Saturday, December 13th, 2014
Everyday our C-CAP alums are out there doing awesome things and making us proud. But it is not everyday that they get recognized in the national media for it!
This month, we present for your reading pleasure two articles about C-CAP alum Cesar Gutierrez, Executive Chef of Lexington Brass and mentor to many other alums.
Check out Cesar’s profile in Total Food Service here.
Check out this feature story on Cesar and C-CAP in Opportunity Lives.
We’re so proud of Cesar and all our hardworking, high-achieving alums out there. Keep believing in yourselves and what you create. We certainly do!
Visit our Facebook page for links to upcoming features on more alums.
And stay tuned!
Friday, December 5th, 2014
Remember how we told you that C-CAP’s National College Advisor and Alumni Coordinator Meghan Seradsky was honored with a Legacy Award from Les Dames d’Escoffier? This past August, Meghan spent a week in and around Atlanta, Georgia learning about farms, farmers, farm-to-table, and how to answer the question “Where does good food come from?” Here’s a sneak peek from an article she wrote about her experience:
“That’s not what it’s about,” Mary squarely responds in a tone that suggests perhaps I am a little thick. She was responding to my inquiry about how long it took to perfect her formula for goat cheese.
That’s not what it’s about? For someone like me, a cook in a previous life, Mary’s response is befuddling. What does she mean the formula isn’t important? This is cheese, isn’t it?
I ponder her response as Mary, the beloved Decimal Place farmer, goat-herder and artisanal cheesemaker, opens the gate for her two mammoth-sized dogs to lead the herd to pasture. Fifty snow-colored goats happily follow, ‘behh-ing’ in anticipation.
We continue our tour through Mary’s 40-acre farm, much of it woods, as she points out poison ivy, privet and honeysuckle that the goats will shortly feast on. “You see,” she continues. “Anyone can make cheese. There are plenty of recipes out there, you just pick one and follow it.” She ducks under a cobweb and deftly picks her way through the trees, shrubs and branches. “But,” she adds, “it has to start with the milk. Milk starts with the goats and even that begins with the land, really.”
For someone at the tail-end of a six-day trip shadowing five farmers across greater Atlanta, I should have known. Of course it’s about the land.
To learn more about Meghan’s experience, stay tuned for her full account featured in an upcoming issue of Les Dames d’Escoffier International’s Quarterly magazine!
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
In the spirit of Thanksgiving (and in case you’re panicking that you don’t have a pie to bring to dinner), the alumni association wants to share with you one of their award-winning pie recipes. Because we are thankful for YOU!
Prepare yourself for the deliciousness of Banana Mascarpone Crème Pie with Curry Pineapple Compote by C-CAP alum Stefen Bullen!
And if you make it, don’t forget to share your beautiful pictures with us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!
Banana-Mascarpone Crème Pie with Curry Pineapple Compote
Pineapple Curry Sauce
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp curry powder (preferably Madras)
20 oz can of crushed pineapple
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
20 oz can of water
¼ cup of brown sugar
½ cup of white sugar
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey vanilla
2 large egg yolks
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 cup Hecker’s flour
2 cups oats
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1½ sticks unsalted butter
½ stick melted butter
32 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
2 tbsp ground cinnamon (1 tbsp separate)
4 oz pasteurized egg
2 tbsp condensed milk (not evaporated)
2 packets unflavored gelatin
½ cup Irish liquer
3 tbsp Nielsen-Massey vanilla
2 tbsp butter
1 lb bananas
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp whiskey
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey vanilla
In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, melt butter, add curry, and brown approximately 2 minutes. Carefully introduce in crushed pineapple (reserve juice) and stir. Add chili, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then reduce heat to medium-low. Pour in reserved juice, vanilla, water, sugars, and stir. Allow to cook and reduce stirring occasionally so the sugars do not burn. Once mixture has become a thick sauce, remove from heat allowing to cool.
In the mixing bowl, combine egg yolk and sugar. Cream together mixture and slowly add oats, flour, baking powder, and salt. Lastly, add cubed butter and allow the mixture to form dough. Do not overwork. Press onto prepared baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 350F.
Once it is cool, break into crumbs that resemble sand. Add melted butter and press into pie pan to form crust. Heat in oven for 5 minutes and allow to cool completely and set aside.
In a skillet, melt butter and add sliced bananas. Sprinkle with sugar and toss. Remove from heat source, add whiskey, toss and return to heat. Allow alcohol to be cooked out. Allow to cool, add vanilla and mash with potato masher. Set aside.
