Harlem BBQ: Recognition & Recipe

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Today we’re pleased to share this perfect-for-summer dish, one of the many prepared for The Doe Fund’s annual summer BBQ by the Harlem Culinary Arts team.

For 20 years, the Harlem Center for Opportunity has provided training, education, and support to help formerly incarcerated and homeless men reach their potential. A few months ago, 38 Culinary Arts trainees became program graduates—that’s 38 more men who have transformed their lives and their futures through the power of opportunity and hard work.

One of the highlights from the BBQ was the special recognition Kronna Williams and Danny Djoro received for 10 years of service to The Doe Fund. Like many of our chefs, Kronna and Danny were once trainees themselves. Now they teach and mentor other men on their journey through the kitchen and onto a brighter future.

Congratulations to Kronna and Danny, and we hope you enjoy the recipe below!

Asparagus & Wild Mushroom Salad

Blog post asparagus picture

Yield: 8 servings


1 ½ lbs. asparagus spears, cut into thirds
1 ½ lbs. sliced mushrooms
½ cup diced red onions
½ cup diced red pepper
½ cup diced green pepper
½ cup diced yellow pepper
½ cup olive oil
Juice from 2 lemons
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350°

Place all vegetables in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil.

Spread vegetables on a sheet pan. Roast vegetables for 15 minutes and allow to cool completely.

Place roasted vegetables in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy!

Sautéed Zucchini and Yellow Squash in a Homemade Basil Pesto Sauce

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2 zucchini
2 yellow squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, thinly sliced
½ cup basil pesto (see below for basil pesto ingredients)
Salt and pepper to taste

Basil Pesto: Yield 4 cups
½ cup pine nuts
2 large bunches fresh basil leaves, washed and stemmed
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 cups olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Preheat the oven for 400 degrees. Roast the pine nuts on a baking sheet in the oven until golden, about 5 minutes. Place the basil in the work bowl of a food processor and begin processing. Add the garlic, then pine nuts, and continue processing. When the mixture has a grainy, paste like consistency, begin adding the oil a little at a time, continuing to process. Wait until the oil is absorbed before adding the next small amount. Add salt and pepper. When the oil is added and absorbed, add the cheese. As soon as the cheese is mixed in, stop processing; if you over process, the cheese will melt.

Wipe zucchini and squash with a damp towel. Cut the zucchini and yellow squash in half lengthwise, then cut them into 1/4″ thick slices. Heat the olive oil in the saucepan and saute the onions over medium heat until translucent. Add the sliced zucchini and squash and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the pesto and salt and pepper to taste, toss, and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, and enjoy this wonderful vegetarian dish!

Tips: Place pesto in containers, seal, and label. You can use your pesto immediately after making it or store it up to 6 months in the freezer. Pesto stored in the refrigerator will last up to 1 month.

Chef Kronna’s Sweet & Spicy Ribs

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Kronna is giving back every day and expressing himself in each dish that he creates as the Executive Chef at our Peter Jay Sharp Center for Opportunity in Brooklyn. He has stated that “Cooking is therapeutic”. He loves how fascinating the whole process is when it comes to measuring ingredients, and putting different flavors together. Please check out his recipe below and share with friends, family and loved ones!

1 cup chili sauce
½ cup ketchupimg_4618-copy
½ cup tomato puree
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
4 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons chopped chipotle peppers
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 ounces espresso
2 pounds ribs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To create the sauce, add all ingredients except the ribs in a mixing bowl and combine using a wire whisk. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Sear the ribs briefly to seal in the juices, and then dip into the sauce mixture. Wrap the sauce-coated beef in aluminum foil and roast in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let rest. Brush sauce over ribs and serve with your favorite side dish and vegetables. Enjoy!


