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David Burke, Michel Nischan and Marco Canora Champion the IRC's New Roots Garden » the strong buzz, by andrea strong
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“David Burke, Michel Nischan and Marco Canora Champion the IRC's New Roots Garden”

A warm welcome spiked with hot chili peppers was on the menu last week as two master chefs visited the International Rescue Committee’s New Roots farm at Drew Gardens in the Bronx.

Burmese refugee Ah Lun, 30, greeted chefs Michel Nischan and Marco Canora and took them on a tour of the gardens to meet other refugee farmers and see their produce.
Nischan, a sustainable food pioneer who heads the nonprofit organization Wholesome Wave, and Canora, well-known for his restaurants Hearth and Terroir in New York's East Village, were clearly impressed by the bounty the refugees had cultivated on the two-acre urban oasis.
Drew Gardens is part of the IRC's groundbreaking New Roots program, a network of urban farms for refugees that started in San Diego and that has grown to include 400 farmers nationawide in programs in Seattle, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Boise, Charlottsville, Baltimore, and most recently, New York City. In addition to Drew, the IRC has broken ground on a second, much larger New Roots garden at the Grand Concouse and 153rd Street, equipped with 60 plots that will be ready by Spring.
Chef David Burke is also a New Roots spokesperson and the program's culinary champion. After visiting the garden earlier this summer, and learning more about the opportunities the gardens provide refugees, he hosted a Summer Garden party to benefit the program last night at his sprawling garden space at the James Hotel on Grand Street, which included a buffet of everything from ribs to redfish and biscuits, summer salads, and skewers, along with cocktails by Patron and beer from Sam Adams.
To learn more about the IRC and their programs, please visit rescue.org.

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