MACCchefs Hosts Pop-Up Restaurant


HARTFORD COURANT – Graduating chefs from the MACC Chefs Culinary Arts Job Training program hosted a pop-up restaurant last month.

Almost 100 hundred diners, including residents and town officials, all came out to have a three-course meal at the MACC Soup Kitchen.

The meal included, mussels, soup and salad; several entrees including beef, salmon, and a vegetarian option; and desserts such as chocolate mousse, pumpkin doughnut bread pudding, and cranberry goat cheese ice cream.

“I am so proud of them,” said Ben Dubow, executive chef and Director of Food Services for MACC. “The entire program turned out better than I ever could have hoped for.”

Working in the pop-up restaurant culminated the 12-week experience for the food industry hopefuls. In total, the future chefs completed 120 hours of culinary work. The program is designed for those who are underprivileged and normally would not have the opportunity to attend culinary school.

Students gained real life experience during the program from being a part of MACC Catering. The group catered small-scale meetings, all the way up to weddings.

“They’ve basically been versed in all aspects of the culinary world, whether it’s baking, sauteing – all of it,” said Community Engagement Manager Meaghan Sprague.

The program, which also focuses on hospitality, not only taught the future chefs how to throw down in the kitchen, but also prepared them go the business world by teaching interviewing skills and resume writing, Sprague added. She also said that program was strict and that Dubow “is no nonsense.”

“I wanted to instill that professionalism in each of the students because that’s something they carry with them on all areas of their life,” said Dubow. “Things like language, how to dress, just everything.”

The chefs have certainly come a long way; their first night of class was learning how to cut vegetables, Sprague added.

One of the students has already begun his position at the vegetarian restaurant 21 Oak in Manchester and another has been working at October Kitchen.

Servers from Burton’s Grill of South Windsor volunteered their services for the event, as well.

Maureen Macdonald said she was more than happy to lend her time for a good cause.

“I love Chef Ben’s premise of not giving a handout, but giving a hand up,” Macdonald said. “I’m a 20-year veteran of the service industry so I just think it’s really great that you’re going to give people a way to make their own means.”

LINK: Hartford Courant Article

Warming Hands, Warming Hearts

Last night the Manchester Chamber of Commerce along with the Tolland Chamber of Commerce put on an event: “Warming Hands, Warming Hearts” where they collected 2,500 children’s hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, coats, and socks which were donated to MACC, CHR, KidSafe, and Community Child Guidance Clinic.

Thank you to everyone who donated!!

Community Outreach

Outreach- Reaching out to those in Need

Shannon Baldassario, Director of Community Outreach states, “Everyday day is a new day to help someone in need and we do this job because we are truly dedicated to helping people and we care about their well being”

Shannon provides weekly shower and laundry services for those clients who remain outside. She brings people in from the outdoors and gives referrals for housing, mental health/ substance abuse, and basic needs such as food, clothing, and hygeine. She works closely with the advocacy department at MACC, as well as different town agencies to assess the need within the community.

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