passage, on Monday, July 23 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., with VIP admission at 5:45 p.m. Tickets, priced from $95 to $1000, are available via Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/city-flavors-a-night-of-local-bites-tickets-45196299348. For more information about the event or to learn how to support the Fund for Public Housing and its food initiatives for NYCHA residents, contact Travis Bostick, email@example.com.
About Food Business Pathways
Since its 2015 inception, 205 NYCHA residents have graduated from the Food Business Pathways program and 150 food businesses have been created. The program is a collaboration between NYCHA's Office of Resident Economic Empowerment & Sustainability (REES), the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Start Small Think Big, Hot Bread Kitchen, other kitchen incubators, REES zone partners, and Citi Community Development. This free business accelerator program provides NYCHA public housing residents and NYCHA Section 8 voucher holders with a passion for food and a drive for entrepreneurship with customized training and resources to launch and grow their food businesses.
About the Fund for Public Housing:
The Fund for Public Housing in an independent non-profit organization that invests in the well-being of NYC public housing residents and their surrounding communities. It collaborates with external partners to re-imagine and improve the way public housing in New York City works. It is the first and only organization that exists solely to address a broad spectrum of priorities in New York City public housing communities.
About the Food Working Committee:
A volunteer committee of the Fund for Public Housing, the Food Working Committee creates and develops opportunities in the food and hospitality industries with and for New York public housing residents. Through the City Flavors event and other initiatives, the committee is raising money to provide grants to NYCHA resident food entrepreneurs for space rental, supplies, marketing, equipment, insurance, and other business essentials. The committee is comprised
of a broad spectrum of food industry professionals including chefs, educators, and hospitality specialists to experts in the catering, fast food, agriculture, and food tech arenas.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of City Flavors