In Good Food News-I found this wonderful story written by Alicia Lu for Edible Manhattan, about Chef Harold Villarosa who grew up in the South Bronx. He is now executive chef at Freemans Alley on the Lower East Side. Villarosa has worked in more kitchens than most chefs will in a lifetime. Including Per Se and Noma. His motto is“never forget where you come from”, and that means taking everything he’s learned from traversing this extraordinary culinary terrain and putting it back into the soil of the neighborhood that raised him.
In 2013, Villarosa launched the Insurgo Project, an education program that teaches inner-city kids how to cook and grow their own food using sustainable methods as well as practical life skills to encourage entrepreneurship. He developed Insurgo’s curriculum philosophy, called the New Hustle, which teaches students not only how to produce and cook food, but also how to turn it into a business. Curriculum topics include urban agriculture, hospitality, culinary arts, civic duty and social entrepreneurialism. They grow their own vegetables, learn how to use kitchen equipment and are taught culinary techniques to produce delicious, restaurant-quality dishes.
A truly inspirational chef giving back to the community. Read more about him here.