Edwins Leadership & Restaurant Institute

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I have heard so many good things about this place, from the quality of food to the personable service, but what really piqued my interest was the social responsibility that surrounds Edwins. Edwins incorporates ex-convicts into its non-profit business model.

Built on the mindset that everybody deserves a second chance, Edwins takes it upon itself to teach these ex-cons, these human beings, how to gain employable skills and reintegrate into their communities. Edwins opened in November of 2013, and since has graduated almost 500 students. In addition to teaching them, Edwins also helps their students in basic medical care, clothing, legal services, employment searches, job coaching, and literacy. Yearly, 95% of the students find employment after graduation, and only 1.3% go back to jail. Now how about those amazing numbers? *cough this is why TEACHING and REHABILITATION is IMPORTANT when you’re going to incarcerate somebody instead of subjecting them to slave labor but ok cough*

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Anyways… I also did want to come to Edwins to actually try the food. Honestly, I was sold on the restaurant when I received 10 compliments from different people, both staff and customers within minutes.

I was shocked at how packed Edwins was. Every table, even though it is a small restaurant, was full. And once a party got up to leave, another party was seated within minutes. The atmosphere was dressed up but still relaxed, and I enjoyed that. My young blogger self felt out of place taking pictures of everything, since the demographic was older, business/professional people, but oh well.

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We spent probably way too long trying to pick out a wine, only to end up with a bright and clear wine from the mountain regions of France. I went in wanting to get the sea scallops (hence the choice of a white), but the burger was calling out my name a million times. And since I am now paleo-ish instead of seagan-ish (even though I do try to not eat meat on Fridays), I decided to opt for the burger (Le Burger), mainly for the theatrics of it. The burger and sauce is prepared table side.

Our burger prep person was named Richard. Richard is from Cleveland and he, like all the other staff members, is an ex-con who just wants to be better and give back. Richard will graduate in June and is deciding on which cruise ship he wants to accept an offer from. His childhood dream was to travel the world, and especially visit France, and now he will get to do that, as a chef aboard a cruise ship. Hey mom, let’s do all the cruises to see if we can find him, okay? Since Edwins does pride itself on teaching their students, I did ask questions about the history of the Diane sauce and the preparing techniques, and Richard went above and beyond answering the question. It was more than a simple memorization, but an actual application and comparing it to other techniques.

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My food crew got the Confit de Canard (salted duck leg with mushroom risotto) and boy, was it actually salty. And the Saumon en Croute de Raitfort (salmon encrusted with horseradish and a cucumbers and cream sauce). Now, the white we picked out paired amazingly with the salmon and fresh cucumber sauce.

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We wanted to get dessert, but we were just so full. So, obviously, next time, I’ll have my dinner and my dessert too. They also prepare the Banana Foster table side.

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What’s your social impact?

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