Friday, November 13th, 2015

With C-CAP, There’s Always A Reason To Celebrate

It’s not even the holidays yet, but C-CAP is fully in party-mode—and why not, when there is so much to celebrate! In Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, Arizona, and soon in D.C., C-CAP has been raising a glass, raising awareness, and raising funds. Check out this variety of wonderful events!

Last month we told you about a very special event being held in honor of Mitzie Cutler, C-CAP’s longtime Los Angeles Program Director. Lisa Fontanesi, who recently succeeded Mitzie, expressed our deep appreciation and thanks for Mitzie’s leadership and for dedicating herself to transforming the lives of our students. We knew it would be special, but we couldn’t have anticipated how much joy it would bring to so many people. Big thanks to Jonathan Club Executive Chef Jason McClain and his team; alum chefs Robert Valdovinos and Wesdin Hernandez, plus President Art Sezgin from Fresh and Ready Foods; alum chefs Dustin Trani (DOMA), Raymond Alvarez (Toca Madera), and alum mixologist Devin Espinosa (The Church Key); C-CAP LA’s dedicated Advisory Board: and finally, Mitzie herself for her years of passionate leadership.

Mitzie collage

In Philadelphia, we turned up the heat for the third year in a row to support our amazing Philadelphia program with our signature event, “IGNITE…Firing Up Tomorrow’s Chefs.” This year we were thrilled to honor Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix for his unceasing support of C-CAP and his irreplaceable contributions to the Philly food scene. The evening, held at Brûlée Catering’s landmark location, Moulin at Sherman Mills, featured food by Jean-Marie Lacroix, Thomas McMullen, James Rodebaugh, Guillermo Veloso, and Kent Spriggs from Brûlée Catering; Townsend Wentz (Townsend Restaurant); Daniel Stern and Peter Scarola (R2L); Ligia Richter (Chugar Bakery); Martin Hamann (The Union League); Frederick Ortega (Tradestone Confections); Christopher Kearse (Will BYOB); Tony Clark (The Lucky Dog Saloon); and Lynn Rinaldi (Paradiso Restaurant). The evening also featured a silent auction, gift bags, and sweet treats made by C-CAP students from Murrell Dobbins High School, Mercy Vocational High School, and George Washington High School. Melissa Magee of Channel 6 ABC/WPVI-TV emceed.

Ignite collage

In Arizona, C-CAP transformed the Hope Springs Organic Farm into an outdoor dining extravaganza with our second annual Harvest Moon Dinner. Sponsored by Cancer Treatment Centers of America, guests enjoyed cocktails and wine while sampling dishes prepared by more than two dozen local chefs assisted by C-CAP students. Chefs Beau MacMillan (Elements) and Mark Tarbell (Tarbell’s) emceed and Debbie Gaby was named the 2015 C-CAP Community Award Recipient.

Harvest Moon

In New York, chefs from across the world gathered for’s International Chefs Congress at the Brooklyn Expo Center. C-CAP was proud to once again be the charity partner of this great event. It was wonderful to see our supporting chefs wowing the crowds with their skills!

One of the things we always impress upon our alumni is that by being part of C-CAP, they are part of a network, an extended family. None of these wonderful events would have been possible without the generosity and passion of that family: our many supporters, industry partners, teachers, alumni, students, and staff. Together, they are spreading C-CAP’s name and reputation far and wide; together they are making the future brighter for C-CAP students and alums.

Eager to share your passion for C-CAP? Join us at our next event in Washington, D.C. on December 7th honoring C-CAP’s late friend, the great culinarian Mark Kuller. Click here for details!

Thanks for all YOU do to support C-CAP’s work. Stay tuned!

