Mentorship Matters (Here’s Why)

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Avero collage 1

Anyone who has had a mentor will tell you that it changes your life; sometimes in ways you never imagined. Four years from the time they first met, C-CAP alums Brother Luck and Oliver Malcolm have just embarked on a new adventure as mentor and mentee: the Avero Restaurant Experience.

But it all started in 2011 when C-CAP Chicago alum Oliver Malcolm answered an ad for cooks on Craigslist. “It was rather vague,” he recalls, “so I didn’t really know what I was going in for.” On the day of the interview, Oliver shows up to the appointed building (20 minutes early, as per his C-CAP training), rides the elevator up, and finds himself facing a large frosted glass door reading “World of Whirlpool.” Am I in the right place?, he thinks. Should I just go home? Little does he know that behind that door sits a chef who will change his life and his career forever. He gathers his confidence, goes through those glass doors, and announces himself for his interview. Behind the interview table is C-CAP Arizona alum and World of Whirlpool Food & Beverage Director Brother Luck. “I had seen on his resume that he was a C-CAP alum, so I was interested in him right away,” remembers Brother. “Being part of C-CAP and having been mentored from the beginning by my teacher Jim Holman and C-CAP’s founder Richard Grausman gave me the skills and the confidence I needed to succeed. This was an opportunity to pass that on.” After a long conversation, he hired Oliver—and became his mentor.

“He taught me to play ‘chess and not checkers’ in how I think about my life, “ Oliver says fondly. “He taught me to think strategically and set up for older Oliver. In the kitchen, he gave me an appetite for learning, and for pushing myself; he said it was his job to make me better for when he wasn’t around. He taught me that you always need people who will bring you to the next level.”

Opportunities for mentorship and bringing people to the next level? Sounds like a job for C-CAP and Avero!

For the second year running, Avero, the leading provider of web-based and mobile business intelligence and analytical applications for the hospitality industry, has provided a C-CAP hospitality student and his or her mentor with the amazing opportunity to come to New York City for a four-day immersion trip into the food and beverage industry. Oliver and Brother were selected from a competitive pool of C-CAP alums and their chef-mentors. Oliver Malcolm is a 2007 recipient of a C-CAP scholarship to the Restaurant School at Walnut College, and is currently pursuing his Bachelors at Kendall College. Brother is a 2001 recipient of a C-CAP scholarship to the Art Institute of Phoenix, and is currently Executive Chef and Owner of Brother Luck Street Eats in Colorado Springs. After Brother learned that he and Oliver had been selected for the experience, he had this to say: “It’s pretty great to be a part of a program that changes lives everyday with food and education. I received my C-CAP scholarship 15 years ago, and they’re still providing me tools to be successful. Thank you, C-CAP and Avero!”

Oliver and Brother’s Restaurant Experience included tours and meals at The Nomad, Baccarat Hotel, Reynard, Brooklyn Bowl, Union Square Greenmarket, Eataly, The Smith and Rebelle, just to name a few. At Gabriel Kreuther’s eponymous restaurant Gabriel, Chef Gabriel sat down with the C-CAP Avero group over food and champagne for four hours (!), chatting and answering questions. It was a night that Brother and Oliver both swear they will never forget.

In addition to the amazing restaurants that Avero exposed them to, Brother and Oliver also had one-on-one time in the office with the Avero team, including Founder and CEO Damian Mogavero, learning about how their products work and receiving career advice. “Learning about these new tools and what they can do really sparked new motivation within me. It was incredible to see the scope of who is using their products already,” remarked Brother. “Plus, Damian is a great motivational speaker. I feel like he opened so many doors for me, both in my mind and in the industry.” C-CAP is so grateful to our friends at Avero for giving our alums this remarkable experience!

Brother Luck has a fitting motto: “Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation.” With the contacts Brother and Oliver have made, we have no doubt that opportunity will come knocking. And these culinarians will be more than prepared.

Stay tuned!

The Chef Shortage—and How C-CAP is Filling It

Friday, August 21st, 2015

It would have been hard last week to open a paper or browse a news website without reading some variation on this headline:

“Restaurants are Facing a Serious Chef Shortage.” (Fortune)

From Fortune to the Wall Street Journal to the Boston Globe, chefs from New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, and even as far as the UK and Tasmania, are sharing tales of their struggles to find and keep good cooks, and debating the reasons why. Are there simply too many restaurants? Is it because, as Food & Wine conjectures in its headline, “everyone wants to be Anthony Bourdain”? Is it the expectation of instant success and power without having to put in the time? How can we address this issue within our industry?

