The St. Joseph Center in Venice participated in “Food Fight” Sunday, May 4th, an event designed by the Santa Monicans for Renters Rights group to raise funds to support upcoming election campaigns.

The winning appetizer, “ceviche sushi,” created by St. Joseph Center’s Derek Walker, featured a Spanish-style sushi rice, wasabi guacamole and Chilean sea bass.

Walker is the program manager and chef for the center’s Bread and Roses CafÈ and an instructor for the center’s Culinary Training Program.

“Food Fight” took place at the home of Tony and Maria Leon Vasquez and was hosted by Santa Monicans for Renters Rights committee members Jennifer Kennedy, Ralph Mechur, Linda Sullivan and Marilyn Korade Wilson.

Over 75 Santa Monica residents attended the event, which was sponsored by The Wine Expo, Whole Foods, Santa Monica Seafood and Vons.

Bread and Roses CafÈ offers hot meals in a restaurant-style setting to up to 150 homeless guests per day. The cafÈ introduces guests to St. Joseph Center’s network of programs with features designed to segue clients into longer-term services that will eventually guide them in establishing greater health and stability, a center spokesman said.

The goal of the Culinary Training Program is to break the cycle of poverty by giving “individuals with barriers” the skills they need to succeed in the food service industry, says a spokesman. On average, 70 percent of graduates find employment within 90 days of graduation.

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