BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A local chef believes food has the power to change the lives of young people in Baltimore.

Chef Ed Evans’ vision was brought to life- transporting young people to China, Italy, Jamaica, Japan and Mexico with food.

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“Community is built through food,” Evans said. “You break bread, you become family. There is no better way to let them know that I’m part of their family then to break bread with them.”

Evans’ vision all started in west Baltimore where he’s from. He uses food as his vessel to reach back into the community.

“There are 150 kids from Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City that are here,” Evans said. “In other cases, they wouldn’t have this opportunity.”

When Chef Evans didn’t win Chopped earlier this month, he got a second chance. His employee, Live Casino and Hotel, donated $10,000 to the Central Maryland Y in his honor.

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“It’s great affirmation on Chef Ed’s and the Casino’s part of the youth development healthy living programs that Chef Ed has embraced,” Tom Brandt, Board Chair of YMCA Central Maryland, said.

Chef Evans also received a mayoral salute.

“This is the reality of Baltimore,” Evans said. “I am the reality of Baltimore. You let comments stay where they stay and let actions speak for themselves.”

China and Jamaica were hits for food at the event, and the kids loved China and France for dessert.

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“If one kid can walk away inspired and look at me and look at some of the other surrounding chefs and say, Hey, if he can make it from the City and do this, so can I.’ If I can get one kid to feel that way, it’s a victory.”