The third annual Top Chefs of Northern Westchester held recently raised nearly $13,000 for the United Way of Westchester and Putnam.
The event showcased the debut year of the Teach Me to Fish… Work Skills for Life program. Teach Me to Fish – which has trained and prepared nearly 800 residents for today’s workforce – delivers workforce training and employment opportunities by partnering with four local agencies: the Urban League of Westchester; Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Teachers; Careers for People with Disabilities; and Family Service Society of Yonkers.
Top Chefs was held at Mount Kisco Country Club and featured chefs from many well-known and popular Westchester restaurants demonstrating some favorite cooking techniques and tasty dishes.
Shown above are Café of Love executive chef Michael Cutney with Lucas Diehl plating a dish of risotto.
“This has been a tremendous year with many success stories,” said MaryAnn Luna, a United Way of Westchester and Putnam vice president who helps coordinate the Teach Me to Fish program. “We hope to grow the program so more people can find and keep jobs in this difficult economy.”
Teach Me to Fish focuses on helping youth, people with disabilities, and individuals who have been unemployed for some time to adapt to the changing employment landscape by providing training and advice. With funding of $80,000 a year, the program offers workforce readiness skills, financial education, job interviews, job placement and employment follow-up.
“Being part of this initiative has helped us tremendously. There is a real need for this in Westchester in particular but in the state as a whole,” said Seth Berman, director of Family Service Society of Yonkers, a nonprofit that provides free training and job placement for those in the home health care profession, “We are training and hiring and meeting a real need for the county, and we are so fortunate to have the support of the United Way behind us.”
Included in the evening’s fundraising was a $4,000 donation from Entergy, an event sponsor.
Restaurant participants included 42 Restaurant of White Plainsk Bellizi of Mount Kisco, Benjamin Steakhouse of White Plains, Café of Love of Mount Kisco, Crabtree’s Kittle House of Chappaqua, Happiness Is… of Greenwich, Le Chateau of South Salem, Lexington Square Café of Mount Kisco, Mount Kisco Seafood of Mount Kisco, Myong Gourmet of Mount Kisco and Travelers Rest of Ossining. The event also featured wines from around the world from Chappaqua’s Hilltop Wines & Spirits and Pleasantville’s Captain Lawrence Brewing Company.
(Photo courtesy of Diana Costello/Co-Communications)