Youth With Faces hosted its community fundraiser on Sunday, October 1, raising more than $41,000 for its Culinary Arts & Hospitality program. The dinner also provided a unique work opportunity for Youth With Faces students as they trained alongside six of Dallas’s best chefs to make and serve a meal for 90 guests.
The Chefs’ Dinner was hosted at Encina in Oak Cliff, a restaurant known for its uncomplicated yet adventurous menu with a focus on seasonality and fresh ingredients. Encina owners Chef Matt Balke and Corey McCombs are longtime volunteers and supporters of Youth With Faces. The two recruited their closest chef friends to guide and work with the students, including Matt Ford, Executive Chef at Billy Can Can; Sharon Hage, Restaurant Consultant and the previous owner of James-Beard Award Winning York Street; Jared Harms, Executive Chef of The Charles Dallas (Duro Hospitality); Jeffery Hobbs, Owner and Executive Chef of Slow Bone; and Samantha Rush of Rush Patisserie and Trailercakes.
Photos by Sonya Hebert Photography
Prior to apprenticing with the chefs on October 1, the Youth With Faces students completed eight weeks of culinary arts training while in juvenile placement at Dallas County’s Youth Village. Under the tutelage of the nonprofit’s Chef Alexis Baker, students were taught many of the foundations she learned in culinary school at CIA in New York. Students also obtained a Food Handler certification before working in the kitchen. This important industry certification helps Youth With Faces students have a leg up in landing a job in the food service industry once they return to the community.
“One of the reasons Youth With Faces’s culinary program is so successful is that the Dallas culinary community is filled with individuals who pour into our students,” said Chris Quadri, Youth With Faces CEO. “Not many teenagers can say they worked with chefs from some of Dallas’s most exclusive restaurants. We are grateful for supporters and volunteers who make learning experiences like this possible.”
Sponsors of the Chefs’ Dinner included Ignite/Rebees, Oakwood Bank, the Susan Wayne Strauss Charitable Foundation, Wise Resource Development, and Conner Cross. In-kind sponsors included Billy Can Can, Chefs’ Produce, Encina Dallas, Park Cities Petals Floral Design, Sonya Hebert Photography, Southern Glazers, Spec’s, Taco y Vino, The Charles Dallas, Trailercakes and Well Told Productions.
Two Youth With Faces graduates who are now flourishing at home also participated in the event. One shared his experience in Youth With Faces programs during a special interview with the agency’s Director of Programs, Dr. Jazminda Ryan, and Hannah Davis, Television Host and Owner of Well Told Productions. Another graduate, now owner of a small bakery, was hired to bake cookies and brownies for the guests’ party favor bags. Youth With Faces pays its culinary students $12/hour to work an internship as their culinary training concludes. The Chefs’ Dinner provided an engaging “Earn & Learn” for the nonprofit’s third-quarter participants.
About Youth With Faces
Youth With Faces was first launched in 2001 as Youth Village Resources of Dallas to provide clothing and meals to residents in Dallas County’s Youth Village. The nonprofit expanded its scope in 2008 to include rehabilitation programs, such as the popular Culinary Arts program. Youth With Faces culinary students participated in pop-up dinners at popular restaurants throughout the community for almost a decade. Those dinners eventually led to the formation of Cafe Momentum in 2015. That same year, the nonprofit expanded programs beyond Youth Village and changed its name to Youth With Faces to better reflect its purpose – giving young men and women in the juvenile justice system a second chance at being more than a faceless statistic. Today, Youth With Faces offers career education and life skills programs to young people adjudicated in the Collin County or Dallas County juvenile departments – serving more than 400 justice-impacted young people each year. Learn more at youthwithfaces.org or follow @YouthWithFaces on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
Photos by Susan Hebert Photography