There is nothing more integral that people need than food. And beyond that, a job might be nice. But in all seriousness, there are a few kitchens out there in Manhattan that are doing more than just teaching people how to cook gourmet.
Mi Kitchen es su Kitchen is a time share test kitchen that has been open to restauranteurs and those who are breaking into the food industry for nearly 15 years – she takes non-for-profits and other underutilized kitchen spaces, forms partnerships with the organizations and finds chefs to use the spaces as their kitchen space rather than their home space. Both parties benefit. For caterers that are just starting out and need the kitchen space, this could be a massive godsend – they wouldn’t be bickering over the creme brulee in a crammed and tiny kitchen space.
Hot Bread Kitchen is a little different in the angle they take. Their mission is to improve the lives of low-income women and their families. HBK does this by paying the women while they are taught the skills necessary to launch food businesses. They will, in the processes, teach the women to bake breads and other goods, which they will turn around and sell. (Their challah was actually recently mentioned in the New York Times – take a look at the article!) HBK does also offer incubator space like Mi Kitchen – but it doesn’t seem like that is their main focus.
From a place to bake to amazing breads – whatever route you may take with either of these two kitchens – the end result will help those who need it, even if ‘those who need it’ is you!