Susan’s Movable Feast

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

By Guest Blogger, Susan Robbins, C-CAP President


1stP college 1

Imagine spending two weeks visiting enchanted cities, being surrounded by fabled architecture and dining on world class food and wine. That was my recent culinary escapade through the north of Spain. People always ask me what is your favorite city in the world. While I have so many places I love to visit,, every time I land in Barcelona, I fall in love with the food, the people and the captivating setting. Our days were spent visiting every Gaudi architectural treasure—Casa Batllo, Casa Mila and La Pedrera, ambling along Las Ramblas, exploring the Gothic Quarter, and checking on the progress being made at La Sagrada Familia, the most amazing cathedral being built in our lifetime. But it is the food that is to die for. Who can resist imbibing in the celebrated tradition of Catalan cooking while being wowed by the masters of molecular gastronomy. It is impossible to do justice to every amazing meal that we had on this trip, but here are a few of the highlights: Cinc Sentits, Enoteca, Abac and Cal Pep. I felt like a kid in the candy story as I strolled through the greatest market in the world, La Boqueria, trying all of the fabulous delicacies and finally feasting on the best figs that I have ever tasted.

1st p collage 2

After eating our way through Barcelona, it was time to focus on wine! This brought us to the dazzling hotel and winery right in the heart of the famous Rioja wine region in Spain, Marques de Riscal. The hotel, designed by Frank Gehry, looks like a cascading mound of multi-colored titanium ribbons. This was our new home to explore the outstanding wines of Marques de Riscal, Marques de Murrieta, Muga, Cune and Contino. After sampling all of the wine, it was a treat to be served a sumptuous private lunch at the Contino vineyard. The robust cuisine of blood sausage, bean stew and cordero (young lamb), which was soft as butter, was the perfect refueling we needed after a busy morning of wine tasting. Our private tour of Marques de Riscal on the second day was the ideal way to whet our appetite for the sumptuous lunch we had at the Michelin starred restaurant el Portal Del Echaurren in Ezacary. The chef said he would welcome any C-CAP alum who wanted to stage there. If you like to ski, eat great food and drink fine wine, this is the place to be. We made a pact to come back here in the winter.

pg 2 collage

While we were sad to leave Rioja, we knew that we had great things in store for us as we headed by way of Bilbao, home to the famous Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry, to what some say is the culinary capital of the world…San Sebastian. In the heart of the Basque country of Spain and framed by a picturesque promenade by the sea, San Sebastian is home to world renowned restaurants and many of the most creative chefs cooking today. A journey to behind the scenes at Arzak and Mugaritz was the ultimate foodie experience. At Arzak, besides being treated to a titillating multi-course dining experience, we were given a tour of their kitchen, the 100,000 bottle wine cellar and their culinary lab where they have hundreds of spices and dried ingredients from across the world. Meeting the iconic chef Juan Mari Arzak was the highlight of this culinary extravaganza.

pg 3 collage

Lunch at the internationally acclaimed Mugaritz the following day continued our sybaritic experience of exotic aromas, textures and flavors that stimulated the palate through over 24 dishes paired with fabulous wines. To prove that we were no slouches, that evening we went on a pintxo (the Basque word for tapas or small snacks) crawl, which allowed us to sample all of the local specialties served at the bars throughout San Sabastian. Yes, we went to at least six, trying everything from melt-in-your-mouth veal cheeks to baby cuttlefish over parsley and garlic sauce, until we finally realized it was time to “crawl” back to our hotel. The next morning, we made sure to hit the farmer’s market for a “fig fix” and enjoy some delicious pastries at Barrenetxe before heading back to Barcelona. I must say, this is a hard core C-CAP culinary adventure and not for the weight-watching weary! And of course, I never come back empty-handed…through new contacts that I made on the trip, C-CAP now has two all-expense paid alumni scholarships to stage in Spain at Michelin starred restaurants.

4 pg collage

Stay tuned!



Back to School is in Full Swing at C-CAP from Coast to Coast

Friday, October 30th, 2015

It’s been a great start to the school year! We’ve been meeting with teachers, visiting schools and restaurant kitchens, volunteering at community events, chopping veggies at the farmer’s markets and sharing our college access know how. Take a peek at a few of the highlights below!