In a food processor, combine first five ingredients. In a separate bowl, heat the Irish liqueur enough to dissolve gelatin in, but do not boil. Set food processor to blend and pour Irish Cream solution in, allow to become incorporated well. Blend until smooth.
Pour filling into prepared pie shell, add dollops of banana mixture randomly atop of filling and swirl. Place in refrigerator and allow to cool overnight (minimum 4 hours) until firm.
Evenly spread pineapple sauce on top layer and return to refrigerator until ready to serve.
And most importantly…enjoy!
Saturday, November 15th, 2014
We promised you pies. And we delivered. Apple pie. Vegan Pear Frangipane Tart. Pecan Delight. Pumpkin Pie. Banana Mascarpone Cream with a Curry Pineapple Compote. Toffee Sea Salt Pecan Chocolate Chip. Georgia Peach with Pecan Streusel. Apple Pie with Marble Crumb Topping. Gluten-free Almond Crème Pie.
We think we can safely say that pie night was a pie-normous success. But don’t take our word for it—check ’em out!
Many thanks to our wonderful alumni board for making the evening such a success, and to all of our competitors for making such delicious pies!
Did you miss this wonderful alumni event?
You’re in luck.
If you are a C-CAP alum, join us from 6-8 p.m. on December 1st for the C-CAP Alumni Holiday Dinner Party at 300 Jay Street in Brooklyn for a three-course Indian feast, games, raffles, prizes—and a photo booth. What more could a person want?
To attend, RSVP to Meghan Seradsky, C-CAP’s National College and Advisor and Alumni Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Saturday, November 8th, 2014
Here at C-CAP, we believe in practice. And pies. And practice making pies. And our alumni. And Thanksgiving! Were you planning to make pies for Thanksgiving? Would you like to practice first? Are you a C-CAP alum? Would you like to share your practice pie with fellow alumni in a warm and convivial atmosphere while sampling other alumni’s practice pies? Did we mention you can win a prize for said pies?
This Wednesday evening, November 12th, the Alumni Association is holding its Fall Meeting and First Annual Pie Contest at the C-CAP office, 505 8th Avenue, Suite #1400, New York City, where from 6:30-9:00 talented C-CAP alums will network, partake in lively discussion about “Defining Success,” and judge [read: eat lots of] pie! If you’re an alum, check out the details below and RSVP to Meghan Seradsky, National College Advisor and Alumni Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. For all other C-CAP friends, be sure to follow our live posting of all ensuing deliciousness on our Instagram account, @ccapinc.
So get out your pie tins, preheat your ovens and prepare to whip, beat, pulverize [insert your own ambiguously aggressive baking verb here] the competition (or watch from the safety of the social media sidelines). The pie’s the limit!
Monday, November 3rd, 2014
Just when you think things can’t get more interesting, we have a week like this one! Have you been waiting to support C-CAP in its 25th year of transforming lives through culinary arts? Well, this week we have four amazing chances for you to do just that!
C-CAP DC Alum and Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy Runs the NYC Marathon for C-CAP
Because passing the Master Sommeliers exam (“hardest test in the world”) wasn’t quite hard enough, alum Carlton McCoy is running the NYC Marathon for C-CAP this Sunday, November 2nd! Show your support by contributing to his fundraising page, or making a poster and joining us to cheer him on! We couldn’t be prouder of this determined alum.
Dominique Ansel Launches His New Cookbook, The Secret Recipes, and Chooses C-CAP to Benefit from Proceeds
Have you been as obsessed with the cronut as the rest of us? Then you won’t hesitate to purchase this stunning new cookbook from Dominique Ansel in which he reveals his secret recipes—including how to make your own cronut at home! Purchase a personalized copy and $10 of the proceeds goes directly to C-CAP. Isn’t that a sweet way to contribute?
C-CAP Philly Fires Up the Culinary Scene with Their Annual IGNITE Benefit
If you’ve been following us on Facebook or our blog, you’ll know that our Philadelphia program is on fire! Support this wonderful program by buying a ticket to IGNITE: Firing Up Tomorrow’s Chefs this Monday night, November 3rd at The Dorrance H. Hamilton Enterprise Center for Culinary Arts at 6pm. Guests will enjoy a walk-around tasting of culinary creations from some of Philadelphia’s best chefs, assisted by C-CAP students, while sipping superb wines and craft beer. With food from 12th Street Catering, Alla Spina, Blackfish, Brûlée Catering, Classic Cake, Ela, Evergreen Cheese, The Night Kitchen, Restaurant Cerise, and Sbraga, it’ll be the hottest event in town, and your support of C-CAP is guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy.
