Monday, March 10th, 2014
On Tuesday night, C-CAP had its most successful benefit to date.
42 top chefs.
75 C-CAP alumni and students.
Over 35,000 tasting plates served.
Over 1 million dollars raised.
We couldn’t have done it without you.
For being there and for helping us make dreams come true,
Friday, February 28th, 2014
Carlton McCoy struggled in his violent D.C neighborhood, where he was mugged twice before the age of fifteen. With a C-CAP scholarship and a drive to succeed, Carlton is now one of the youngest Master Sommeliers in the world, and only the second African American.
Joshua Partlow (Chicago) struggled in school, hoping to complete high school and barely dreaming of college. Through C-CAP, Joshua earned a scholarship to Johnson & Wales University where he earned an MBA. He is now an Executive Chef of a restaurant group in Boston.
Lasheeda Perry (Philadelphia) struggled in her home situation, one of eight children born to a single mother. Sometimes breadwinner, sometimes homeless, Lasheeda found a haven in C-CAP. With a C-CAP scholarship to Johnson & Wales University, Lasheeda has received a top-notch education, traveled the world, and has a stellar career as a Pastry Chef in corporate dining.
Alums like Rigo Salas (LA), Lester Walker (NY), Cesar Gutierrez (NY) and Brother Luck (AZ) cite C-CAP as their way out of a dangerous and increasingly violent street life. One of our C-CAP Chicago schools has been featured on national public radio for the extreme amounts of violence its students experience. C-CAP is the promise of a safer, more hopeful future.
C-CAP grads are chefs, sous chefs, cooks, mixologists, sommeliers, flavorists, entrepreneurs, chocolatiers, and restaurateurs. C-CAP grads work in restaurants, hotels, resorts, corporate dining, front of house, back of house and everywhere in between. They work across the United States and across the world.
C-CAP alumni are becoming Executive Chefs/Pastry Chefs, like Mykel Winterstine (Hampton Roads) at the Metropolitan Club in D.C. and opening their own restaurants, like Jared Porter (Arizona) with The Clever Koi in Phoenix. This year, C-CAP formed an alumni association to address the maturing needs of our alumni as they reach new heights.
Each year, we hold more job training and internship programs to give more students experience in the workforce. Each year, students are hired from those internships, giving them that first foothold in the industry and C-CAP is there to guide them through their careers. Each year, more students realize the dream of a college education they thought was beyond their reach. And each year, with your help, we hold a benefit that allows us to fund these programs: in New York, in LA, in Chicago, in D.C./Maryland, Arizona, Philadelphia and Hampton Roads, Virginia.
This is how we do what we do.
It may be one day — but it makes a whole year of wonderful happen.
We hope to see you there.
(For stories on more alumni, click here. To buy tickets to the benefit, click here.)
Friday, February 21st, 2014
It’s February. It’s bleak. We’ve had polar vortexes en masse, ice and snow, rain and every other precipitate currently documented. February can lead to the blahs.
We have a solution. It’s called “Auction Therapy.”
Much like the well-documented “retail therapy,” “auction therapy” is a guaranteed way to release endorphins, lower blood pressure and brighten your outlook on life, particularly in the trenches of winter. The best news? It couldn’t be easier! You too can share in all of these health benefits by bidding on incredible dinners, trips and priceless experiences at the C-CAP Annual Benefit on March 4th. And because there’s no time like the present, we’re including a special sneak peek preview!
And remember, when you engage in auction therapy with C-CAP, you not only enrich your life with unparalleled luxury experiences, you also enrich the futures of at-risk culinary students across the country. We like to think of it as Auction Therapy with a Mission.
So sit back, relax and let your imagination run wild as you read about these incredible items.
Then buy your tickets and let the bidding begin!
