Over the past few days, chefs, professors and staff from the Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Division of Business, Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management have been working with Broadway and TV star Tituss Burgess to prepare over 300 hot lunches for clients of Let’s Celebrate. The HCCC staff plated and served the to-go meals on Friday, May 22 at the Let’s Celebrate Square Meal Soup Kitchen, 46 Fairview Avenue in Jersey City.
Let’s Celebrate, Inc. is a nonprofit, community service organization that began feeding the homeless in Journal Square more than 30 years ago and has grown to include a network of soup kitchens and food pantries throughout Jersey City. The organization’s mission is to move people from hunger to wholeness by providing a comprehensive group of food security, rental assistance, financial management and transitional housing programs.
The gourmet meals included Tuscan-style Herb-roasted Chicken, Jus Lie (lightly thickened natural juices) and Braised Leg of Veal A La Normande (apple scented demi-glace sauce) served with Saffron Rice Pilaf, and Melange of Corn, Peas and Lima Beans O’Brien.
HCCC President Dr. Chris Reber said that while the food was donated by the College, organizing, preparing and serving was completely reliant on the goodness of the HCCC faculty and staff.
”We commend Assistant Professor Chef Gary Bensky, and Business, Culinary and Hospitality Recruiter Janine Nunez for coordinating and preparing this compassionate outreach for our community. We applaud Chef/Professor Anuchit Pukdeedamrongrit (aka “Chef Puk”), Assistant to the Vice President of Planning and Development Mirta Sanchez, and Mr. Burgess, who spent two days preparing the meals, and Adjunct Chef/Professors Susan DaSilva and Victor Moruzzi, who assisted in serving them.”
Tituss Burgess made his Broadway debut in “Good Vibrations” in 2005, and went on to perform in “Jersey Boys,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Guys and Dolls.” Mr. Burgess received four Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy series as a result of his starring role in the Netflix comedy series, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” He has appeared in numerous TV series, including “Blue Bloods,” “30 Rock” and “The Good Fight,” and is starring opposite Jennifer Hudson in the Aretha Franklin biopic, “Respect.”
The HCCC Division of Business, Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management offers degree and certificate programs that provide students with the knowledge and skills needed for in-demand employment sectors. The HCCC Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program is nationally recognized and accredited by the American Culinary Federation Accrediting Commission and the American Culinary Federation Educational Foundation, a prestigious designation held by only a select number of schools in the U.S.