In May, CV’s Chef Kelli Scott transformed the café in the Lanza Activities Center into a fine dining kitchen and restaurant. The boys who are in the café work program, one of our CV’s WAY Works career training sites, helped research and develop a restaurant plan for months, and created a menu with seasonal ingredients and sophistication.
Through this process the team learned about batch cooking, braising, costing, classical preparations, and most importantly the “dance” – how one maneuvers in sync with others in a restaurant kitchen.
To celebrate the grand opening of their new restaurant, “De ‘Laanz”, Chef Kelli took the boys to X20, a beautiful glass-enclosed restaurant on the Yonkers pier with globally influenced food.
One young man, Elijah, couldn’t wait to try the food at X20, but couldn’t imagine where this meal might take him. He not only enjoyed a great meal, he also asked for and took a work application back to CV with him.
When Elijah went to drop off his application, the manager asked to sit down with him right away. After asking a few questions and having a good conversation, Elijah was invited to come in the next week for training!
One of Elijah’s mentors at CV, Jose, took him on a shopping trip to get him geared up and confident for starting work. Working at an upscale restaurant and utilizing all of the skills he has learned over the last few months is a major jump for Elijah, and everyone at CV is celebrating!
We’re so proud of the initiative that Elijah took to make this happen. He has all the ingredients to build a very exciting future.