WORLD-RENOWNED CELEBRITY CHEF MICHAEL WHITE COOKS AN EXTRAORDINARY TRUFFLE DINNER FOR TWELVE IN YOUR HOME
Chef Michael White, the ten Michelin star rated, four-time New York Times three-star reviewed, James Beard Award-winning chef, perennial Zagat favorite and one of the 40 Most influential New Yorkers under 40 by Crain’s New York Business, will bring his extraordinary culinary skills to your New York City home for an unforgettable Urbino Truffle tasting dinner for twelve! Your kitchen will not want to miss the opportunity to host one of the most celebrated chefs as he works his magic with this most cherished ingredient.
FABULOUS ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME GASTRONOMIC GETAWAY IN ITALY
Your incredible trip for two will include business class tickets to Italy and will start with four nights at The Four Seasons Hotel in Florence, the five-star urban resort in a city regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful destinations. It’s easy to see why the Four Seasons Hotel Florence won the 2011 Luxury Travel Advisor Award of Excellence and ranks in the 2012 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. Make room for an amazing dinner and wine pairing for two at Enoteca Pinchiorri, the only restaurant awarded three Michelin stars in Florence. During your stay, head to the nearby Chianti Classico region for an incredible historic wine cellar tour and tasting at Badia a Passignano, followed by a delicious dinner and wine pairings at the adjacent Michelin starred Osteria a Passignano.
Next, head to historic Bologna, a gastronomic must for food lovers, with your one-night stay at the enchanting five star Grand Hotel Majestic “già Baglioni,” the oldest and most prestigious hotel in Bologna. You’ll become a Bologna food insider when Chef Max (Massimiliano Mascia) of San Domenico at Imola meets you at the Grand Hotel Majestic and takes you for a grand tour through Bologna’s famous markets. Your culinary experience continues with a grand tasting dinner with wine parings at Michelin starred San Domenico at Imola.
MARCUS SAMUELSSON-INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED CHEF AND TV SENSATION-PREPARES A FABULOUS FEAST FOR 16 IN YOUR HOME IN NYC OR THE PRIVATE DINING ROOM AT GINNY’S SUPPER CLUB
Marcus Samuelsson, Chef, Restaurateur and Cookbook Author who has thrilled the food scene with his blend of culture and artistic excellence at his restaurants, Red Rooster and Ginny’s Supper Club, in Harlem and at Aquavit, where he received an impressive three-star rating from The New York Times, prepares an amazing dinner for 16 lucky guests in your New York City home or in the private dining room of Ginny’s Supper Club! This Top Chef Masters winner and guest chef at the White House will prepare your personal feast, available Monday through Thursday. Past winners have said, “The dinner that Marcus prepared for us and the experience of having him in our home was worth two times what we paid!” and “I couldn’t believe how exquisite a dinner party in my home could be…Our guests felt like royalty.”
DINNER AND WINE PAIRING FOR SIXTEEN AT MAREA
Treat yourself and fifteen guests to a mouthwatering tasting dinner in the private dining room with wine pairings at Marea and enjoy Chef Michael White’s superb Italian seafood cuisine paired with seamless service and an award-winning wine program, all in a stunning and relaxed atmosphere on Central Park South. Dinner will include a half-hour of hors d’oeuvres and a Four-Course Tasting Menu. To date, Marea has received two Michelin stars, the 2010 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, three stars from The New York Times, and was named Best New Restaurant by Bon Appetit, Esquire and GQ Magazine and Best Italian Restaurant by Zagat. Marea has also recently joined the family of Relais & Chateaux’s elite group of Grande Chef Gourmand.
Check out the fabulous the silent auction list here!
Saturday, February 15th, 2014
It’s Valentine’s Day! A day for expressing your love…for great people, delicious food and friends of C-CAP, of course! At least that’s the way we see it…
We know some of you are out there panicking that you haven’t made Valentine’s plans to impress that loved one in your life. What to do? Where to go? How to put that sparkle of gratitude in their eyes for the best Valentine’s Day ever?