C-CAP has answers.

C-CAP has been hearing this same refrain from the industry for many years: “Can you help us find great cooks?” Since 1990, C-CAP has been that bridge to industry, connecting chefs to talented young cooks with strong skills, work ethic, and commitment. C-CAP students are taught to expect hard work, not glamour. They step into the industry with experience in professional kitchens, ready to work. Through our network of C-CAP alumni and C-CAP partner chefs, we’ve been keeping apprenticeship models of training alive, with mentor chefs training our students and young alums on the job, day to day. They may want to be Anthony Bourdain one day, but C-CAP cooks know from experience that they’re going to have to work like heck to get there!

NY Job Training (IMG_6800)

Over the past 4 years as this need in the industry has increased, C-CAP has been taking our work a step further—with our job training-to-work program. Students can participate in a 5-day skill-building intensive where they hone their kitchen skills, polish their soft skills, and develop realistic expectations about the workplace. They are referred to restaurants and complete 6-week paid internships where they learn persistence, teamwork, hustle—and become the cook that these articles say the industry most needs. At this moment, C-CAP students are interning in top restaurants in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia, adding to the number of talented and committed cooks in their respective cities—and the industry at large.

Interested in learning more about C-CAP’s Job Training program? Read this wonderful article from the Wall Street Journal last summer. Interested in supporting our work? You can donate here!

Next week, join us to hear about C-CAP alum Oliver Malcolm and his mentor and fellow alum Brother Luck at the Avero C-CAP Restaurant Experience. Spoiler alert: it was pretty darn cool.

Stay tuned!



The Importance of Beginnings (and why Chef Marcus Samuelsson thinks you should support C-CAP)

Friday, August 14th, 2015

“I took the first step in my career by training at a local culinary school in Sweden, and while I’ve come a long way since then, I’ll never forget how I got started. This is why I’m so proud to be involved with Careers through Culinary Arts Program. C-CAP makes an enormous impact on the lives of at-risk students by helping them build careers in the culinary industry.”

—Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus 2

There are so many sayings about the importance of beginnings. “Start as you mean to go on.” “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” “The beginning is the most important part of the work.”

Here at C-CAP, we transform lives by creating those strong beginnings for our students: kitchen skills that make them marketable to employers. Interpersonal skills to teach them how to be professional in any work environment. That chance to go to college. First jobs and first industry connections that lead to a lifetime of employment. For some, the first chance to believe in themselves and feel that they have purpose. These crucial first steps set the tone for everything that comes next.

Chef Marcus Samuelsson shares our belief in the importance of strong beginnings. In fact, he has been a supporter of C-CAP almost since our own beginning 25 years ago! In honor of our 25th anniversary of transforming lives, Chef Samuelsson has launched a fundraiser to support C-CAP’s programs. If you’ve been thinking about supporting C-CAP, this may be your moment—until August 31st, Chef Samuelsson will be offering some pretty great gifts to those who help his campaign, as well as an amazing trip to Bermuda for the top fundraiser or donor

To join Chef Marcus Samuelsson in supporting C-CAP, visit his fundraising page here.

Your support enables C-CAP to transform the lives of our students and alums. But don’t take our word for it! Read below to hear what our alumni say about C-CAP’s impact:

I was fortunate enough to be able to be part of the first C-CAP class at my high school in Los Angeles. C-CAP gave me one of the greatest opportunities of my life. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for this organization.”

“I am blessed to be a part of the C-CAP family. The love and passion that C-CAP has for their students inspires students to go for and reach for their goals. I thank you for all your support.”

“I am one out of thousands of students that Careers Through Culinary Arts Program has planted a seed of confidence in, molding me to become successful in this industry, or any industry. If it wasn’t for the program, I wouldn’t be where I am nor the person I am today. I am forever grateful.”

“This scholarship is going to get me one step closer to my dreams. I hope that one day I will be able to help some students just like you have been helping me.”

“It’s pretty great to be a part of a program that changes lives everyday with food and education. I received my scholarship 15 years ago and they’re still providing me tools to be successful.”

We are so grateful to Chef Marcus Samuelsson and all of our C-CAP supporters!

Next Week: C-CAP’s response to the chef shortage. Stay tuned!

C-CAP’s Teacher Conference… on the Rhody!

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Sometimes, in pursuit of excellence, you just have to change it up. Change your scenery. Learn some new skills. Eat great food. Be inspired by your peers. Build up your “creative capital”—preferably in the company of friends. We get it! That’s why last month we gathered C-CAP teachers from across the country, plus our dear friends at Korin and Johnson & Wales University. While our teachers lovingly called it “chef camp,” we call it the C-CAP’s National Teachers’ Conference!

From Sunday, July 19th to Wednesday, July 22nd, Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, opened their hearts and their doors wide to C-CAP’s hardworking teachers. In addition to amazing meals (planned and created by current JWU students), our teachers took part in hands-on workshops from JWU instructors learning about molecular gastronomy, vegetarian proteins, Mediterranean cuisine, almonds and chocolate, athletes nutrition, whole grain pastas, cake decorating, quick breads, and flat breads—all designed to be brought into high school classrooms! And those were just the workshops. C-CAP teachers also learned from panel discussions on the future of culinary education, wholegrain artisan bread baking (and tasting!), and sustainability and local food systems.

Not only did C-CAP have an amazing host in Johnson & Wales University, but we also had an incredible Conference Sponsor in Korin! (If you don’t yet know about Korin, founded by the incomparable Saori Kawano, read here about their fine Japanese tableware and their wonderful chef knives.) Teachers attended a fascinating knife-sharpening demo by Vincent Lau and then had the chance to practice their newly acquired skills. Best of all, each C-CAP teacher went home with a sharp gift – a Korin knife engraved with her or his name! (Oh yes, the tears of gratitude flowed!)

We could go on for days—but we’d prefer to let you see and hear for yourself!

Teachers Taught

Christine and Andrea


DC Teachs

For more photos, visit our Facebook album.

Our teachers’ experience in their own words:

  • “Easily the best conference I have attended. I felt that C-CAP, Johnson & Wales, and the folks at Korin went out of their way to make sure we had a conference to remember and I am very grateful for that. Thank you!”
  • “This is the first conference I have been to as a culinary teacher where I actually learned skills I can take back to my class and teach my students.”
  • “The most valuable thing I learned was how different and yet how alike so many of our challenges in the classroom are because I had the opportunity to meet with teachers from all over the country.”
  • “The most valuable thing I learned was that you can tap into every student’s learning ability because every child can learn all disciplines through culinary arts.”
  • “I was amazed at the level of instruction by the many professional chef instructors, the interesting panel discussions, and the abundance of choices in the workshops. It was all top shelf. Thank you so much.”
  • “All of the workshops were lead by enthusiastic and knowledgeable professors. They all impacted me with their content knowledge and also with their love of what they do.”
  • “The Korin knife sharpening demo and hands on practice was amazing. I had never thought about how much pride goes into making a knife.”
  • “Korin, thank you for showing me the proper way to sharpen knives. Your workshop was very informative. A special thank you for my personalized knife. I will treasure it forever!!!

To our hosts, our sponsors, the chefs who shared their time and expertise, Anna Boisture (C-CAP NY’s Culinary Coordinator and conference planning STAR!), the school districts who sent their teachers, and our amazing C-CAP teachers—THANK YOU! We can’t wait for the next one!

Stay tuned!


This week at C-CAP: an externship in…magic?

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Imagine you’re a restaurant owner. You work hard, you’ve got great people, great food, an awesome buzz, but it’s still tough going. What if there was a magic system that could analyze all your systems, crunch all your numbers, and help you make your business more efficient and profitable at the touch of a button? Well—there is! Some folks may call it magic, but they call themselves Avero! And this past week, C-CAPpers Victoria Helwig and L.J. Delos Reyes got the chance to learn from these software wizards and industry gurus firsthand. To read about their visit, check out Avero’s blog post here!

Avero 2015

Did you know that this is the second year C-CAP students have had this opportunity? Read about last year’s C-CAP Avero High School Externship here.

And that’s not all! We can’t wait to update you next month when C-CAP alums Oliver Malcolm and Brother Luck come to New York for the Avero Restaurant Experience, an exclusive, behind-the-scenes immersion into the New York City hospitality and culinary industries. (Read about last year’s experience here.) Many thanks to our good friends at Avero for offering our C-CAP students and alumni these unique opportunities to learn!

