Innovative Fine Dining in Phnom Penh
Black Bambu (www.black-bambu.com) is a unique addition to Phnom Penh’s fine dining scene. The restaurant, housed in a stunningly designed building on street 228, has quickly built a reputation in Phnom Penh for serving some of the finest food and cocktails in the city.
The restaurant also benefits vocational trainees, who gain valuable experience. The skills they learn will set them up to become self-sufficient and independent. This component of CCF’s programming is invaluable for older children who have come to CCF with limited schooling, as they are unlikely to finish high school and proceed to higher studies. Our approach is ambitious, starting with self-esteem building and personal management, and culminating with training in work areas that are relevant to Cambodia.
Building a Reputation for Fine Food
Profits from Black Bambu directly supports CCF’s mission of transforming impoverished children into tomorrow’s leaders, however Scott Neeson, Executive Director, Cambodian Children’s Fund, says he does not want the restaurant to be known as an ‘NGO restaurant’.
While most CCF students graduate from high school and are supported through their university degrees, higher education is not for everyone. Vocational students who elect to work in hospitality and food services undertake a foundation course in language and basic skills. Students are then placed at The Exchange, where they can learn from an experienced team and be supervised as they learn what its like to work in a busy restaurant. Once they are ready, trainees are then transferred over to Black Bambu.
The striking building and garden that houses Black Bambu was designed pro-bono by Italian architect, Illenea Goremi, who has transformed a dilapidated old villa into a stunning, minimalist design with striking lines and a high-end feel. Paul Redfern and the team from Redfern Construction have transformed this vision for the property into a striking reality. Much of the original shape has been kept, however rooms have been opened up to create light and space. Key features like the original staircase, windows and steelwork have been kept. CCF is grateful to an anonymous donor who funded the Black Bambu project.
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