BCAGlobal’s Cultural Awareness Salute & Black Tie Gala Creates Opportunities for Students and Honors Exceptional Talent

BCAGlobal celebrated its mission to create exposure and provide educational opportunities for culinary and hospitality professionals of color on Friday, November 21, 2014 at the Crown Plaza Times Square.

In the tradition ofcelebrating food cultural diversity, the theme for this year's event was “Crossing Cultures – Jamaica and South Africa.” Students were able to hone their skills in a real life environment under the culinary supervision of 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.

Honors were given to those who have excelled in the culinary and hospitality industries. Rodolfo Contreras, Compass Group-Restaurant Associates' Executive Chef of the Guggenheim Museum was awarded the Jefferson Evans Award, which is given annually to individuals who have exhibited culinary excellence in the hospitality industry.

This year's honoree for the 2014 Lifetime Ambassador Award was Michael Thompson, VP of Conferences, National Urban League and BCAGlobal Board Member Emeritus. The award is given to individuals who have contributed extraordinary guidance, support and vision to the ongoing development of BCAGlobal.

“There's a lot of work that still needs to be done to encourage young minorities to be on an advanced career track. We look forward to assisting these students further as they pursue their career goals,” said Alex Askew, President and CEO of BCAGlobal.

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Corporate support also provided students with networking opportunities with career professionals. Among some of the sponsors for this year's event are Compass Group N.A., Damascus Bakery, Sodexo, Food Network – Cooking Channel, Marriott, Hobart, Irinox, Jamaica Tourist Board, Beam Global, Southern Wine & Spirits, and Pernod Ricard USA.

David V. Hunt, nationally recognized for the value of the power of storytelling, provided the keynote speech.South African Consul General, Honourable George Monyemangene, also among the speakers for the event, discussed the importance and relevance of the food culture in South Africa.

About BCA Global: 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, our 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.