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BCA 17th Annual Cultural Awareness Salute in NYC
04/10/2010 - By New York City, NY

BCA 17th Annual Cultural Awareness Salute in NYC

Fox 5 TV personality and Good Day New York Weather Anchor Mike Woods celebrated diversity in the hospitality and culinary industry April 10th, 2010, at the New York Marriott Marquis.

Corporate sponsors Hobart, Marriott, Restaurant Associates-Compass, Electrolux, Food Network, Sodexo, and Irinox partnered with the BCA to honor leaders in diversity at the BCA’s annual black tie Cultural Awareness Salute. Charmain Sithappah, CEO of The Seasoned Pot Company and a leading ambassador of South African cuisine to the world, received the Jefferson Evans award for culinary excellence. The Heritage Award for life-long achievement was presented to Melba Wilson, owner of Melba’s Restaurant and Catering. The evening also include special presentations by the Food Network, Drew Niepordent (Owner, Myriad Restaurant Group), and the South African Consulate.

In its 17th year, the BCA’s Cultural Awareness Salute honored the achievements of people of color in the hospitality and culinary business and provided a space for industry networking and dialogue about the advancement of diversity. It also gave culinary students from around the country the opportunity to cook alongside nationally renowned chefs.

The gala began with a VIP and cocktail reception, followed by a multi-course dinner, Viennese reception, and dancing and entertainment throughout the night. The gala dinner also gave a taste of the future of the industry with four courses and wine pairings prepared by students from Johnson & Wales University, South Bronx Job Corps Academy, Prince George Community College, Cordon Bleu Dallas, the Culinary Program at Brooklyn Job Corps Academy, Monroe College, Hudson County Community College, Foodservice Training Academy, Career Academy of NY, Culinary Training Institute, Newark Vocational High School, the Academy of Vocational Careers, the University of Northern Texas, and the Culinary Institute of America. “Students from different schools and different backgrounds came together in the same kitchen and cooked in a non-competitive environment,” says Alex Askew, President of BCA. “Those of us who attended are honored to witness the promise of future leaders and work together towards a more diverse industry.”

Photos: Ed Lewis

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