Feast Under the Harvest Moon with C-CAP Arizona…and Mayor Stanton of Phoenix!
What’s that? You’ve never dined al fresco under the Harvest Moon with the mayor of Phoenix? Well, we recommend that you grab this once in a lifetime opportunity!
Buy your tickets today for this unique dining experience under a full moon in central Phoenix this Thursday, November 6th. Located in the gardens of the PHX Renews property, guests will enjoy a cocktail hour followed by a three-course dinner of local, seasonal cuisine prepared by some of Arizona’s up and coming chefs and C-CAP alumni with Arizona wine pairings. What a night to remember!
No matter which way you choose to support C-CAP this week, we are grateful to have you participate. Have an exciting week, and—
Friday, October 24th, 2014
Taste Taste Taste – is the best way to describe C-CAP LA’s Sweet & Savory Spectacular this past Sunday, October 19th, at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of California-Los Angeles. From Bucato‘s focaccia to the legendary Pink’s Hot Dogs to the LUXE Hotel’s shrimp street food to Jonathan Club‘s crispy hand cut Ahi tuna, every dish was more divine than the next.
There could not be a more impressive array of culinary talent, assisted by our very own C-CAP students and grads, gathered for this event, including amazing top LA restaurants Acabar, Angelini Osteria, Tavern, Jar, Chinois on Main, Connie and Ted’s and many more. Go to the S&SS Facebook Page for a full list of the star participants at https://www.facebook.com/events/365687206916729/, along with more fantastic photos at https://www.facebook.com/CCAPLA.
The Sweet & Savory Spectacular had something for everyone including an exciting cooking challenge starring our own C-CAP alumni, wine “how to” classes, and a Tea “Ching” class. The enthusiasm of the crowd was matched only by that of the participants and volunteers who graced the event. Our “Spirit Garden” proved to be the place to see and be seen with beautiful wines, spirits and robust local brews, where the crowd enjoyed toasting our C-CAP high school students.
Guests also raved about the amazing auction with prizes such as “Magical nights in Laguna with Dinner for Six at Broadway by Amar Santana (YES a wildly successful C-CAP grad!), as well as dinners atlocal restaurants, classic and valuable cookbooks, a private wood fired dinner for you and your best friends prepared by celeb-chefs, and so much more.
A BIG THANK YOU to Eric Boardman, Andy Harris, Terrie Cooper, Ann Flower, Steven Yamin, Gloria Mandel, Dalia Miller and other LA Advisory Board Members who contributed enormously to the fabulous success of this benefit! And All proceeds go to our wonderful programs and scholarships benefitting our talented C-CAP students.
And, of course, President Susan Robbins gives a HUGE thank you to our amazing LA Staff – Mitzie Cutler, Lorri Wressell, Lisa Fontanesi and Susan Fine Moore – who organized this sweet and savory spectacular!
Read more and check out these pics at
Friday, October 17th, 2014
In the spring, we brought you this story from our Philadelphia program of C-CAP students from Randolph High School winning a competition to provide a healthy and tasty entrée for school lunches. (Don’t remember that post? Read it here.)
We promised we’d update you when their Soul Food Chicken Wrap made its way onto the trays of Philly highschoolers—and that day has come! Check out some of the amazing press on their fantastic achievement:
“Students Have a Voice in School Lunch, Too” from The Vetri Foundation
The Culinary Voice: Students Design Healthy New School Lunch Menus from FoodFitPhilly
The school lunch revolution is in full swing, not only in Philadelphia but in Boulder, Colorado as well! C-CAP alum Natalie Quinn of our Hampton Roads program is a production cook in the Boulder City School District. Check out the amazing things they are doing with school lunches in her district:
“I am a production cook for Boulder Valley. We currently have three kitchens that feed the entire 48-school district. The school I was at last year produced 2,500 meals a day for 17 schools. We cook as much from scratch as possible, sometimes thousands of potatoes at a time. We cook local, free-range chicken that is never frozen and receive our ground beef fresh as well. Both our chicken and beef are delivered in bulk plastic reusable containers that our supplier picks up and refills for us. All three production kitchens compost as well. This is part of our green initiative. I enjoy playing a vital role in improving childhood nutrition. This is my true passion and what I received my Bachelor’s degree in at Johnson & Wales. I have always been grateful for the opportunity that C-CAP gave me to pursue my education and I hope one day I will be able to make an impact in a students’ live as well.”
We’re pretty sure you already are, Natalie!
Are you a C-CAP alum having an effect on nutrition in schools? Let us know!
Don’t forget to eat lunch, and—
Friday, October 10th, 2014
What could inspire you to run 26.2 miles?
For Carlton McCoy, it is C-CAP.
Carlton’s first taste for the food industry was helping his grandmother cook for her catering business, housed in a local church in D.C. His neighborhood was noted for its high crime rate and Carlton explains that if he stayed there, his future did not look bright. Then came C-CAP. Carlton enrolled in a C-CAP class at Anacostia High School and worked his way to the C-CAP Final Competition where he won a full scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America.
Carlton found his passion in wine and service working with top chefs of impressive restaurants including Eric Zeibold’s CityZen, Doug Anderson at the Four Seasons in D.C., Per Se with Thomas Keller, Marcus Samuelsson’s Aquavit, and Tom Colicchio’s Craft Steak. In recent years, Carlton has been thrilling palates in Aspen at The Little Nell, where he has worked his way up to Wine Director. But that’s not all.
In 2013, 63 candidates took the qualifying exam for the Master Sommelier diploma (known as “the hardest test in the world”) — and Carlton was one of four to earn the rank, joining only 219 worldwide. At the age of 28, Carlton McCoy became one of the youngest Master Sommeliers in the world.
After acing the hardest test in the world, most of us would be resting on our laurels. So what is driving Carlton to jump into this next challenge?
In his own words:
“So for some insane reason I decided to run the NY Marathon this year. Don’t worry, I’m not doing this for myself. The thought of missing out on so many great bottles of wine in order to wake up and run until I’m sick does not sound like the way I’d prefer to spend my summer. But nonetheless, I am running—for an amazing charity.
I met Richard Grausman and C-CAP as a high school student with little to no direction and a one-way ticket to disaster. C-CAP gave me an amazing opportunity and most importantly…. a big check for college! Without C-CAP, I would never have been able to accomplish what I have. For this, I’m forever indebted.
C-CAP has contributed millions of dollars to inner city kids like myself with great potential and no means. I ask you all to donate whatever you can to help more kids like myself to live up to their true potential…oh and please pray that I finish this race! Thanks.”
Most of us will never run a marathon. But we all have the ability to support Carlton as he runs for C-CAP! Visit this link to make a donation or leave him some words of encouragement. If you’re in New York on November 2nd, join us along the course as we cheer him on.
And, as always, don’t forget to—
Friday, October 3rd, 2014
Temperatures are dropping and the grey days are upon us. A perfect time for C-CAP grads working in the Sunshine State to send their sunny news and thoughts our way!
Senior Sous Chef, Waldorf Astoria, Naples FL
Art Institute of Philadelphia
“After 8 years working in Philadelphia, I moved with my wife to Southwest Florida to be the Senior Sous Chef at the Waldorf Astoria in Naples, Florida. I may not have gotten started if it weren’t for C-CAP Philadelphia. Along with winning a $34,000 scholarship to the Art Institute of Philadelphia, the program found me an internship that eventually led to my first job at Philadelphia Fish & Co. and opened the door for me to excel at what I love.”
Line Cook, Hot & Soul
Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
Kenny is rounding out a year and a half at Ft. Lauderdale’s “trailblazing” Hot & Soul, making food the Sun Sentinel describes as “divine” and “extraordinary.”
“C-CAP gave me the necessary skills to stand above my classmates when I first started at the Art Institute and is the reason I am working in the restaurant industry.”
Visiting Instructor, Florida International University in Tianjin, China
Lecturer at Institute for Tourism Studies in China
David is also based in Florida—via China!
“I just finished my fourth and final semester as a visiting instructor with Florida International University in Tianjin, China. I taught Food Production Management and International Baking, Confections, and Desserts. I also finished my Masters degree last summer.”
Narcoossee, The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney World
Le Cordon Bleu Chicago
Danielle went to work at Disney World to make her dreams come true and by gosh, is she accomplishing it! After working at the Old Key West Resort, last year she received a promotion and a transfer to Disney’s signature restaurant, Narcoossee, at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Along the way, she has been helping other C-CAP alums to settle in as they come for externships, says C-CAP Chicago Coordinator Nicola Copeland.
“C-CAP has been a huge help and a big part of the reason that I am where I am today. One day I hope to give back to the company who gave so many chances to me.”
Chef Manager, Compass Group, Florida
Baltimore International College
C-CAP New York
Roberto is celebrating a decade of working with Compass Group! Having worked in New York and Baltimore, he is now based in Florida where he is Chef Manager of a Compass Group account at a preparatory school.