Emma’s Torch: A Culinary Refuge

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

These are the words posted at the base of the Statue of Liberty, a sonnet by Emma Lazarus, and it has been a beacon for refugees escaping a horrible life in search of a new one. And these are the words at the heart of a restaurant in New York called Emma’s Torch. They hire refugees for $15/hour and teach them how to be a chef, everything from how to sharpen a knife to how to tell if a fish is fresh, and they even help them get jobs after the 10 week program is complete, by having industry professionals volunteer to sit in mock interviews with these refugees! Check out this heartwarming video that explains the whole process!



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