And that’s where C-CAP expertise comes in. Allow us to make our suggestions for Valentine’s Day (or weekend!) plans that will honor your love — and your tastebuds.
A Special Valentine’s Meal
Each of these restaurants will be featured at our Benefit on March 4th AND they all have special Valentine’s Day or Weekend menus! Check them out by clicking on the links below. And you know you can’t go wrong because each is C-CAP Approved!
db bistro moderne
Dovetail (plus a vegetarian valentine’s menu as well!)
Gotham Bar and Grill
Red Rooster Harlem
Sarabeth’s (each location has its own Valentine’s Menu!)
The Sea Grill
Union Square Cafe
And of course if you want give the BEST VALENTINE EVER, simply purchase two (or more!) tickets to our C-CAP Annual Benefit! Talk about an evening that has it all: great food, great wine, great auction items to be won, and the greatest company ever — you. It’s a sure win!
Whether you’re making plans with a loved one or simply honoring your own wonderful presence in the world, make that reservation or purchase those tickets now! Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day from all of us here at C-CAP and —
Saturday, February 8th, 2014
Do you know what happens on March 4th, 2014? If you guessed the C-CAP Annual Benefit at Chelsea Piers, a night of food, fun and friends, you would be CORRECT! But how deep does your knowledge go? Test your savviness with these fun trivia questions about one of our favorite C-CAP events of the year!
True or False! When you buy a VIP Ticket, you gain access to the chefs and their dishes for 45 whole minutes before the masses arrive. And when you buy a Special VIP ticket, you get that PLUS a signed copy of Chef and Honoree Michael White’s critically acclaimed cookbook, Classico e Moderno. AND a pony.
True! (Mostly.) Purchase a Special VIP ticket at $1,000 by calling us at 212-974-7111 for exclusive early access to the event and the cookbook. Okay, so you don’t get a pony, but if you purchase several tickets at this price you’ll be our knight in shining armor and we promise to find you a trusty steed! (A VIP ticket is $700 and General Admission is $550.)
True or False! This is C-CAP’s 6th Annual Benefit and the first time we are honoring an influential culinary player.
False! This is actually C-CAP’s 16th Annual Benefit and we have always had (at least) one honoree, including our 2014 Honoree Chef Michael White! How many can you name? (Hint: there are 20 including Michael White.)
C-CAP Founder Richard Grausman and President Susan Robbins with 2013 Honoree Tony May
Former Honorees Chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Daniel Boulud
Answer (in reverse chronological order): Michael White, Tony May, Michael McCarty, Michael Lomonaco, Marcus Samuelsson, Drew Nieporent, Alfred Portale, Lidia Bastianich, Thomas Keller, Charlier Palmer, Danny Meyer and Michael Romano, Daniel Boulud, Jacques Pépin, Siro and Egidiana Maccioni, Tim and Nina Zagat, Saul and Stanley Zabar—oh my!
True or False? The itinerary of the evening is eat, eat, and eat some more (of the most delicious food you’ve ever had in your life)!
False! While you will feast on a TON of amazing food (and we encourage you to eat!), don’t forget to take part in our live and silent auctions where you can win incredible food, wine and travel packages that will change your life! Check back next week for some sneak peaks!
Did you know? Not only can you sample these chefs’ delicious food at our event, but you can bid on exclusive meals at their restaurants and in some cases in your own home! #yesplease! Follow us on twitter: @ccapinc #ccapbenefit
Chef Michael White of Marea
Chef Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster Harlem
Chef Ben Pollinger of Oceana
Chef Matteo Bergamini of SD26
Chef Michael Lomonaco of Porter House New York
Chef Jason Weiner of Almond
Chef Kyung Up Lim of Michael’s
Pastry Chef Ron Paprocki of Gotham Bar and Grill
Chef Fortunato Nicotra of Felidia
Chef Matthew Hoyle of Nobu 57
Pastry Chef Sunchar Raymond of Union Square Cafe
Did You Know? Each featured chef at our benefit is assisted by C-CAP alumni and current C-CAP students. That’s over 60 alumni and a dozen current C-CAP students that you will have the chance to meet when you come to this event. Plus some of the featured chefs are C-CAP alums themselves!
