Kingsley House and Youth Empowerment Project to receive funds

New Orleans, LouisianaThe Link Stryjewski Foundation is proud to announce it raised $150,000 to help nourish and educate the youth of New Orleans at its inaugural Bal Masqué on January 9th, 2016. The Link Stryjewski Foundation chose Kingsley House and the Youth Empowerment Project as its first beneficiaries, and they will each receive $75,000 at a check presentation on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at Cochon Restaurant. The Link Stryjewski Foundation was created to address the persistent cycle of violence and poverty, as well as the lack of quality education and job training opportunities available to young people in New Orleans.

 “One of my favorite sayings is from the well-known African proverb: ‘It takes a village to raise a child’,” states Keith Liederman, Kingsley House Chief Executive Officer. “The Link Stryjewski Foundation, YEP and Kingsley House are crucial components of that ‘village’ of support for highly vulnerable children, youth and families here in New Orleans, helping to break the cycle of violence and poverty and create lifelong success and well-being. We are deeply honored to work with these amazing partners.” Kingsley House is dedicated to improving the quality of life in Southeast Louisiana by collaboratively working with others to build a comprehensive system of services and resources that meet the needs of our community by educating children, strengthening families and building community.

“The youth in our community face many barriers, including a lack of opportunities and resources,” states Melissa Sawyer, YEP Executive Director. “The Link Stryjewski Foundation shares YEP’s values of respect, accountability, kindness, progress and integrity – and believes in the importance of providing our most vulnerable young people with the skills and relationships they need to actualize their potential.  Our partnership with the foundation is critical to helping us support more young people so they can improve their lives and the lives of others.” YEP was founded in 2004 as an organization that assists young people returning to New Orleans from juvenile correctional facilities and now is the largest organization in New Orleans that provides comprehensive services to at-risk, out-of-school youth. YEP has a proven track record of effectively engaging these underserved young people and helping them work toward their achieving their educational, vocational and personal goals.

The Bal Masqué was a two-day event that featured world-renowned chefs Suzanne Goin, Mike Lata, Andrea Reusing, Richard Reddington, Paul Kahan, Nancy Oaks, Frank Stitt, and Maggie Scales, and musical talent headlined by Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefer Band. Dates for the Second Annual Bal Masqué have been set for January 6 & 7, 2017.

About Link Restaurant Group: The Link Restaurant Group includes Herbsaint Restaurant and Bar; Cochon Restaurant; Cochon Butcher; Calcasieu, a private dining facility in New Orleans; and Pêche Seafood Grill, the newest restaurant, recently named Best New Restaurant in America by the James Beard Foundation. Link’s flagship restaurant Herbsaint earned Chef/Owner Donald Link a James Beard award in 2007 for Best Chef South. Cochon was nominated in 2007 for Best New Restaurant in America by the James Beard Foundation; and was listed in The New York Times as "one of the top 3 restaurants that count." Stephen Stryjewski, chef/partner of Cochon, was named Best Chef: South at the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards, and Ryan Prewitt, chef/partner of Pêche was named Best Chef: South at the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards. The James Beard Foundation also honored Link’s first cookbook-- Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link’s Louisiana (Clarkson Potter) with their top award for Best American Cookbook. Chef Link recently published his second cookbook, Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything. For more information, please visit