Coming up next on C-CAP’s blog—the C-CAP Teachers Conference at Johnson & Wales University.

Stay tuned!

Calling All Health Nuts: More Good-For-You Recipes by C-CAP Students!

Monday, July 20th, 2015

We’ve made it to the final installment of this year’s recipe extravaganza from the Meatless Monday and American Institute for Cancer Research Recipe Contests! To learn more about both contests and the amazing organizations behind them, check out our posts here and here. To score the 2nd place recipes, read our post here.

While their dishes may be low in sugar, fat, and carbohydrates, our third place winners didn’t skimp on flavor when creating their winning recipes. From an inventive take on the classic burger to a southwest-inspired salad, these recipes will satisfy your cravings without leaving you feeling stuffed.

C-CAP student Jonathan Hernandez of DuVal High School outside of Washington D.C. won third prize in the Meatless Monday Recipe Contest for his Quinoa Veggie Burger with a Sweet Tomato Compote. To make Jonathan’s recipe for your next cookout, visit the Meatless Monday website for the recipe.


C-CAP student Margaret DeMarco of Virginia Beach Technical and Career Education Center in Virginia Beach, VA won third prize in the American Institute for Cancer Research Recipe Contest for her Skinny Santa Fe Salad with an Avocado Lime Vinaigrette.

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Try Margaret’s dish for a light lunch or side salad:

Skinny Santa Fe Salad with an Avocado Lime Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 20 mins

Servings: 6
For the salad-


-1c vegetable oil

-1 six inch whole wheat tortilla

-1 tablespoon of shelled, unsalted sunflower seeds

-1 cup baby spinach, chiffonade

-1 cup baby arugula, chiffonade

-1 cup romaine, chiffonade

-1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise

-1⁄2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

-1⁄2 cup cooked whole kernel corn

-1⁄2 cup cooked black beans

-1/3 cup crumbled Queso Fresco cheese

-1 slice of lime

Heat small skillet of oil over medium high heat. Meanwhile, line half sheet pan with paper towels. Cut tortilla into small, short strips, about 3 inches long and 1⁄2 inch wide. Crisp tortillas in oil until golden brown and crunchy, about 20 seconds. Remove oil from heat and place tortillas on paper towels to cool. Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add sunflower seeds, stir frequently. Cook, until seeds are toasted, about 3 1⁄2 minutes. Remove seeds from heat and cool. Combine spinach, arugula, and romaine in medium sized mixing bowl. Place mixed greens on each plate. Divide toasted sunflower seeds, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced red onions, whole kernel corn, and black beans between 6 salads. Place a few whole wheat tortilla crisps. Sprinkle Queso Fresco crumbles on each salad. Garnish each with 1 slice of lime.

For the Vinaigrette-


-1 ripe avocado (peeled, seeded, diced)

-3⁄4 teaspoon minced garlic

-2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lime juice

-3⁄4 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

-1⁄4 cup cilantro leaves

-1 pinch chili powder

-1⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-natural avocado oil

Place avocado, garlic, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, cilantro leaves, and chili powder in blender. Add 3 tablespoons water, and blend on high until vinaigrette begins to come together. While blender is running, slowly add avocado oil. Blend until creamy. Divide contents between 6 small spoons and arrange on each plate. Refrigerate leftover dressing.

Recipes So Yummy You’ll Forget They’re Good For You!

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

For the next post in this healthy eats series, we’re bringing you the 2nd place recipes from the Meatless Monday and the American Institute for Cancer Research Recipe Contests! Read more about these awesome campaigns and contests in early posts here and here.

These recipes are so decadent; you’ll feel guilty just thinking about making them. But there’s no need—they are full of nutritious ingredients like antioxidant-rich eggplant and protein-packed salmon and quinoa.

C-CAP student Jacob Trinh of Delaware County Technical School in Philadelphia, PA won the second place prize in the Meatless Monday Recipe Contest with his plant-based spin on fish tacos, “Cajun-plant Taco.” To recreate Jacob’s delectable dish, visit the Meatless Monday website to get your hands on the recipe.



C-CAP student Jenna Kraus of Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix, AZ won the second place prize in The America Institute of Cancer Research Contest for her healthy and nourishing “Crusted Salmon with Rosemary Honey over an Orange and Arugula Salad.”

