Local Chefs Host Culinary Experience for Women who are Homeless

Last night a group of accomplished chefs prepared a four-course meal for women who are experiencing homelessness and living at Calvary Women’s Services. Jerome Grant, executive chef at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian’s Mitsitam Café, spent hours preparing decadent dishes for residents at Calvary. Desserts were created by Padua Player, executive pastry chef for Suga Chef Desserts. Horatio Davis, co-owner of Capitol Hill Crab Cakes, also provided his skills as a sous chef.

Between each course, Chefs Grant and Player described the unique ingredients and preparation that went into each dish. At the end of the evening, the full dining room of women applauded in gratitude for the delicious meal. One woman commented, “It’s not every day that we get to have gourmet food! It was really lovely. It was nice of them to come and it made us all feel good.”

Chef Grant has been recognized as a talented and innovative young chef in the Washington, DC area. Last year he was selected as a runner-up in the “Best Chef” category of Washington City Paper’s “Best of DC” reader’s poll. He was part of the culinary team at Mitsitam Café that received a RAMMY Award in 2012 and was named “Best New Chef in Saint Croix” in 2004.

Chef Grant expressed how important it is for him to give back within the community, and how he sees food playing a role. “Food is so much about conversation,” he said. “People are always going so fast that they don’t always take the time to sit down, eat and talk to each other.”

Chef Player regularly provides desserts and cakes for well-known musicians, comedians and actors. He has been praised for his work by Vice President Biden, was featured on the television program “Platinum Weddings” and was a contestant on Food Network’s “Sweet Genius.”

The event was organized and managed by a group of volunteers who regularly donate their time, talents and skills at Calvary. Working side-by-side with staff, dedicated volunteers help ensure that various components of Calvary’s programs – including life skills classes, job placement assistance, meals and more – run smoothly every single day of the year. Last year more than 450 individuals volunteered at Calvary and provided time and donated goods valued at $165,000.

For additional information about Calvary Women’s Services, please contact Amanda Griesser at (202) 678-2341 ext. 223 or agriesser@calvaryservices.org.

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