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.
Friday, September 26th, 2014
It’s not every day that celebrated chef Suzanne Goin calls you up and offers your students the chance to work with top chefs at one of LA’s hottest culinary events. Then again, with the mark C-CAPPERS are making on the LA culinary landscape, we’re grateful, but not too surprised!
Last weekend marked the 5th annual LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin with her business partner Caroline Styne (The Lucques Group), and Chef David Lentz of The Hungry Cat, it gathers together some of LA’s and the nation’s finest chefs, mixologists and vintners to earn money for this great cause. 21 C-CAP students were there to assist, serving food and learning lessons that will last a lifetime.Check out the list of talented chefs our students were helping!
Stefanie Kelly, C-CAP LA instructor who brought 8 students, had this to say: “What an amazing day! The feedback from the kids was epic—they tried all sorts of new foods: oysters, live uni and octopus!”
Recent Glendale High School graduate and C-CAP scholarship winner Jacob Funaro was excited to share his experience:
“It was amazing. I got to work with the chefs from Craft Restaurant and they let me plate all their food for the event and even are working on letting me stage there. Then, at the end of the event, I went to talk with John Besh because he is a Culinary Institute of America alum and I will be starting in March, and he was so excited and proud for me. And then I talked to Chef Michael Anthony because I want to win a Michelin star like him, and he gave me so much advice on becoming a chef. He said, “You’re going to CIA, right?” and I say yes and he goes, “Here’s my business card; when you need a externship call me,” and I thought that was the end of the conversation—but then he said, “Do you want my book?” and I say, “Yes, please!” and he signed it and said, “I hope this makes you a better chef.” I had a great time at this event!”
C-CAP had a very visible presence—even Chef Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco wore a C-CAP hat! “I gave it to him since he said he would wear it in his restaurant!” says Lorri Wressell, C-CAP LA’s Career Advisor and Event Planner.
Big thanks to Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne for including C-CAP in this exciting event! Check out more amazing pictures of our students here!
Are you based in LA? Mark your calendars, because we have more great chances coming up to see C-CAP students in action and support our great cause!
Buy your tickets now for next week’s exciting sneak peek at Neal Fraser’s newest venture Redbird (October 2 at 6 p.m.)! Join C-CAP LA for The Official preview event at Chef Neal Fraser’s much-anticipated restaurant located in the rectory of Vibiana Cathedral downtown. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 818-756-1260.
Then join us on October 19th for C-CAP’s Sweet and Savory Spectacular, co-hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin and longtime C-CAP supporter Pastry Chef Sherry Yard.Guests will enjoy a craft beer, premium wine, & spirits garden along with a myriad of Sweet & Savory tastings from 40 of Los Angeles’ top chefs including Michael Cimarusti, Duff Goldman, and Jet Tila, pastry chefs including honorary chair Sherry Yard, coffee and tea purveyors, and other specialty vendors; classes/demonstrations from recognized experts in their fields; the “Sweet & Savory Challenge” where C-CAP graduate chefs will compete using a mystery basket of mandatory ingredients and a specific time limit; and an exciting Silent Auction with one-of-a-kind items. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 818-756-1260. Special discounted tickets if you attend both events!
Then clear your TV schedule for January when you can watch C-CAP alums Executive Chef Dustin Trani’s restaurant DOMA and Mixologist Devon Espinosa’s The Church Key as they compete for best new restaurant in LA on this new Bravo show!
What an exciting social calendar you are about to have! Look forward to seeing you and—
Friday, September 19th, 2014
This past Monday night, September 15th, will go down in C-CAP history as a night to remember—C-CAP’s inaugural Washington, D.C. benefit honoring Richard Sandoval, an extraordinary chef who has proved an incredible mentor and a shining example to young culinarians everywhere.
We saw friends old and new, and sampled glorious food from some of D.C.’s hottest chefs—Richard Sandoval of Zengo, Toro Toro, and Masa 14, Haidar Karoum,of Proof, Estadio & Doi Moi, Kazuhiro Okochi of Kaz Sushi Bistro and Masa 14, Roberto Donna of Al Dente and Alba Osteria, and Michel Richard of Central. Guests were also treated to hors d’oeuvres from Troy Williams, C-CAP’s Washington, D.C. Region Culinary Coordinator and owner of The Spot On H, and C-CAP Alum Franz Corrales, Executive Chef for Sodexo USA at Covington & Burling LLP. And a big shout out to Josh Carin from Geppetto Catering, who did a stellar job helping us coordinate this event.
Joy. Elegance. Warmth. Generosity. Great food. Bright futures. Check it all out in the pictures below!
