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Chef D and Junior Chefs Team Up for Benefit Dinner

Feb 17, 2018 11:49AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Here's a chance to dine for a good cause - and support young chefs in the process: A February 25 fundraising dinner for the benefit of the Human Race Project will feature a menu designed and prepared by Chef Diana Stavaridis and a unique team of 6th grade chefs.

The dinner, to be held at the Manhattan Heights Community Center (at Manhattan Heights Park, 1600 Manhattan Beach Blvd) will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person.

The team of young chefs is comprised of eight girls: four Manhattan Beach students who have worked with Stavaridis (also known as Chef D) through her Growing Great Junior Chefs program, and four Los Angeles-area students who are working with Stavaridis through the Human Race Project. The Human Race Project is a nonprofit that works with underrepresented minority students, assisting them with mentoring partnerships and life experiences.

Stavaridis and the students worked together to design and develop the family-style dinner; they will also prepare and serve the food. The dinner will proudly feature vegetables that have been harvested from local school gardens.

First up on the menu will be a Growing Great Junior Chef garden salad with winter citrus, wild lettuce, radishes, avocado, nuts, and seeds. There will also be an appetizer of chorizo meatballs and cheesy corn grits.

The main course will feature chicken mole tacos with handmade corn tortillas and Human Race Project special recipe salsa.

There will also be a live auction at the event. Proceeds from the ticket sales and the auction will fund peer-to-peer mentorships and workshops that will afford the participants opportunities to create sustainable food resources, advance in leadership and life skills and attend camps that focus on self-esteem, community and overcoming odds.

Stavaridis currently works on the Junior Chef program with a variety of schools, including Manhattan Beach elementary schools. She can be found at the Manhattan Beach Farmers Market once per month leading a group of young chefs in a cooking lesson/demonstration. She is currently working to develop a global Junior Chef program that will allow for culinary creativity and innovation in a variety of communities around the world.

The Human Race Project is a 501(C) (3) non-profit organization, whose objective is to inspire underrepresented minorities, teach the tools that will cultivate their journeys into adulthood, and foster relationships that will challenge them to reach their highest potential. Its primary purpose is "to create sustainable, diverse, and inclusive workshops that inspire youth to unveil the powerful voices of their generation and provide adolescents, silenced by society, tragedy, and fear with a platform to create partnerships with their communities, develop social and cognitive skills, and build healthy internal, peer, and familial relationships."

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