In the poor communities of Vietnam, many young people struggle every day to find enough to eat. It may seem worlds away, but for Streets International, the Southeast Asian children struggling to feed their families and start their own careers are neighbors. Streets International, a charity that puts children from poor farming communities of Southeast Asia in cooking school programs, and sets them up with jobs, had its annual fundraiser event last night.
Ron Hsu, executive chef of Le Colonial poses with his chicken Goi Ga dish, a Vietnamese chicken and cabbage salad.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing what they do for those young people who get a direction and lift themselves in education,” said Chef Daniel Boulud at the event. DBGB was serving up an Asian-inspired sausage in a bun. “The education boost gives them more confidence to enter the market and start to think about their careers.”
Every year, 20 young Vietnamese people go through the culinary training program in Hoi An, learning English, preparation and serving skills. At the end, many of the graduates are hired by world-class restaurants.
Michel Chernow, co-owner of The Meatball Shop, shows of his sweet-and-sour meatballs at Streets Intl.
Now in its 7th year, the fundraiser draws hundreds of attendees who sample wine, cocktails, and Asian street food-inspired dishes from well-known restaurants and chefs like Anita Lo of Annisa, Daniel Boulud of DBGB, Jean-Paul Bourgeois of Blue Smoke, and Andy Ricker of Pok Pok. Attendees participated in a silent auction, where they could bid on items like an intimate dinner at Daniel, a tour of Danny Myers’s restaurants, and guitar lessons with the guitarist from Saturday Night Live.
The dish served from Pok Pok was a unique spicy Thai curry bowl with noodles.
This was the third time Chef Anita Lo has participated in the Streets International event. This year she served an Asian-inspired chicken slaw.
Anita Lo's dish at Streets Intl: an Asian chicken slaw
“I’ve been to Vietnam several times and I witnessed firsthand the extreme poverty of the country,” Chef Lo said at the event. ”It’s a cause I believe in, and it’s a great way to give back.”
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi