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Daniel Coward
A few dollars for a future

C-CAP Graduate
Springfield Gardens High School
Queens, New York
Teacher: Lorraine Baker-Simon

Current Position
Chef Tournant
Asiate
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
New York

How C-CAP Made a Difference
“C-CAP made a difference for me on a personal level through its vast system of networks and support,” Coward explains. “I cooked with Chef Paul Bocuse on a school trip to Anguilla, British West Indies. To meet and work with such a culinary icon was amazing.”

Daniel Coward realized during his sophomore year of high school that he could probably make a living from cooking. “But I knew I would need help to get to college,” he recalls. With his sights on a C-CAP scholarship, Coward worked hard and became a star culinary student. Even so, his expectations remained modest. “I’ll never forget the morning of the C-CAP awards breakfast,” says Coward. “I was hoping to get a few dollars—and ended up receiving a full scholarship to Johnson & Wales University.”

A TASTE OF C-CAP: Daniel’s Roasted Summer Eggplant Soup with Sea Scallops & Chickpeas

Vegetable Stock

  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 shallots, rough chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and rough chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, rough chopped
  • 6 oz. button mushrooms, washed and roughed chopped
  • 1 large ripe tomato, rough chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 pkg. fresh thyme
  • Aromatics (bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander)
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, crushed
  • Top from 1 fennel bulb (see below)
  • Top from 1 leek (see below)
  • 4 qt. water

Eggplant Soup

  • 2 large eggplant, halved, scored and roasted
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil, plus extra for preparing eggplant
  • 2 shallots, rough chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, rough chopped (wash and reserve top for stock)
  • 1 leek, rough chopped (wash and reserve top for stock)
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 pkg. fresh thyme
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Vegetable stock

Garnish

  • 4 large scallops, quartered
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and washed
  • 1 leek, split in half, washed and grilled
  • 2 c. canola oil
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus extra for leeks and garnish
  • 1 Tbs. cold butter
  • Salt and pepper
  1. For stock: In a pot over medium heat, add 4 Tbs. olive oil and cook vegetables, garlic, thyme and ginger until soft. Season with salt, pepper and aromatics. Add fennel and leek tops and water. Cook about 25 minutes. Let stand.
  2. For eggplant soup: Split eggplant in half, score with knife, drizzle with olive oil, season, cover and roast until completely soft. When done, scrape from skin and reserve flesh.
  3. In a pot over medium heat, add 4 Tbs. olive oil and cook vegetables, garlic and thyme until very soft. Stir to avoid burning. Season with salt, pepper and bay leaf.
  4. Once vegetables are soft and breaking down, add eggplant and stir. Add liquid from vegetable stock to cover slightly above veggies. Simmer about 25 to 30 minutes. Add coconut milk and cook another 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning and let stand for at least 15 minutes.
  5. In small batches blend soup in a blender until smooth. Adjust consistency with stock. Reserve hot.
  6. For garnish: Drizzle leeks with olive oil, season and grill; cut into 1-inch pieces. Reserve.
  7. Drain canned chickpeas and rinse with water; dry on paper towel. In pot over medium-high heat, fry chickpeas in canola oil until crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towel; season while hot.
  8. Heat sauté pan over high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper; sauté in about 2 Tbs. olive oil until browned. Add 1 Tbs. butter; cook until butter is slightly brown and frothy. Reserve.
  9. To assemble: Place a few scallop quarters in bottom of warm soup bowl. Add a few pieces of grilled leek. Pour soup into bowl. Sprinkle a few chickpeas on top and drizzle with olive oil. Serves 6.

quote“My advice to
C-CAP students:
Don’t chase fame,
trends or hot chefs.
Have patience and
a commitment to
improving your
trade and the rest
will follow.”

cooking tipYour food need
not be fancy, but
it will be more
enjoyable if you
put your heart
into what you’re
making.

 

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Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) works with public schools across the nation to prepare high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. A national nonprofit, C-CAP provides teacher training, scholarships, cooking competitions, job shadows, training and internships, college and career advising, and product and equipment donations.

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