C-CAP Alum and Executive Pastry Chef Thiago Silva of The General
A C-CAP alum, hard at work
And there’s so much more to get excited about. Check back next week for more fun facts and helpful information about our benefit. In the meantime, don’t forget to pick up the phone and purchase your ticket (212-974-7111) and —
Friday, January 31st, 2014
We have extraordinary alumni. Can I get an aye? It goes without saying, but we’ll say it again: we have extraordinary alumni.
Never was this clearer than last night at the first C-CAP Alumni Association meeting, led by the effervescent Meghan Seradsky, C-CAP’s National College Advisor and Alumni Coordinator, and attended by several dozen illustrious representatives of the alumni population at large. C-CAP brought the forum, but our alumni filled it with their insight, enthusiasm and an energy that would knock your socks off.
The mission of the Alumni Association is to promote continuous bonding and growth for alumni and C-CAP through professional development, networking and volunteer opportunities. This will include collecting updated alumni information, planning social or recreational events, programs that allows alumni to give back through C-CAP or their community, and educational or professional development opportunities.
And without further ado, I give you…
Your Newly Elected Alumni Association Board
Larry Purvis, President: Mixologist and Bar Manager at Sandbar Concessions/Neiderlander Organization on Broadway, triple graduate of Johnson & Wales
Larry Purvis, President
Mame Sow, Executive Vice President: Executive Pastry Chef at Harlem Jazz Enterprises (The Cecil and Minton’s), graduate of ICC
Mame Sow, Executive Vice President
Rose-Mick September, Secretary: Garde Manger at Kingside Restaurant, graduate of the University of Malta with an MBA in Marketing and the New York City College of Technology
Nicole Scarangello, Board Member: Assistant Director of Nutrition at Aramark, graduate of New York City Tech and Brooklyn College
Kashida Maloney, Board Member: Production Coordinator of Almost Famous Clothing, graduate of Johnson & Wales
Ellie Ubinas, Board Member: Lead Hostess at The Dutch, soon-to-be graduate of New York City College of Technology
Haydee Collado, Board Member: U.S. Marines, world traveler, graduate of ICE
Adam Perez, Board Member: Junior Sous at Harding’s Restaurant
We are so excited to hear the voices of our alumni speaking for themselves, for each other and for C-CAP.
Are you a New York alum who would like to get involved? Contact Meghan at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to check back here for more updates on upcoming events and meetings.
Are you an alum from another location? Gather your ideas and become a founding member when we roll out an Association in your area!
What will our Alumni Association accomplish this year? There’s no telling. But with this group, it’s pretty clear that the sky is the limit.
All in favor of the sky as the limit?
Friday, January 24th, 2014
In the sun-streaked valleys of Los Angeles, the buzz is building for the latest in C-CAP LA’s Dinner Party fundraiser series — an evening at Lukshon with fabulous food and champagne hosted by Chef Sang Yoon and Pastry Chef Sherry Yard. Are you wondering how to buy your tickets to this unique event on February 3rd? Click here to learn more and tempt your taste buds with the menu, and here to follow your instincts and purchase your ticket!
Meanwhile, in the chilly hinterlands of Philadelphia and Virginia, the temperature is rising as students get ready to heat up the kitchen at Preliminary Competition this weekend and next. Go forth, ye young culinarians, and may your salads stand!
Chicago coordinator Nicola Copeland brought C-CAP down south this month when she represented at The AmericasMart Show in Atlanta giving demonstrations with Harold Imports Company products, with proceeds benefiting C-CAP. Chef Marcus Samuelsson, our wonderful board member, was also presenting at the show and gave a big shout out to C-CAP!
