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Recent Media

For press and media inquiries, please email brownsville@MeltingPotFoundationUSA.org

United Nations News: 'Emulate his example' urges UN chief as world celebrates Nelson Mandela: a ‘global advocate for dignity and equality’ 

As “one of the most iconic and inspirational leaders of our time”, the UN chief said: “Nelson Mandela exemplified courage, compassion and commitment to freedom, peace and social justice”.   

“He lived by these principles and was prepared to sacrifice his liberty and even his life for them”, Mr. Guterres spelled out. 

In November 2009, the UN declared 18 July, Nelson Mandela International Day as a global call to action under the premise that everyone has the power to make an impact on the planet. 

With hate speech casting a growing shadow around the world, “Nelson Mandela’s calls for social cohesion and an end to racism are particularly relevant today”, said the UN chief... [READ MORE]

BK Reader: Chef Carla Hall Brings Soul and Food to Brownsville Culinary Center


by Andrea Leonhardt

A delectable dinner was served when chef, author and television personality Carla Hall hosted a pop-up dinner on Tuesday at the Brownsville Community Culinary Center to benefit the Melting Pot Foundation, an initiative that provides individuals of underserved communities with professional culinary training. 

Hall teamed up with the center’s culinary trainees to prepare a special four-course menu with original dishes such as olive oil deviled eggs, grilled okra with BBQ spice sprinkle, smashed beets with pickled red onions, curried lamb stew and poured caramel cake with vanilla ice cream. [READ MORE]

Huffington Post: This Culinary Nonprofit Is Cooking Up Hope In This Brooklyn Food Desert

Check out this video on the Brownsville Community Culinary Center from the Huffington Post!

The Bridge: Learning to Cook Up a Brighter Future in Brownsville

by Madison J. Grey - July 5, 2018

On a Saturday afternoon in Brownsville when everyone expected it to rain, Barkim Webster stood in line with his son waiting for a hamburger slider. The burgers on the grill were not from a chain restaurant, however, but from a school, prepared by people from the neighborhood who were training to serve him.

Webster, 30, is not old enough to remember sit-down restaurant service in the area. It has been decades since such an establishment has operated here, Brownsville residents say. But that has changed, thanks to a new institution on this corner... [READ MORE]

Grubstreet: Meet the Southern Chef Spreading the Word of Gullah Geechee Cuisine

by  Photos by Clay Williams - June 26, 2018

Not much upsets Chef Benjamin “B.J.” Dennis, but any mention of black-eyed peas strikes a particular nerve.

Back home, Dennis has access to more than 20 varieties of field peas, including several rare heirloom types, yet dried black-eyed peas are the only ones he sees on the menus of most southern restaurants. “It’s probably one of the worst-flavored peas,” he said, shaking his head. “I can’t stand it.” [READ MORE]

Edible, Brooklyn: This Brownsville Community Center Builds Culinary Careers

by   Photos by Sam Hodgson - June 14, 2018

Brownsville Community Culinary Center offers a 40-week paid training program, helping a rotating cohort of neighborhood residents pursue careers in food.

It’s morning at the Brownsville Community Culinary Center (BCCC) and the colorful café and restaurant are closed. Parliament Funkadelic is playing over the speakers, and in the open kitchen at the back of the dining room, participants in black chef coats cut chicken breasts into strips as prep for a catering order, some nodding their heads to the music as they complete their work while some laser-focused on their tasks. [READ MORE]

Gothamist: How An Antebellum Chef Is Inspiring Brownsville Culinary Students To Reclaim Their Food Heritage

by ANDRES O'HARA - May 15, 2018 

Southern food, soul food, and barbecue are popping up in more and more restaurants across the country, but many of the people who are bringing this food to fancy restaurants look, unsurprisingly, very little like its original creators. “Everyone’s attracted to our seasonings, our food, but they want to flip it, without understanding where we come from,” said chef Michael Twitty, speaking at the Brownsville Community Culinary Center last week. “People love the cooking of black and brown folk. They love it more than they love us, that’s the problem.” [READ MORE]

Brownstoner: Brownsville Restaurant and Culinary Project Aims to Transform Lives

By Cate Corcoran - December 27, 2017

At the Brownsville Community Culinary Center, a new group of participants was tackling its first baking class.

They were kneading dough and mostly silent as they focused on their work. The teacher darted in and out of the well-equipped back room. Out front, another group took orders and prepared meals in the open kitchen... [Read More]

TimeOut: Brownsville Community Culinary Center

By Richard Morgan - November 20, 2017

“Why’s it kale and not collards or okra?” my dining companion asked as he held a kale biscuit in his hand with abject curiosity. He took a cautious nibble and was so taken aback that the fronds of his fernlike curly flattop bobbed backward. “Wow,” he said. “That’s why”... [Read More]

My Brother's Keeper: District 23 MBK Mentor Ambassadors

Published by My Brother's Keeper: CSD 23 - November 6, 2017

Thank you Dr. Goss & District 23 MBK Mentor Ambassadors for hosting the My Brother's Keeper intro event at our space today! 


PLUS1: The Brownsnville Community Culinary Center x The National

Shot By Aaron DuRall; Published by PLUS1 - October 6, 2017

Beyond grateful to Aaron Dessner and The National for this shout out at Forest Hills and to Marika Shaw and Plus1 for their remarkable support. $1 of every ticket sold on The National tour going to The BCCC!

For more about PLUS1 click here

wNYC: "How A New Culinary Center Trains Brownsville Residents For Careers In Food"

Published By The Leonard Lopate Show - October 27, 2017

The Brownsville Community Culinary Center is a café, bakery, and culinary training program in Brownsville, Brooklyn that trains community members for culinary careers through a 40-week apprenticeship program. Philip Hoffman, executive director, Lucas Denton, it’s co-founder and content director, and Rodney Frazer, chef educator at the program, join us to discuss the program. We will also hear from JohnnyMae Robinson, an advisory board member, as well as some of the group’s participants...

New York Times: "Gentrification Isn't on the Menu"

By Ginia Bellafante - July 27, 2017

Four years ago, Lucas Denton was shopping at the Scratchbread Bakery in Bedford-Stuyvesant when he noticed a large man, seemingly unfamiliar with that part of Brooklyn, gesticulating and speaking loudly on the sidewalk in what Mr. Denton described as “an Elven language.” His impulse was to welcome him to the neighborhood, he recounted recently, “and maybe calm him down a touch.” Mr. Denton, then in his late 20s, had developed an appreciation for fashion but food culture remained alien to him; so it signified nothing when the man said that his name was Claus Meyer... [Read More]