From left to right:
Back row: William Hoover*, 2011 Scholarship recipient of the Art Institute of D.C., now a Line Cook at DECANTER in The St. Regis Hotel; Troy Williams, Washington, D.C. Region C-CAP Culinary Coordinator; Ian Barthley, local teacher with the C-CAP program for 14 years; Yvette Williams, Washington, D.C. Region C-CAP Program Coordinator
Front Row: Muriel Homesack, local culinary teacher whose students have received scholarships to attend Culinary Institute of America, Johnson and Wales University and Monroe College; Basia Davis*, 2009 Scholarship recipient of the Johnson and Wales University, now Manager at THE SPOT ON H; Richard Grausman, C-CAP Founder and Chairman; Susan Robbins, C-CAP President; Niasia Van DeCruze*, 2014 Scholarship recipient of the Art Institute of D.C, participated in Job Training at ESTADIO with Chef Haider Karoum
Many thanks to our amazing Chair of this event and outstanding C-CAP Board Member, Sandi Hallmark, who created this spectacular evening. We are so proud and grateful to our alumni, Franz Corrales who prepared delicious hors d’oeuvres, Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy, Wine Director at Little Nell, who selected the wine pairings, and Jocko Fajardo, who donated the spectacular floral arrangements and the guest giveaways of artisanal honey and olive oil. We are also so grateful to our wonderful donors: Béarnaise, Brasserie Beck, Cashion’s Eat Place, Cava Mezze, Charmer Sunbelt, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, Fiola, Geppetto Catering, Graffiato, Nopa, Panorama Bakery, Passion Food Hospitality, Perfect Settings, Ripple, and Zaytinya.
Last, but not least, thank you to our supporters who shared this beautiful evening with us. May it be the first of many!
Friday, September 12th, 2014
James Beard Foundation. C-CAP Students Assisting World Renowned Chefs. Live Auctions. Friday night. These are a few of our favorite things! And luckily, they are all coming together at the James Beard Foundation’s Taste Phoenix!
This spectacular event on September 12th will begin with a Cocktail and Tasting Reception at 7:00 with tastings by Charleen Badman of FnB, Cullen Campbell of Crudo, Silvana Salcido Espearza of Barrio Café, Joshua Hebertof Posh, and Gio Osso of Virtu. At 8:00, guests will be treated to a four-course seated dinner featuring the creations of Sherry Yard, Kevin Binkley and Paul McCabe. Also in attendance will bepast James Beard Award Winners for “Best Chef Southwest”: Nobuo Fukuda, Christopher Gross, Robert McGrath, and Janos Wilder.
Look out for 17 current C-CAP students in chef whites assisting the chefs throughout the evening. Then during the Live Auction, don’t miss your chance to bid on C-CAP’s stellar New York Getaway package: Dinner for Two at Betony, a stay at the Loews Regency Hotel, dinner for two and a hotel kitchen and rooftop garden tour at the Waldorf Astoria, and two VIP tickets to the C-CAP Annual Benefit! The best part? All proceeds from this item will go to C-CAP!
Many thanks to our friends at James Beard Foundation for including C-CAP in this wonderful event. We’re so grateful for this taste of generosity!
Now that you’re in the mood for adventures in Arizona, it is not too soon to get your tickets for C-CAP’s Harvest Moon Dinner on November 6th! With an hors d’oeuvres reception by C-CAP students and teachers and a three-course dinner by three illustrious C-CAP alumni, it’s sure to be delicious. The Mayor of Phoenix will be there—so should you!
Saturday, September 6th, 2014
At C-CAP, we’re always looking to help our students achieve their potential, offering opportunities to learn and the tools to succeed.
At Avero, they’re always looking to help their clients achieve their potential, offering opportunities to learn, and the tools to succeed.
Kindred spirits? We certainly thought so!
This spring and summer, C-CAP was so fortunate to partner with Avero to give two high school students an externship, and one alumna a Restaurant Education Experience with their talented and knowledgeable team!
Avero is a sophisticated restaurant analytics platform that can help restaurants, hotels, casinos and nightclubs maximize efficiency and profitability by providing analytics and advising.
C-CAP students were handpicked for this experience; for high school seniors Sofia Mendoza and Robert Guarneri, it was based on their participation and accomplishments through C-CAP as well as their strong applications. For alumna Gabee Calle, it was her essay and her interview that convinced Avero she would be a prime candidate to benefit from the experience. And benefit they all did! Check out these itineraries from Avero’s own blog, reporting on these stellar experiences:
“Over the course of the two-day externship, Sofia and Robert participated in various sessions with Avero team members. The goal was to teach them about the latest trends in technology and the future of the restaurant industry and create a dialogue for the two students to ask questions and learn about the “business behind the business.” They learned about Avero’s restaurant software and also about the various other ways that the most progressive chefs and restaurateurs use technology to be successful influencers in this competitive landscape. And, in true Avero style, the students had the opportunity to network with the Avero staff, discuss their career in f&b and (of course) dine at some of the city’s finest establishments including Gramercy Tavern, Tertulia and Gotham West Market.”
