This year, Chef White’s menu was a collaboration with students who have graduated from The Sylvia Center’s 60-hour culinary training program and have gone on to teach cooking to youth in their own communities.
Students at the gala were eager to share how the programs at The Sylvia Center have shaped their lives during some of their most influential years. One of the graduates of this program, Kenneth Sookoo, spoke about his experience to the crowd of 300 guests, including Jon Bon Jovi, Sarah Kauss, CEO and Founder of S'Well, and Lucy Friedman, president of ExpandEd Schools.
“Once food changed for me,
thanks to The Sylvia Center, I changed more personally than just the physical
changes that eating right can do for you," Kenneth said. "I had found something that I can love
and utilize for the rest of my life. I became happier, more energetic, and more
willing to engage and try new things.”
Ten years in, The Sylvia Center has worked with over 20,000 students, both in New York City and at Katchkie Farm. The money raised at the gala will prepare The Sylvia Center to expand its Teen Apprentice Program, which will equip more youth with the skills to lead healthier and more productive lives.
”I believe that food is healing, and thanks to The Sylvia Center maybe in the future I can strategically use food to help people the same way food has helped me,” Kenneth said.
To support The Sylvia Center by eating, visit Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream and try the winning flavor chosen at The Art of Cooking, New York Honey Apple, available all month long. $1 from every scoop served will be donated to The Sylvia Center.