By Rick Smilow, ICE President

On November 18, eighty people—including several food industry VIPs—gathered at ICE for a Vietnamese cooking party to benefit STREETS International. ICE has admired and supported STREETS’ efforts since the organization’s inception in 2009. Based in Hoi An, Vietnam, STREETS provides culinary and hospitality career training to poor and disadvantaged Vietnamese young adults between the ages of 17 and 21.

Many of the students who are chosen to participate in STREETS’ 18-month program are coming from orphanages and have limited opportunities for future employment. But with the aid of the career training, which includes a year of English language lessons, these young men and women now have the potential for long careers in Vietnam’s growing hotel, tourism and restaurant sector.

See below photos of the hands-on cooking party, which featured traditional Vietnamese ingredients:

Too many chefs in the kitchen? Not this night at ICE!

Too many chefs in the kitchen? Not this night at ICE!

Kitchen B guests learning about their cooking assignment.

Guests learning about their cooking assignment.

Happy guests, left to right, ICE alum Gail Simmons (Top Chef / Food & Wine), Nilou Motamed (Editor-in-Chief, Epicurious), Christina Grdovic (Publisher, Food & Wine) and Pam Norwood (Food & Wine).

Happy guests, left to right, ICE alum Gail Simmons (Top Chef / Food & Wine), Nilou Motamed (Editor-in-Chief, Epicurious), Christina Grdovic (Publisher, Food & Wine) and Pam Norwood (Food & Wine).

Group waiting for the heat to rise includes STREETS board member Ruairi Curtin, President of Bua Bar Group (in tie).

Group waiting for the heat to rise includes STREETS board member Ruairi Curtin, President of Bua Bar Group (in tie).

The cooking efforts did result in a delicious three course meal.

The cooking efforts did result in a delicious three course meal.

The seared rare duck breast with caramel glaze and braised duck leg with soy and spices.

The seared rare duck breast with caramel glaze and braised duck leg with soy and spices.

Neal Bermas (left) and Sondra Stewart (right) presenting Mark Maynard-Parisi, Managing Partner of the Blue Smoke group at Union Square Hospitality Group, with a certificate of appreciation.

Neal Bermas (left) and Sondra Stewart (right) presenting Mark Maynard-Parisi, Managing Partner of the Blue Smoke group at Union Square Hospitality Group, with a certificate of appreciation.

 

The organization’s founders, Neal Bermas and Sondra Stewart, have long been friends of ICE. The two used to live in New York City, where Neal was an instructor in our Culinary Management program and Sondra worked in the field of mergers and acquisitions.

On behalf of STREETS and the staff at ICE, we would like to thank everyone who made this very special fundraiser a success. To find out more or make a donation, visit: http://www.streetsinternational.org/welcome-streets-international.html

 

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