LA MM Collage

Students from the San Fernando High School culinary class visit Monsieur Marcel and learn about salts, spices, flavors and more! Plus, Los Angeles students start practicing their skills for the C-CAP Competition for Scholarships at Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, CA.

LA Competition Info Collage

Teachers in Arizona get an intro to the C-CAP Arizona team and hear what’s in store for their students this year.

AZ edited

And, of course, Veggie Valet continues to wow the Phoenix community.

Chicago Collage (1)

In Chicago, C-CAP Alumni speakers and C-CAP Coordinator Nicola Copeland inspire more than 100 Chicago Public School culinary arts students at the very first Alumni Symposium and College Fair

In New York, Long Island City High School’s junior culinary class had C-CAP Culinary Coordinator Anna Boisture onsite to teach them the finer points of puff pastry. We don’t even need to tell you how well their savory cheese and fall squash tarts came out—see for yourself!

NY puff pastry

PLUS, coming up in NYC, don’t miss this awesome Meatless Monday Cooking Class by our good friend, Dos Caminos Chef, Ivy Stark! Twenty percent of the proceeds will go to C-CAP!

MM Cooking Class Flyer

We can’t wait to see what the rest of the school year brings.

Finally—we promised you a recipe, and a recipe you shall receive! Direct from the kitchens of Betony comes Chef Bryce Shuman’s recipe for Pickled Kabocha with Miso. Professional cooks and home cooks, take note! Wow your friends and embrace the flavors of fall. And if you go to Betony, thank Chef Bryce for his ongoing support of C-CAP.

Stay tuned!


Oui, Chef! C-CAP Intern Heidy Mota and Mentor Chef Bryce Shuman Share Lessons From the Betony Kitchen

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

“When I look back at my internship the thing that I am most proud of is the fact that I was able to adapt to this new and challenging environment, and that I was able to become a part of the Betony family.” – Heidy Mota, C-CAP intern at Betony under Chef Bryce Shuman.

What makes a successful internship? From June to September, C-CAP student Heidy Mota worked for Chef Bryce Shuman of Betony through our job training program. Now Heidy is back in school, and because of her experience at Betony, more determined than ever to make her way in this business. This week, C-CAP hands the microphone to Chef Bryce and his 2015 C-CAP intern Heidy as they ask each other what it takes to make it in the business, and why the mentorship of young cooks is so important.

Heidy Bryce 1Photography by Joyce Appelman

C-CAP Intern Heidy Mota: Thanks for answering my questions, Chef. What motivated you to pursue a career in the culinary industry, and how did you get started?

Chef Bryce Shuman: I got started in the culinary industry working as a dishwasher at a restaurant in eastern North Carolina. I loved the camaraderie, the fire and excitement, the pressure to be better, but I also was inspired to make people happy. It was a fantastic way to use creativity, and at the end of the day it just felt cool.

HM: Who have been your mentors?

BS: Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski of State Bird Provisions, and Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park. Chef Humm really pushed me, and taught me that with dedication, focus, time, organization and persistence, you can keep raising the bar to what you accomplish. Chef Stuart is a real “chef’s chef”. He was the person who really taught me how to “Do Things” in a kitchen—break down a snapper, make a consommé—things that you were taught in culinary school, but could really only learn when you were in the work world, doing it over and over again, as long as it took. Both Chef Stuart and Chef Nicole always had great attitudes, and used the harder moments as positive teaching experiences, which was inspirational.

HM: Why is mentorship important in your kitchen?

BS: Mentorship is the most important thing you can possibly encourage in a kitchen. The act of teaching and training someone and bringing them up through the ranks is an invaluable gift they will never forget because you are giving them the tools to succeed in every sense.

HM: What was it like starting your own restaurant?

BS: Insanity.

