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Rach has always said that food can change lives. And Kerry Brodie, the founder of a special organization called Emma’s Torch, is living proof of that!
— Rachael Ray Show

Food Can Change Lives: The Story of a Pop-Up Restaurant That Trains Refugees From Around the World

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 3:00 AM, May 23, 2018

Aired May 23, 2018

Rach has always said that food can change lives.

And Kerry Brodie, the founder of a special organization called Emma's Torch, is living proof of that!

"Emma's Torch is a culinary training program and non-profit restaurant for refugees," Kerry tells Rach.

"We're named after Emma Lazarus," she continues, "whose poem is on the Statue of Liberty." "The 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses' [poem]."

When students come in to interview, Kerry -- who had a career in public policy before she pursued this amazing venture -- says she and her team are looking for one thing: a passion for food.

After all, during the 2-month training program, students learn everything from how a restaurant kitchen operates to how to properly hold a knife and chop.

And after the first month, they actually start working at the Emma's Torch restaurant in Brooklyn!

(A sample menu includes everything from a Strawberry Pecan Waffle and Shakshuka for brunch to Shawarma Spiced Lamb Shank and Grilled Branzino for dinner. OH, and Pistachio Bread Pudding for dessert. Yum!)

"We operate a restaurant where our students can learn on-the-job skills before beginning their culinary careers," Kerrie explains.

How amazing is that?!

"For so many of our students, they're beginning new lives here," she goes on. "They want to be part of the community, and that first step is to begin new careers."

Because Rach is so inspired and supportive of the work that Kerry is doing, she and her Rachael Ray Home business partner, Michael Murray, stepped in to help decorate the restaurant!

"The fact that someone like Rachael Ray -- who is so gregarious and so warm -- is helping us sends a clear message that our students are welcome here," Kerry says. "We are welcome here. And what we're doing has merit and is part of pursuing the American dream."

It sure does have merit, Kerry, it sure does. ❤️

See how gorgeous the restaurant space looks and hear from students who are currently participating in the program in the video above.