FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Event Description: BCA Celebrates Diversity in the Hospitality and Culinary Industries at 17th Annual Cultural Awareness Salute and Black Tie Gala NEW YORK, New York – Former New York Knicks shooting guard John Starks will deliver the keynote address—“Getting Back on Track: Eating Healthy and Urban Communities”—at the BCA’s Cultural Awareness Salute and Black Tie Gala on Saturday, April 10th, 2010 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. Now in its 17th year, this event honors the achievements of people of color in the hospitality and culinary business, provides a space for industry networking and dialogue about the advancement of diversity, and gives culinary students from around the country the opportunity to cook alongside nationally renowned chefs.
This year, the BCA will be honoring a roster of highly influential industry professionals and restauranteurs. Charmain Sithappah, CEO of the Seasoned Pot Company, will be presented with the Jefferson Evans Award for culinary excellence. The Heritage Award for life-long achievement will be presented to Melba Wilson, owner of Melba’s Restaurant and Catering. John Starks, former NBA Knicks shooting guard and President of the John Starks Foundation, will deliver the keynote address and receive the Chairman’s Award. The evening will also include special presentations by the Food Network, Drew Nieporent (Owner, Myriad Restaurant Group), and the South African Consulate General. The gala will begin with a VIP and cocktail reception, followed by a multi-course dinner, Viennese reception, and dancing and entertainment throughout the night.
The gala dinner will give a taste of the future of the industry with four courses and wine pairings prepared by students from Johnson & Wales University, South Bronx Job Corps Academy, Prince George Community College, Cordon Bleu Dallas, the Culinary Program at Brooklyn Job Corps Academy, Monroe College, Hudson County Community College, Foodservice Training Academy, Hospitality Management High School’s Culinary Arts Program, Career Academy of NY and LI, Culinary Training Institute, Newark Vocational High School, the Academy of Vocational Careers, the University of North Texas, and the Culinary Institute of America. “Students from different schools and different backgrounds come together in the same kitchen and cook in a non-competitive environment,” says Alex Askew, President of BCA. “Those of us who attend are honored to witness the promise of future leaders and work together towards a more diverse industry.” Tickets for the BCA’s 17th Cultural Awareness Salute are $200 per person ($300 per person for the VIP reception) and are available by contacting BCA at (212) 643-6570 or via online ticketing at the BCA Global Website