Friends Of Streat

Originally posted on Time Out Melbourne (December 14, 2015)

Grab some extra ‘nice’ points this Christmas with Streat’s new collaborative cookbook plus the extra bonus of professional culinary skills

A brand new project has been brewing in the kitchens of Streat just in time for Christmas. The social enterprise, which offers hospitality training programs for homeless and disadvantaged youth, has teamed up with some of Melbourne’s best chefs and restaurants to publish theFriends of Streat cookbook. The book features the personal stories of Streat’s trainees and recipes from over 45 chefs nationwide including Karen Baston of Magic Mountain Saloon andCookie, Noah Crowcroft of Red Spice Road, Shane Delia of Maha, Adriano Zumbo of Little Frankie’s.

Streat was swarmed with positive responses from chefs who were keen to help bring the cookbook to life. “It was like getting an overwhelming group hug from the hospitality industry,” said founder and CEO Rebecca Scott.

The social initiave grew from a roving coffee cart back in 2010 to cafés in Flemington, McKillop Street, Freshwater Place and RMIT University, where this non-profit organisation employs disadvantaged and homeless youth, providing them with skills and connections in the hospitality industry as stepping stones for future opportunities.

“I’m a really big believer that we should make sure that [disadvantaged young people] should have just as much opportunity to reach their potential as any other young people,” Scott says.

Streat’s first eponymous cookbook helped raise funds for their Melbourne Central café, and sales from Friends of Streat will similarly go towards opening a new site in Collingwood, which in turn will enable the organisation to increase the number of trainees they can take on – up to an extra 250 people per year. The young trainees will also be able to expand their culinary skills, as the Collingwood site will include an artisan bakery that will supply bread to Streat cafés.

While Friends of Streat features dishes by big-name professional chefs, their range in difficulty, from ones that are quick to whip up to impressive kitchen creations like party nibbles macaroni and cheese croquettes to the classic Christmas pudding. Impress guests at your next dinner party and support a worthy local initiative while you’re at it.

Friends of Streat, published by Smudge Publishing, can be purchased from the Streat café locations and their online store, as well as other supporting cafés and restaurants.

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