HM: Is it difficult balancing your career as a well known successful chef with your role at home as a parent and husband?

B.S.: Absolutely, it is all about balance. If one is more out of whack than the other, it can cause major issues. Yin and yang.

HM: What are the three most important things all cooks should know when they start their first job?

B.S. Keep your head down, your mouth shut, push as hard as you can, and do exactly what you’re told. Say “Oui, Chef!” and learn.

Heidy Bryce 2Photography by Joyce Appelman

Chef Bryce Shuman: Now it’s my turn! What were the biggest lessons you learned during your internship?

C-CAP Intern Heidy Mota: The biggest lesson I learned during my internship was that giving up is never an option. Hard work, self-motivation, and responsibility are the keys to success, and that no matter how small you think your role in the kitchen is, it still matters to how smoothly the restaurant functions as a whole.

B.S. What was the most surprising or unexpected thing you learned?
HM: The most surprising thing I learned was that making people feel welcomed when they are in a new and unknown environment can help them get used to it a lot faster, and it also makes the work environment more enjoyable for everyone.

BS: How has your internship affected the way you think about the industry?

HM: This internship has made my resolve to become part of the industry more strong and it has also showed me that if I work hard enough, I can make my dream of one day owning a successful fine dining restaurant come true.


C-CAP internships last a summer, but their impact is lifelong. We are so grateful to all the chefs who host and mentor C-CAP students and we are so proud of the interns who grab these opportunities with both hands and take that first step in shaping their careers.

Coming up next:

We couldn’t let Chef Bryce get away without sharing one of his mouthwatering recipes with us, so stay tuned for next week when we will share Chef Bryce Shuman’s recipe for Pickled Kabocha Squash with Miso!

Looking for recipes for that Halloween party? C-CAP has just the thing!

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Uh oh. It’s suddenly two weeks to Halloween and you remember with a start that you promised to throw that Halloween gathering/bring food to the office Halloween party/ host your preteen’s post-Trick-or-Treating festivities. The internet is full of themed recipes, but how do you know that they’ll be any good? C-CAP alums to the rescue!

We asked our alums to send us their tried-and-true spooky-and-delicious recipes that are sure to bring a ghoulish grin to the faces of all your guests. Today we give you a savory sensation: Graveyard Chicken Lollipops!

This recipe is from C-CAP LA alum and current C-CAP teacher Chef Doria Pomrenke. A graduate of Van Nuys High School, Doria received a C-CAP scholarship to Johnson & Wales University in Providence. When she graduated and returned to LA, she volunteered with C-CAP, and ultimately became a full time employee for more than four years. Last year, Doria took a position as a culinary teacher—and this year she is teaching in a C-CAP classroom at Rowland High School, La Puente Valley Regional Occupational Program.

Graveyard Chicken Lollipops (jpeg)

Send us a picture of your finished product and we’ll post it on Facebook!

In the meantime, happy cooking and—

Stay tuned!

Endless Pastabilities

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Guest blogger: Eliza Loehr, C-CAP Office Manager

Pasta Hanging on a Chair

Fresh pasta has always been a struggle for me. Growing up, I would sit on the porch waiting for our neighbors, the Del Guercios, to pull up and drop off fresh pasta and mozzarella from Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. I didn’t understand why it tasted so different from all of the other pasta I had had before. One day, after pleading for weeks, my mom took me over to the neighbor’s house to make fresh pasta. I could think of nothing more exciting, but as I sat there and tried to help knead the dough I got tired long before we were done. When it came time to make the ravioli, I kept breaking the noodles in my clumsy six-year-old hands. I watched Mrs. Del Guercio make perfect raviolis with such ease and speed that I just couldn’t replicate.

Many years later in the classroom of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, as I attempted to roll out my pasta to a perfect sixteenth of an inch thickness I remembered the ease of Mrs. Del Guercio. She would chat and play as she rolled out the dough, cooking pasta sauce and making pies in the meantime. Although my pasta ended up okay that day, the process didn’t feel easy or fun at all.

