- Urban Innovator
For This ‘Righteous Entrepreneur,’ Fighting Hunger Goes Way Beyond Food
Mixing equal parts business acumen, chutzpah, and heart, DC Central Kitchen’s Mike Curtin serves up a Thanksgiving state of mind all year round.
Washington, D.C.Ten men clad in chef uniforms sat on a stage, anticipating the diplomas that would mark their graduation from culinary school. Some of the men were young, some could have been grandfathers. All were unmistakably proud. One fought back tears.
The event was held at Central Union Mission, a homeless shelter in the nation’s capital, where, at some point, each of the graduates had come seeking help. What they found was a not just a hot meal to refuel their bodies, but an opportunity to rebuild their lives.
Presiding over the ceremony was Mike Curtin. A former restauranteur and self-professed Dead Head, Curtin runs DC Central Kitchen, a pioneering organization whose wide-ranging food programs are directed at combatting the city’s