LaToya Meaders, Brownsville Community Culinary Center
by Benjamin Fang
Apr 03, 2019 | 16195 views | 0 0 comments | 2763 2763 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Brownsville Community Culinary Center achieves two goals with one innovative program.

As a 40-week nonprofit culinary training program, BCCC prepares participants between the ages of 18 and 34 for careers in the culinary industry.

It is also a full-service restaurant and bakery in Brownsville, offering food focused on the African diaspora. Most of their food is healthy and plant-based.

LaToya Meaders, director of catering and events for the organization, said BCCC, which has been around for two years, is providing a “spark of light” in a neighborhood that has endured some tough times.

“We have a lot of people knocking on our doors that would like to come into our program,” she said. “They’re interested in changing their lives. They’re interested in being a part of our organization and making a difference.”

In the first ten weeks of the program, participants go through an intensive culinary training program to learn the basics.

Over the next 30 weeks, they work at the restaurant and bakery through several rotations, allowing them to learn practical training skills.

BCCC then assists participants with job placement. Program alumni have ended up working in eateries like Mission Chinese, the Great Northern Food Hall and Cosme.

Meaders said the group’s mission is important to her because of her own experience in the industry. She’s worked in restaurants for more than two decades.

“It’s one thing to work in the industry, but it’s a different thing to train others,” Meaders said, “to help them find their path in this life.

“In order for us to make an impact in this world, we have to make sure that everybody’s doing their part,” she added.
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