Celebrated Chef and Author Mark Bittman to Cook with Teen Caterers in the Bronx

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The Children's Aid Society’s Next Generation Center to Host Unique Tasting Experience

Ellen Lubell, The Children’s Aid Society – (w) 212-949-4938, (c) 917-854-6864
Emily Crossan, The Children’s Aid Society – (w) 917-286-1548, (c) 201-344-5742

Tuesday, February 3, 2009
4:30 – 6:00 p.m. – Bittman and teens prepare food
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – reception

The Children’s Aid Society’s Next Generation Center
1522 Southern Boulevard at 172nd Street, the Bronx

Ten young culinary aspirants in the South Bronx will have a rare opportunity to cook with celebrated chef Mark Bittman in preparation for a special reception at The Children's Aid Society’s Next Generation Center.

Bittman, The New York Times “The Minimalist” columnist, author of the award-winning cookbook How to Cook Everything, and host of PBS cooking show Bittman Takes on America’s Chefs, will lead the youth in preparing a unique tasting experience featuring local winter vegetables.

The Next Generation Center, a Children’s Aid Society teen center in the South Bronx, has a new teaching kitchen and culinary program, at the teens’ request. The Next Generation Caterers grew out of the teens’ interest in cooking and their desire to learn not only how to prepare food, but how to run a business.

Next Generation Caterers is both a training and employment program. To prepare youth for professional catering work, Children’s Aid provides a training program that touches on every aspect of the business, from basic job skills to marketing to preparing and serving food. A full-time manager was recently hired to help mentor the teens and grow the catering business. After successfully catering Children’s Aid events, the Next Generation Caterers have gone on to prepare and serve food at events for The New York State Council on Food Policy, World Hunger Year and the Manhattan Borough President, among others.

On Tuesday, special guests will dine on a menu chosen by Bittman - winter vegetable stew, cabbage salad and roasted sweet potatoes. He will also sign copies of his newly released book, Food Matters.

The Children’s Aid Society’s Next Generation Center in the South Bronx is a new state-of-the-art 10,000 square-foot facility designed to serve teens transitioning to adulthood and self-sufficiency and those leaving foster care, as well as community youth. Art classes, workshops in digital photography and in the culinary arts occur simultaneously with financial literacy and life-skills classes, tutoring, legal services and housing assistance.

The Children’s Aid Society was founded in 1853. It is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative non-sectarian agencies, serving 150,000 of New York’s neediest children and their families with a network of services that includes community schools, neighborhood centers, camps, adoption and foster care services, teen pregnancy prevention, education, health and recreation. For additional information, please call 212-949-4938 or visit www.childrensaidsociety.org.

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