(Click here to read the full post and see more fantastic pictures of Sofia and Robert with the Avero team.)
“The award recipients, along with their mentors, navigated New York City for a three-day educational immersion into the food and beverage industry. The students met and learned from leading chefs, managers and restaurateurs while experiencing some of the city’s most prominent dining trends. There was lively discussion about f&b trends as well as technology’s role in the industry combined with unique dining experiences, behind-the-scenes tours of some of NYC’s busiest kitchens such as The Smith and The NoMad, a tour of the Union Square Greenmarket, a tour and dine-around in Gotham West Market and Eataly, a private tour of Brooklyn Brewery, dinner at Brooklyn’s Reynard in The Wythe Hotel – even bowling with upscale bar snacks and a concert at Brooklyn Bowl! The tour concluded with an amazing wine dinner at Betony with Avero’s CEO and Founder, Damian Mogavero.”
(Click here to read the full post with pictures from Gabee’s adventures with Avero.)
Some of the major takeaways?
For Gabee, it was realizing how interconnected Avero is within the industry—she realized that most chefs and restaurants she knew and had worked with were connected to Avero and used their products.
For Robert, it was learning about restaurant trends—how they’re constantly shifting and how Avero is aware of these shifts. He also and realized that he now has an interest in learning about every aspect of the industry, not just what goes on in the kitchen.
For all three, it was the mentorship and personalized learning they received during their time with the Avero team.
Ultimately, our students got a taste of what makes Avero so revered in the industry: passion for what they do, superlative know-how, and a genuine interest in helping their clients—and C-CAP alumni—take the next step in achieving their goals.
Avero, we’re so thankful for your investment in our leaders of tomorrow.
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
C-CAP NY Competitors, 2000. Do you recognize today’s mystery alum? Or any other talented chefs?
C-CAP alumni certainly have made their mark on the world. In honor of our 25th Anniversary and Throwback Thursday, we offer you a story from 2005 of a young man just beginning—who has since accomplished great things! Can you guess from these hints which C-CAP alum is described in the article below?
• Barely spoke English when he started at Long Island City High School after moving with his family from the Dominican Republic.
• He was the first of his family to graduate high school (and then college).
• He joined teacher Terry Matsis’ C-CAP class as a sophomore.
• Through C-CAP, he was awarded a two-week trip to Le Cordon Bleu in London, and then a full tuition scholarship to Culinary Institute of America.
• He worked for Charlie Palmer as a Sous Chef and later as an Executive Chef.
• He’s a California boy now, but he references his NY roots by including “Broadway” in his Orange County restaurant’s name.
Can you guess?
To find out, read the 2005 ABC Nightline article here!
And then read what the same alum is up to now!
There are so many amazing stories in this class and every class. Did you know another of the alums pictured here was the Executive Chef of the FDIC Arlington and cooked on Capital Hill? Did you know that one of these alums competed on Chopped—and won? Do recognize yourself or someone else in this picture? We want to hear your story, too! Share it with us on Facebook or email us at email@example.com.
You know what? 25 years of transforming lives through culinary arts provides a lot of good memories…
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Are you in LA? Do you like great food? Are you a fan of C-CAP? On August 21 at 8:00PM, live from the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, Chefs Graham Elliot and Ben Ford will compete for C-CAP to the tune of $20,000! You won’t want to miss this historic event!
Presenting TEAM FORD-ELLIOT, valiant champions of C-CAP!
Chase Sapphire Preferred® in partnership with FOOD & WINE
The first-ever Chase Sapphire Preferred Chef Challenge to create an iconic Los Angeles dish
Chefs Graham Elliot and Ben Ford (Team Ford-Elliot), playing for C-CAP
Chefs Fabio Vivianiand Ray Garcia (Team Viviani-Garcia), playing for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
Culinary Host Billy Harris
Christina Grdovic (senior vice president and publisher at FOOD & WINE)
David Bernahl (CEO at Coastal Luxury Management)
Justin Chapple (test kitchen senior editor at FOOD & WINE)
Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, a four-day festival from August 21–24, that will showcase the finest in food and drink culture throughout Los Angeles, together with culinary personalities from around the country. The festival includes food and wine tastings, culinary demonstrations, live entertainment and more. The competition will take place during the Ultimate Bites of LA walk-around tasting.
$20,000 for the winning team’s charity
$5,000 for the runner up team’s charity
“If once in a while I can compete against my colleagues for a good cause, it gives me a sense of enjoyment. I learn something new every time,” Elliot said. “It is a fun platform that allows folks to enjoy a bit of friendly competition while serving fantastic and important causes, like C-CAP and L.A. Regional Food Bank. Nothing more important than giving back when given the opportunity.” (To read the full article on this fantastic event, click here!)
Your mission should you choose to accept it:
Buy tickets, send a shout out to the LA Food & Wine Festival on Twitter, cross your fingers, think lovely thoughts, and—