The holidays have become a time when many people do their yearly community service, and often that service comes in the form of food. At a time when many are stuffing their faces with turkey and Christmas pudding and latkes, etc., it’s hard not to think about people who not only don’t have food, but don’t have people to eat it with. As a chef, Slow Food member, or food enthusiast (or all three) working in soup kitchens and the like is a logical way to give back to the community during the holidays. Why not use what you know/love?
Recently, we here in the National office had the opportunity to meet someone who has created a way to do good with food, and not just at the holidays. Christine Carroll went to New Orleans on a 2006 Henckels Cutting Edge scholarship attending the Share Our Strength conference in New Orleans. There she found a rich culinary heritage and a community in need. But why go there and paint houses (etc.) she wondered, when her real skills lay in the kitchen?
As a result, she founded Culinary Corps, which brings groups of culinary students and professionals to NOLA to do food-centered volunteer projects. As she explains, “Culinary Corps provides team members with an opportunity to transform their kitchen skills and passion for food into community outreach tools.” As we write, Christine is in on the Gulf Coast with a group of culinary professionals, on the fourth trip she’s led this year, where she and her trip members will be slicing and dicing to help out a local farmers’ market and a local church.
Because doing good once a year is a nice start, but year-round is better…