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If you’re in the mood for a wholesome and healthful dinner, try your hand at Jenna’s dish:

Quinoa Crusted Salmon with Rosemary Honey over an Orange Arugula Salad

Prep Time: 45 mins

Servings: 6


-1 c white quinoa

-2 c water

1/3 c honey

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 oranges

¼ c olive oil

3 tsp balsamic vinegar

¼ lb arugula

1 ½ lb skinned salmon fillet

Olive Oil

Salt and pepper

1. In a small pot place two cups of water and bring to a boil. Once the water boils,place the 1 cup of quinoa in the pot, turn heat to low, and cover.

2. Cook for about 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

3. Place the honey in a small saucepot and bring to a simmer. Once the honey simmers 
place the rosemary in it turn the heat off and cover. Steep the honey and rosemary for 10- 
15 minutes and then remove the rosemary.

4. Prepare a sheet pan with paper towels. Once the quinoa is done cooking drain any excess 
liquid and then spread the quinoa on the prepared sheet pan.

5. Place the quinoa in a shallow dish or pie plate. Fluff with a fork. This will slightly dry it 
out so that it will stick to the salmon.

6. Place the 1⁄4 cup of olive oil into a small bowl and zest 1 orange into it.

7. In another small bowl juice the zested orange and add the balsamic vinegar.

8. Slowly whisk the balsamic vinegar and orange juice and drizzle the olive oil into the 
acids to create vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.

9. Peel the remaining orange and trim off the white pith. Separate the orange segments and 
cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces. Reserve for later use.

10. Take the salmon fillet, trim off any rough edges, and then cut into six equal pieces.

11. Place a non-stick pan with just enough olive oil in it to cover the bottom on the stove over 
high heat.

12. Brush the salmon with the honey and season with salt and pepper. Press the salmon into 
the quinoa with the honey side facing down.

13. Once the pan is heated, place the salmon in the pan with the quinoa side facing down. 
(*The quinoa crusted side should look golden brown and feel crisp)

14. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes or until light pink all the way through.

15. Toss the arugula with the vinaigrette and oranges. Arrange a small handful on a plate and 
place the salmon on top. *Can be served family style on a platter or individually.


Stay tuned for the third place winning recipes in the Meatless Monday and American Institute for Cancer Research recipe contests!

C-CAP Students Encourage Healthy Eating Habits with Cancer-Preventive Dishes

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

As America’s eating habits shift from fast and fried to fresh and healthy, C-CAP students are leading the charge as the next generation of health-conscious culinarians. This fall, for the third year in a row, C-CAP partnered with the American Institute for Cancer Research to host the 2015 AICR/C-CAP Small Plates Recipe Contest.

The American Institute for Cancer Research funds cutting-edge research that finds links between everyday lifestyle choices and cancer prevention and survival. Through outreach and partnerships with organizations like C-CAP, AICR empowers individuals to make healthier choices to reduce their risk of developing cancer.

For this years’ contest, students were challenged to create small dishes or appetizers that follow the AICR’s evidence-based guidelines for eating to lower cancer risk. Putting an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other cancer-preventive plant foods which have been shown to lower cancer risk, students worked with their teachers to create original recipes that highlight the natural flavors, textures, and health benefits of plant foods.

Based on the recipe’s originality, flavor, healthfulness, ease of preparation, and writing, students were judged by a panel of culinary experts:

 Amanda Cohen, Chef and Owner of Dirt Candy

Dana Jacobi, cookbook author and nationally syndicated food columnist

Scott Uehlein, Corporate Chef at Canyon Ranch

First place: Kristopher Lopez from Food and Finance High School in New York City for his recipe,

‘Faux’-Lafel with Cucumber Dill Sauce

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Second place: Jenna Kraus of Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix, AZ for her dish,

Crusted Salmon with Rosemary Honey over an Orange and Arugula Salad

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Third place: Margaret DeMarco from Virginia Beach Technical High School in Hampton Roads, VA for her recipe, Skinny Santa Fe Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing

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Congratulations to the winners for their remarkable recipes!

Many thanks to the AICR and our esteemed judges. We couldn’t do it without you!