RECIPE ALERT: Grilled Tandoori Chicken

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In the spirit of summer and avoiding cooking in a hot kitchen, we wanted to share with you one of our favorite recipes for the grill. Tandoori Chicken is a traditional Indian dish that can easily be translated over from the kitchen to the grill with minimal preparation and maintenance, leaving you more time to enjoy the beautiful summer weather.


4 servings

1 pound boneless chicken breast (or approximately 4 breast halves)
1 cup plain yogurt
Juice of ½ lemon
1/3 cup of tandoori masala (a traditional Indian spice blend available for purchase at most Indian specialty grocers)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Mango chutney (also available for purchase at most Indian specialty grocers)



Cut each chicken breast into 4 pieces. Mix the yogurt, lemon juice, tandoori masala, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Add the chicken and mix until the chicken is evenly coated. Let marinate for 2 hours. If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 2 hours so they will not burn while grilling. Place 4 pieces of chicken on a skewer, leaving space between each piece. Spray grill with a nonstick pan coating and grill roughly 3 minutes on each side (for a total of 6 minutes). Dip the chicken in mango chutney to your liking and serve with grilled vegetables for a complete meal. Enjoy!


Harlem Barbecue

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On June 18th, The Doe Fund held our 17th annual summer barbecue at our Harlem Center for Opportunity. The annual barbecue is a fun and exciting event filled with delicious foods. It offers a unique opportunity for staff members to get together in celebration of the hard work they do to further the organization’s mission. The Doe Fund’s Culinary Arts team looks forward to catering the event each year.

Founder and President George McDonald and Executive Vice President Harriet Karr-McDonald presented Employee Recognition Program awards to some of our hardworking and dedicated employees who have worked for The Doe Fund for 10 years or more. The awards are an opportunity to celebrate the amazing work they do day in and day out. In fact, two of our very own Culinary Arts team members were awarded for their contribution over the past 10+ years.

Gino Dalesandro has worked for The Doe Fund for 11 years as the Director of Food Services. He is the man responsible for making it all happen in Culinary Arts, and his dedication and passion are palpable in all that he does. He is truly a living embodiment of being Ready, Willing & Able. Barbara Saunders, the Food Coordinator at our Gates Avenue kitchen was also awarded for her many positive impacts at the Doe Fund over the past 10 years.

The long-term dedication of our staff members is a true testament to the uniqueness of The Doe Fund and the incredible life-changing work of the organization. The Doe Fund has made unparalleled strides in combatting the plight of homelessness over the past 30 years, which would not have been possible without the hard work and devotion of our employees. Congratulations to all of this year’s Employee Recognition Awards recipients!


The Doe Fund presents sweet: New York!

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collage sweet

On May 7th, The Doe Fund hosted our fourth annual sweet: New York event at the fabulous Bowery Hotel in honor of “the men in blue.” Every year The Doe Fund’s own Culinary Arts program caters the hors d’ouevres for the evening.  This year we also had the pleasure of being highlighted as a food vendor. Our main course was none other than famous sliders with our one of a kind homemade barbecue sauce. They have been a staple at The Doe Fund for years and our homemade barbecue sauce makes them out of this world! But don’t worry if you didn’t get a chance to attend sweet: New York and try our succulent sliders because we’re hitting the streets and selling them at various street fairs throughout the New York area this summer.

sweet: New York  was truly a momentous evening for The Doe Fund’s Culinary Arts team as hundreds of foodies joined together for the tasting event of the year in honor and support of The Doe Fund. The event also featured a silent auction that included what we believe was the best item of all, a private party catered by the one and only William Crafton, The Doe Fund’s catering chef. The event successfully raised over $250,000.

This large level of support is indicative of the universal language of food as a unifying factor that is essential to who we are. George McDonald, the Founder and President of The Doe Fund said it best, “Food is life at The Doe Fund.. so many of the “men in blue” in Ready, Willing & Able choose the culinary arts as their path to better lives because food is such an essential part of who we are. And to see so many talented chefs, food lovers, and celebrities come together to support their journey proves how powerful an idea that really is.”