5th ANNUAL EVENT - March 29, 2012 (NYC)  The STREETS Annual Benefit is a key component to securing the funding and support necessary for the development of the STREETS program. STREETS is providing a real chance for terribly disadvantaged young adults to transition from poverty and life on the streets to successful careers in hospitality. Disadvantaged youth participate in an 18-month training program designed to give them the tools and skills to achieve a life of dignity and financial independence. The first Restaurant Café and Training Center, opened in Hoi An, Vietnam, in 2009. Since opening, the program has already touched the lives of nearly 100 young adults. Of the first two graduating classes, 100% were employed after graduation a the top resorts and restaurants in central Vietnam.

This year’s event was the most successful to date. It was supported by generous sponsors including Platinum and Gold Sponsors; Astor Center, The Institute of Culinary Education and Tequila Herradura. Silver Sponsors were; Crown Imports, Epstein Becker Green, J.H. Cohn , Oasis Outsourcing, and Pfizer.

Starting with the VIP reception, the main attraction was the Chef Showdown Cook-off. Chef Tom Love, noted Iron Chef winner and Top Chef Master finalist, squared off in a timed challenge against Daniel Holzman, owner of Meatball Shop. The Chefs were given 10 minutes to create their rendition of the classic Asian Summer Roll. To add to the challenge, surprise ingredients where included in the basket, including SPAM and Italian Meatballs.

The highlight of this year’s main event was the follow up documentary, by award-winning filmmaker Jun Oshima and film editor Scott Pearson. The film showcases the background of two STREETS Trainees and their experience during and after their time at STREETS.

NYC's top Chefs delivered their savory interpretation of a variety of international street food. Dishes such as King Phojanakong's Pan-fried Rice Crêpes, Kuma Pork Bolognese; Josh Eden’s Smoked Trout Pork & Shrimp Filled Potstickers with Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce and Dael Parker’s Lemongrass Infused Vodka with Cilantro Simple Syrup & Kalamansi Lime Puree delighted all who attended. The list of Chefs and Mixologists included:

Josh Blakely, Macao Trading Company
Kenny Callaghan, Blue Smoke & Jazz Standard
Ben Daitz & Ratha Chaupoly, Num Pang Sandwich Shop
Josh Eden, August
Larry Finn, Morimoto
Michael Garrett, Red Rooster
Daniel Holzman & Michael Chernow, The Meatball Shop
Dael Parker, Bua
King Phojanakong, Umi Nom & Kuma Inn
Joe Quintana, Rosa Mexicano
David Waltuck & Armando Cortes, Clyde Frazier’s Wine & Dine

Neal Bermas, Ph.D., Founder & Chairman of STREETS International commented, “We continue to be overwhelmed by the generous support of the NYC culinary community and our event sponsors in particular. Their support allows us to continue and expand the important work we are doing with the poor, disadvantaged youth we serve.”