In 1990, cookbook author and educator Richard Grausman piloted a program in twelve New York City high schools to teach French cooking in Home Economics classes. His intention was to teach American youth about the satisfaction and value of home cooking. The schools were all inner-city high schools filled with underserved students. Grausman soon realized that too many of these students lacked job skills or college prospects. What they needed was preparation for jobs with a future, like those in the culinary industry.
To fulfill this need, Grausman created the nonprofit Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). His goal was to enhance the culinary arts curriculum in public schools and better prepare underserved students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Since then, C-CAP has operated continuously for two decades and made a difference in the lives of thousands of young people. (Visit Profiles of Success to read about the careers of C-CAP alumni chefs.)
Today, C-CAP operates around the country. New York City remains the headquarters and flagship program. The C-CAP National Network includes Arizona (statewide); Chicago; Hampton Roads, Virginia; Los Angeles; Philadelphia; and District Of Columbia/Prince George's County, Md.
C-CAP provides teacher training, cooking competitions for scholarships, job training and internships for outstanding students, college and career advising, and product donations to classrooms. We work with over 165 public high schools, and the more than 220 teachers we support through professional development reach some 18,000 students annually in their classrooms.