Try Kristopher’s winning recipe:


Mediterranean ‘Faux’-Lafel with Cucumber Dill Sauce

Yields: 6 servings, 3 faux-lafel per serving

Prep Time: 20 MIN

Cook Time: 35 MIN


For Sauce:

  • 1 c greek yogurt
  • 2 mini cucumbers, medium diced
  • 2 T fresh dill, chopped, few fronds for garnish
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For Faux-Lafel:

  • 1 ½ c cooked quinoa
  • 1 ½ c baby spinach, roughly chopped, 2 spinach leaves for garnish
  • 1 c crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ c plus 1 T red bell pepper, small dice
  • 2 T chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ small yellow onion, small dice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 ½ c panko
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 eggs

Method of prep:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare quinoa according to package directions.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, prepare sauce. In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, cucumbers, dill, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.
  4. When quinoa is cooled, in a mixing bowl, combine quinoa, spinach, feta, pepper (all except 1 T), parsley onion, lemon juice, zest, and panko. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Make a small well in the middle of the mixture and crack one egg. Wet your hands and mix the first egg into the quinoa mixture. Repeat with a second egg. The mixture should be slightly tacky and able to be formed into a ball. Using a ¾ ox ice cream scoop, scoop mixture into hands to shape into a ball. (Note: do not roll like meatballs- gently pack using your palm as a “cup”) Place on sheet pan that has been sprayed with coconut oil. When all balls have been formed, spray the tops with coconut oil.
  6. Bake for 18-20 min. The outside should be crispy with a little give when you touch it. Remove from the oven and let stand for 2-3 minutes before serving.
  7. Remove sauce from refrigerator and mix with a spoon.
  8. To serve: plate three faux-lafel and top with a small dollop of sauce. In between each faux-lafel place a spinach leaf (facing the opposite way), finish with a few small fronds of dill for garnish and red pepper for the plate.


C-CAP students go vegetarian with the Meatless Monday recipe contest!

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Mondays can be rough. It’s safe to say that everyone has suffered a bad case of The Mondays at least once, but never fear—C-CAP is here! For the fourth year, C-CAP teamed up with The Meatless Monday Campaign to create original meatless and mouthwatering recipes to rid you of your Monday misery. Meatless Monday is an initiative of The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit organization in association with Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and Syracuse Universities, committed to dedicating the first day of every week to health.

This year, students were tasked to create healthy, plant-based renditions of traditional meat-based dishes in hopes of winning a Meatless Monday scholarship.

Students worked with their culinary arts teachers to invent their dishes and apply new cooking techniques with vegetables, grains, and legumes. After weeks of testing and honing their recipes, each school selected a winning entry. From those, C-CAP locations around the country selected one winning recipe to represent their program.

The top seven recipes were judged on originality, flavor, healthfulness, ease of preparation, and writing ability by a panel of expert chefs:

Kelvin Fernandez, NBA Fit Chef & Executive Chef, La Marina

Jason Weiner, Executive Chef, Almond

Diana Rice, RD, Meatless Monday Recipe Editor

Scott Uehlein, Corporate Chef, Canyon Ranch

 And the talented winners are…

First Place: Jenna Kraus, Barry Goldwater High School, Arizona


“Spaghetti and Meatballs” Take #2- Jenna used spaghetti squash as an alternative to pasta and replaced the ground meat with walnuts to provide a meaty texture.

In addition to her scholarship, Jenna and her teacher won an all-inclusive stay at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, where they will experience healthy-cooking practices first-hand from Corporate Chef Scott Uehlein.

 Second Place: Jacob Trinh, Delaware County Technical School, Philadelphia


Cajun-plant Taco- Jacob’s dish is a spin on the classic fish taco, where he cleverly subbed ineggplant for the fish.

 Third Place: Jonathan Hernandez, Duval High School, Greater Washington, D.C. Region


Quinoa Veggie Burger with a Sweet Tomato Compote- Jonathan made a yummy makeover of a 100% beef burger by using quinoa, a high-protein grain.

Congratulations to our recipe winners—we’re so proud of you!

Sink your teeth into the winning recipe: Jenna Kraus’ “Spaghetti and Meatballs” Take #2

Stay tuned for more mouth-watering meatless recipes and another healthy recipe contest!

Competition Season Wrap-Up Starring Philadelphia and Chicago C-CAPers

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

You’re probably now wondering…who are the most talented young chefs in the Philadelphia and Chicago regions? We are excited to share these names with you!