In New York, C-CAP teachers will conquer the snowdrifts to join in a lovely dinner at Felidia celebrating — them! We couldn’t do what we do without our amazing teachers, so we’re thrilled to be honoring them with this special event.
Do you read Forbes Magazine? We sure do since DC alum and Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy was featured in their 30 Under 30 in Food and Wine! We couldn’t be more proud. Check out the coverage here. Then go one step further and buy a ticket to our Benefit in March to bid on a chance to experience Carlton’s artistry firsthand at The Little Nell in Aspen!
And finally, be sure to pick up your copy of Dessert Professional in February to read all about Arizona alum Veronica Arroyo, Executive Pastry Chef at Bourbon Steak Union Square in San Francisco. Included is a recipe guaranteed to wow your loved one on Valentine’s Day. (Trust her: she’s a dessert professional.)
Well, folks, that’s the news from C-CAP where something’s always cooking!
Thursday, January 16th, 2014
If you could have a super power, what would it be? Would you choose flight? Invisibility? Superhuman strength? What about the ability to prevent cancer? Guess what? You DO have that power — and C-CAP students are working to help you harness it!
The American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) provides practical tools and information to help people prevent and survive cancer, and one way the institute recommends is through a healthy diet full of “superfoods.” So we are thrilled to announce that for the second year in a row, C-CAP is partnering with AICR to create a super recipe contest: C-CAP students who invent an original healthy small plate recipe using AICR recommended super foods can win a total of $10,000 in scholarships!
Across the country, our students have been carefully crafting their recipes for low-calorie, nutrient-rich, and tastebud-dazzling soups, salads and appetizers with as many super ingredients as possible. One recipe from each C-CAP location will become a finalist and those recipes will be judged on originality, flavor, compliance with guidelines, writing ability, ease of preparation, and nutritional value by a panel of expert judges selected by AICR. Then First, Second and Third Place will be awarded to the top three recipes, along with accompanying scholarships. Those recipes will be made available to the world to help our friends, families and supporters optimize their health through the foods they choose. Check out last year’s recipes for “Super” Desserts here!
Our C-CAP students are doing their part to empower the superhero in all of us. What super food choices will you make today? Check back here for more ideas, and —
Thursday, January 9th, 2014
Can you hear that? That sound of hundreds of knives chopping? Hundreds of eggs cracking? Yes — it’s C-CAP students across the country preparing for Preliminary Competition!
From now to the end of May, C-CAPers across the nation will be honing their skills, practicing their recipes and preparing to bring their best on competition day. To give you an overview of the process, we sat down with C-CAP Founder Richard Grausman, New York Culinary Coordinator Alex Olsen, National College Advisor and Alumni Coordinator Meghan Seradsky, and C-CAP NY Alum Rebeca Rios.
In essence, what is the C-CAP Preliminary Competition for Scholarships? How will it differ from the Final Competition?
Richard Grausman: Students submit a written application comprised of an essay, letters of recommendation, and college research. This earns them the chance to compete in the preliminary round of our Competition for Scholarships. Competitors prepare from memory two French Rolled Omelets and two Standing Tomato Cucumber and Bell Pepper Salads — one for presentation and one for tasting. They have one hour to complete their dishes and clean their workstation.
The format is very similar in Final Competition, but the dishes get more complex.
How have the students been preparing?
Alex Olsen: It starts with their dedicated teachers. Throughout the year, students learn all the necessary skills: knife cuts, sanitation, organization, techniques and professional behavior. Many also participate in C-CAP Job Shadow opportunities or volunteer through C-CAP at culinary events. They take the opportunity to practice the “competition recipes” both in school and at home —sometimes for years!
Walk us through the Preliminary Competition day.
AO: Students arrive the morning of competition, receive their numbers and put on their uniforms. Students bring their own pans and utensils and are given ten minutes to set up their stations. From the time the clock starts, students have one-hour to complete their dishes while the judges walk around observing.
What are the judges looking for?