When I began at C-CAP, founder Richard Grausman pulled me into his office and we talked about our times at Le Cordon Bleu. He told me stories of rolling out pasta in his tiny Paris apartment and finally he asked me for a favor. He handed me a copy of his book, French Classics Made Easy, and asked me if I would try to make his fresh pasta recipe. In his classes, he explained, he would hold one end of the pasta and ask a participant to hold the other end and walk as far as they could. It could stretch up to four times.

Stretching NoodlesNow I was nervous. Every time I had made pasta, it broke instantly when I tried to stretch it by hand. I didn’t know if I would be able to recreate this. On top of that, I just didn’t think I had the time to pull off an entire pasta making operation on a weeknight. So what did I do? I put it off. Every time Richard saw me he would ask me if I’d had a chance to make the pasta yet. One day I promised myself I would do it, I blocked off the whole night for the job. I got home around six, opened the book and started following the recipe.

Flour, eggs, salt, water and oil in the food processor, pulse for a minute or so, done. Take it out and rest it in the fridge, ok I got it, what’s next? Roll it, cut it, and stretch it, done. Wait a minute, done? I flipped through the pages, checking to see if I had missed any steps. That’s it, and it took less than an hour. I boiled it for about 5 minutes, put on a tomato sauce and had an amazing meal with tons of time to spare.

Was it perfect? It was great, but not quite perfect. I sent the pictures of the process to Richard who immediately spotted my flaw. “Did you leave the pasta uncovered before you stretched it?” he asked me. Yes, I had, and yes, now it made sense why my pasta was cracking every few inches as we stretched it. “Cut it thinner next time”, he advised. So with my mentor’s advice, and a bit more patience to let the pasta rest longer, I tried it again. And this time I saw what he meant about stretching the noodles to four times their length. I saw how it could be springy but thin, and how the extra oil in the recipe gave it that flexibility that allowed you to by-pass the pasta roller.

Try this recipe yourself and I guarantee you will at least have fun. If you have any problems with the finished product, just ask the expert! Richard Grausman tells me that he makes “house calls.” Just send him an email at or tag us @CCAPINC with a question and he will get right back to you with an answer and a “prescription” for a cure.

P.S. C-CAP Alum and Star Chef Kelvin Fernandez has been using Mr. G’s recipe for years! He tells us: “Mr. G’s Fresh Pasta recipe is the best and easiest I’ve ever used, and I’ve tried lots from Italy!”


Fresh Pasta á la Richard Grausman




2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour

3 eggs

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon water

1 ½ teaspoons salt

Butter or your favorite sauce, for serving


  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until a smooth, soft dough forms, about 1 minute. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time. If the dough is too firm, add more water, ½ teaspoon at a time.

Pasta Recipe


  1. Remove the dough from the machine and divide in half. Shape each half into a rough square or rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more. (If the dough is not to be used within 24 hours, freeze it and bring it back to room temperature before proceeding.)
  1. Dust the work surface and the dough lightly with flour and roll one of the squares of dough into a sheet as thin as possible, between 1/16 and 1/32 of an inch and about 16 X 18 inches, dusting and turning the dough so it does not stick to the surface. If the dough becomes too elastic to flatten or roll out, allow it to rest, covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying, for 3 to 5 minutes before continuing. (If you have the space, roll both pieces of dough at the same time, alternating from one to the other as they build up tension.)


  1. Cut the noodles: Lightly dust the surface of the dough to prevent sticking and fold the fully rolled-out dough in half, then in half again, always folding in the same direction. Using a large chef’s knife, cut crosswise to form noodles of desired width (for extremely thin, delicate noodles, see “Stretching Noodles” below). The noodles can be cooked at this point if desired; see step 5. (You can make the noodles ahead to this point. Allow the noodles to dry on a flat surface or draped over a drying rack for 15 minutes to 30 minutes. They will still be flexible, but may begin to crack when folded. Place the noodles in plastic bags and freeze if not using within 24 hours. Frozen pasta does not have to be thawed before cooking.)


