Youth Crew Catering makes fabulous food



The phone rings non-stop at Youth Crew Catering. It could be due to their famous celebration cookie. Maybe it’s because they’re known for not skimping on premium ingredients. Maybe it’s because non-profits love them, as their delicious food is cooked by West End youngsters.

“The requests are coming in every day, it’s almost overwhelming,” says program manager Leslie Kwok.


Leslie Kwok, who founded and runs SNA’s Youth Crew program, which includes Youth Crew Catering, presents a batch of gluten-free, ginger and chocolate chip cookies.

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Leslie Kwok, who founded and runs SNA’s Youth Crew program, which includes Youth Crew Catering, presents a batch of gluten-free, ginger and chocolate chip cookies.

Youth Crew Catering is part of the Spence Neighborhood Association’s Youth Crew program, which gives local youth the chance to gain much-needed experience and earn money while working casually.

Kwok prioritizes safety and professionalism in the kitchen and young people love him for it. Under his warm but tough tutelage, they become engaged, responsible, responsible and safe. All youth in the program learn about employee rights and adopt a culture of workplace safety.

Most of the recipes they prepare come from her grandmother’s cookbooks. Well-used recipes have stood the test of time and she never skimps on ingredients. “It (the ingredients) has to be the best of the best or forget it.”

They do vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, and halal options, as so many customers demand these days. Kwok mentions that their taco bar can easily be modified to fit a mix of any diet as long as gluten-free taco shells are available.

Participants learn that cooking is a creative process as they jointly refine and revise recipes to suit different diets. Small changes can make big improvements. A version of their delicious vegan and gluten-free cranberry and orange cookie was too crumbly until they added more banana to the batter.

Youth Crew Catering’s celebratory cookie is the most requested for fundraisers and can often be found at board meetings all over town. “…it’s made with chocolate chips, coconut, and cranberries…the kick is the wavy potato chips,” says Kwok.

Helping children learn about life and work is something Kwok dates back to his own childhood. I’ve always wanted to give young people more choices and for them to have the professional training that I didn’t have when I was a child”… “there was no one to teach me how to be professional at work and I started working at 12 years old.

It is thanks to the hundreds of customers who have supported Youth Crew Catering over the years that it has been so successful in helping young people with few job options prepare for employment and start their professional life with confidence and skills.

You can reach Youth Crew Catering at (204) 801-6740. They need five business days notice to hold an event

Anne Hawe

Anne Hawe
West End Community Correspondent

Anne Hawe is Community Correspondent for the West End. She can be contacted at [email protected]

About Erick Miles

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