RG: The purpose of the preliminary competition is to observe a student’s potential for success in the industry and to determine if they have mastered the basic skills needed to start working in a professional kitchen. The judges will be considering a wide range of criteria: knife skills, proper use of kitchen tools, speed, confidence, professionalism, organization, sanitation, presentation and, of course, taste!
What happens after?
Meghan Seradsky: It’s pretty straightforward. The judges take meticulous notes during the competition: not only on kitchen skills, but also on the students’ soft skills and professionalism. Finalists are notified shortly after competition day.
What’s happening behind the scenes to help support competitors during this whole competition process?
MS: It’s much more than the day itself! Our C-CAP locations will kick off the process with an Information Session in the fall that gives students and their parents an in-depth look at the competition process. Locations will also provide college advising and support, from college research help to financial aid workshops. Our competitors can also take part in Practice Sessions where kitchens are open for their use outside of school hours.
Rebeca Rios, you were both a C-CAP NY Competitor/scholarship recipient and have helped out at numerous competitions since. Do you have any advice you can share with competitors preparing for the big day?
Rebeca Rios: I think the best advice I can give to students is to change their space/environment when they practice. When I was competing, I took a corner of the kitchen and I made my routine perfect: everything within the time limit since I knew how many steps to the stove or oven. Never did it cross my mind that not every kitchen is built the same.
When I see the new competitors, I see their expressions when they walk into the competition kitchens — things are different and their routine is thrown off. My best advice is to always practice in a different part of the kitchen, with different amounts of space for prep, with a different range top or oven, to see how that might play into their timeline.
Well folks, you heard it here first. We promise to update you over the next few months on dates, judges, and scholarships awarded! Now back to your kitchens and —
Friday, January 3rd, 2014
It’s a brand new year and we are full of brand new enthusiasm. And dare we say, resolve? Yes, yes, we know there are those that scoff at making New Year’s resolutions, but we at C-CAP believe in setting goals and striving for them — and we know we can achieve them thanks to all of your support! So here are our resolutions for 2014; read on to learn what we plan to do in this bright new year. And while you’re at it — care to join in?
C-CAP’s Resolutions for a Terrific 2014
- Eat at every C-CAP Chef’s restaurant (Can I get a YUM?)
- Share Pressure Cooker with a friend
- Pass on a family recipe to a young person
- Always let our friends and supporters know how appreciated they are (Thank you!)
- Make deliberate food choices, and appreciate the work that went into creating each mouthful
- Tell five people about the great work that C-CAP does
- Make a recipe from Richard Grausman’s cookbook, French Classics Made Easy (And get free troubleshooting advice from the man himself via email!)
- Thank our mentors
- Stock our kitchens with C-CAP Product Sponsor ingredients (Blue Diamond almonds, Bush’s Best beans, Filippo Berio olive oil, Guittard chocolate, Nielsen-Massey vanilla, Uhlmann flour, Fresh Gourmet dried cranberries, Ronzoni pasta, Jarlsberg cheese — and DKB smallwares to put them all together!)
- Rock our C-CAP wristbands like the fashion-forward non-profit we are
- Spend our Mondays meatless (Click here for last year’s winning Meatless Monday recipes from C-CAP students)
- Heal ourselves through food by trying each winning recipe in the C-CAP American Institute for Cancer Research recipe contest
- Give mad props to our alumni, teachers and product sponsors in the press and through our social media platform (Know someone we should be featuring? Let us know!)
- Seek stellar scholarship support for the growth of our students, from high school to postsecondary and beyond
- Connect generations of C-CAP alumni to each other through our Alumni Association and Board
- Help our students and alumni achieve financial literacy and business acumen so they can pursue their long-term culinary dreams
- Keep exploring the myriad careers that are possible with a culinary background and share them with our students
- Connect our students across the country with internships in top restaurants
- Give all of our C-CAP teachers a big hug for all of the great work they do with our students
Be sure to let us know if you take on any of these resolutions! And —