Food & Drink

Emma’s Torch: A new Carroll Gardens restaurant empowers refugees

There’s a new spot on 345 Smith Street that’s helping refugees achieve success. And, delicious food is involved.

Photo via The Brooklyn Daily Eagle 


Emma’s Torch is helping people rebuild their lives with a paid, two month training program that includes culinary courses, ESL classes, and job interview prep. This eight week study was designed by by the foundation to provide a community in the food industry for folks that are navigating a new life, a new language, a new job industry. Emma’s Torch, founded by Kerry Brodie, started the foundation to support refugees and human trafficking survivors, and help them find full-time jobs in the food industry.

“I became intrigued by the idea of using food to do more than feed people, maybe we could use food to nourish and empower them,” Brodie told Eater.

Photo via The Brooklyn Daily Eagle


The restaurant originally started as a pop-up in Red Hook and quickly blossomed into its permanent space this month. Alexander Harris from Union Square Hospitality Group, the Pierre Hotel joined Emma’s Torch as the culinary director. Brodie states that 100% of students who completed the program went on to find full-time jobs.

And, what kind of culinary delights are on the menu at Emma’s Torch? Diners and food lovers can revel in flavorful dishes such as lamb shank, black-eyed pea hummus, pan seared salmon, heirloom tomato salad, grilled branzino, tamarind barbecue wings, pistachio bread pudding, and more.

Besides the powerful mission and the savory menu, the restaurant’s moniker comes from the great poet Emma Lazarus, who penned the sonnet “The New Colossus,” which appears on the Statue of Liberty base, welcoming and holding a torch for all. We think this new restaurant is passing on the torch in the best way – through love, food, education, and compassion.

[H/t via The Brooklyn Daily Eagle]

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