BCA's Global’s Cultural Awareness Salute and Black Tie Gala was held recently at the Crowne Plaza in Midtown NYC. Now in its 21st year, this event honors the achievements of people of color in the hospitality and culinary industry.
The event's theme was “Crossing Cultures-Jamaica and South Africa” and focused on a deeper understanding of global diversity in the food service, culinary and hospitality industry. Students will experience global food cultures while they hone their skills in a real life environment. They will work alongside Tommy Anthony Miller, executive chef for PB&J resorts in Negril, Jamaica and South African born, Charmain Sithappah, CEO and executive chef for the seasoned pot who will provide culinary supervision.
The event provided a space for networking and dialogue about the advancement of diversity and give culinary students from around the country the opportunity to hone their skills in a real life environment.
The Gala featured a VIP and cocktail reception, followed by a multi-course dinner and Viennese reception. David V. Hunt, nationally recognized for the value of the power of storytelling, provided an insightful keynote.
The evening was highlighted by the presentation of the BCA's annual awards. The honoree for the 2014 Jefferson Edwards Award is Rodolfo Contreras, Compass Group-Restaurant Associates’ Executive Chef of the Guggenheim Museum. Once again among the highlights of the evening was the standing ovation to industry legend Jefferson Edwards. As the CIA's first ever African-American graduate, his presence brings magic to the event. This year’s 2014 Lifetime Ambassador Award was presented to Michael Thompson, VP of Conferences, National Urban League and BCA Global Board Member Emeritus. “Students from different schools and different backgrounds come together in the same kitchen and cook in a noncompetitive environment,” states Howard Stanford, BCA Board Chair. A warm reception was accorded to Alex Askew President of BCA Global.
The BCA visionary who co-founded the association while he was a student at the CIA has given the BCA a truly global perepsctive, most recently with his trip to South Africa. South African Consul Honourable George Moneyemangene, also among the speakers for the event discussed the importance and relevance of the food culture in South Africa. The BCA is a nationwide non-profit, educational and networking organization of hospitality and food service professionals. Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 1998, their mission is to create exposure and provide educational and professional opportunities for culinary and hospitality professionals of color. We accomplish this objective by providing quality educational and employment resources, job coaching, mentoring and assistance with placement, and networking support.