In March, 30 talented high school seniors from the Philadelphia region went head to head in the kitchen of Drexel University in the C-CAP Competition for Scholarships. As always, our students were evaluated on knife skills, techniques in the kitchen, sanitary food handling, taste, timeliness, and their final dish presentation. The awesome judges tasked to evaluate were:

Chef Chip Roman, Blackfish BYOB

Chef Barbie Marshall, SOOP Catering

Pastry Chef Robert Bennett, Classic Cake

Chef Ben Thomas, Restaurant Cerise

Chef Jason Cichonski, Ela

Valerie Erwin, owner of Geechee Girl Rice Café

Pastry Chef Peter Scarola, R2L

Chef Ben Burger, Philadelphia Cricket Club

Susan Robbins, C-CAP President

The Awards Ceremony was held at the Free Library of Philadelphia, where C-CAP Philadelphia Program Director Vicki Grant, C-CAP Philadelphia Program Coordinator Keri Fisher, and C-CAP President Susan Robbins presented a record-breaking $630,000 in scholarships and cash awards to the competitors. Students, parents, and teachers were treated to breakfast and words of wisdom from guest speaker Chef Barbie Marshall of SOOP Catering and Hell’s Kitchen.

The Philadelphia scholarship winners are:

Dominic Blue, Destiny Chau, Ke-airra Crockett, Shantell Elliot, Aelyn Estevez, Nicholas Gabriele, Rahsheen Gorham, Nyia Green, Kamoy Gumbs, Stephen Haftel, Jessica Haywood, Antoinette Hicks, Lindsay Hills, Noel Hooks, Tasha Jefferson, Courtney Johnson, Robert Jordan, Kathy Lam, William Lochetto, Tai Ngo, Alenxander Poole, France Saimesier, Theodore Silva, Brian Smith, Jacob Trinh, Carl Tucker, Karen Vargas, Ashlynn Waters, Nyequa Williams, and Matthew Wilson.

C-CAP Competition Chicago

And last, but not least, in Chicago, 32 student finalists competed at the Illinois Institute of Art’s new culinary wing and student-run restaurant, Evolve Bistro, on April 25th, rated by talented judges:

Executive Chef Judson Allen, Healthy Infused Cuisine/Next Food Network Star

Chef Jose Fontanez, C-CAP Alum and Sous Chef at Shor, Hyatt Regency McCormick Place

Chef Michelle Garcia, C-CAP Alum and Garde Manger Chef, Hyatt Regency Chicago

Executive Chef William Johnson, C-CAP Alum and Contadino

Chef Jim Ortiz, C-CAP Alum and Sous Chef of Private Events for Frontera Grill

Chef Wendy Santana, C-CAP Alum and Head Pastry Cook at Xoco

Executive Chef John Vermiglio, A10

Two short days later, C-CAP Chicago Program Coordinator Nicola Copeland, C-CAP Founder and Chairman Richard Grausman, and C-CAP President Susan Robbins awarded $475,000 in scholarships and cash awards at the Awards Breakfast held at The Metropolitan Club. Featured guest speakers included C-CAP Alum Michelle Garcia, Garde Manger Chef at Hyatt Regency in Chicago and Oliver Malcolm, Sodexo Food Service Manager.

The Chicago scholarship winners are:

Ana Aria, Marbeli Benitez, Juan Diaz, Brenda Dominguez, Marleny Flores, Freddrick Gunartt, Erica Hernandez, Briyana Johnson, Tinna Johnson, Shawnlaun Kelly, Dechant Kemp, Shantel Lane, Jocelyn Martinez, Denise Pillado, Dulce RendonDaisy Roa, Kyla Robinson, Francisco Santiago, Frances Thomas, Martinique Thompson, Natalis Torres, Hannia Vidals, and Monique Windfield,

Thanks to these awards, C-CAP Philadelphia and Chicago students will be attending some of the best culinary post-secondary programs in the country, including The Culinary Institute of America, Johnson and Wales University, Monroe College, The Illinois Art Institute, Drexel University, The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill, Le Cordon Bleu, and the New England Culinary Institute.

Much continued thanks to the universities, individuals, and organizations that support C-CAP—your friendship and generosity means the world to us!

Best of luck to our senior scholarship recipients, the best young chefs, and always remember, “once you’re in C-CAP, you’re in C-CAP for life!”

Stay tuned for a healthy recipe contest and the mouth-watering winning dish!


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