  1. To cook the noodles, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Drop the noodles into the pot and cook until tender yet a bit chewy, 3 to 5 minutes. The drier the noodles are, the longer they will take to cook.
  1. Drain the noodles and toss them with butter or one of your favorite sauces. Serve immediately.




If you have a pasta rolling machine and are accustomed to using it, by all means do. I also encourage you to roll it by hand to see which method is easier for you.

Ready to try it yourself? Let us know how far your pasta stretched by tagging us in your pictures @CCAPINC! If you want more recipes from Richard Grausman, you can find his book French Classics: Made Easy here. All royalties go straight to C-CAP to help the next generation of star chefs get cooking!







When More is More: C-CAP Looks to the Future

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

You know when you have great news and you just want to share it with the whole world, but you have to wait for the perfect moment?

Well, this is that moment.

C-CAP has a Board of Directors. This is a group of incredibly impressive and influential people at the top of their fields who share a passion for what C-CAP does. They rally support, they share their expertise, they throw fundraising events, they spread the word—and they help to shape the future direction of the organization. The more amazing individuals you have on your board, the more opportunities you have to expand your work, reach more people, dream big, and achieve bigger. This is especially true when it comes to the leadership (Chairs) of the Board.

C-CAP’s Board of Directors has been tirelessly and impressively led by our founder, Richard Grausman. But now, for the first time in C-CAP’s history, Mr. Grausman will step into an advisory role (Chairman Emeritus), and make room for new leaders to join him at the forefront of imagining C-CAP’s next 25 years.

Here’s the exciting part.

Stepping into the leadership of C-CAP’s Board as Co-Chairmen are (drumroll, please!)…

Mark Weiss, Chief Investment Officer of RFR Holdings


Marcus Samuelsson,,award winning chef, restaurateur and author.

(From Left to Right): Marcus Samuelsson, Richard Grausman, Mark Weiss (PRNewsFoto/Careers through Culinary Arts)

(From Left to Right): Marcus Samuelsson, Richard Grausman, Mark Weiss (PRNewsFoto/Careers through Culinary Arts)

Both are longtime C-CAP supporters and board members—and we could not be more thrilled to have them take this new step with C-CAP! (See why we couldn’t wait to share?)

Here’s how Richard expressed C-CAP’s excitement: “Having Marcus and Mark as a dynamic team will ensure that C-CAP will grow in new ways and continue to nurture the next generation of great chefs. Marcus has supported C-CAP’s students and alumni since our early years, and it’s been inspiring to watch his passion for our work grow. Mark’s knowledge of the restaurant industry coupled with his passion for C-CAP and his successful fundraising efforts will be invaluable assets as we look to expand our programming.”

As the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times, Chef Marcus Samuelsson has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards including Best Chef: New York City, and was tasked with planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State dinner. He was crowned champion of television shows Top Chef Masters and Chopped All Stars, serves as a mentor on ABC’s The Taste and stars in FYI’s The Feed. Marcus is co-producer of Harlem EatUp!, a food and culture festival which debuted in Harlem in May 2015. He is the author of The New York Times bestselling memoir Yes, Chef, which was recently adapted into the young adult memoir Make It Messy, which encourages young people to embrace their mistakes and follow their dreams. He is also the author of several cookbooks including his newest, Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook At Home (October 2014). In spring 2015, Samuelsson opened his second Harlem restaurant, Streetbird Rotisserie, a kitchenette. He’s also been a huge supporter of C-CAP since the beginning.

“It’s been amazing to witness and be a part of the important work done by Richard and C-CAP. Doors have been opened for minorities and underserved youth to succeed and career dreams have come true for so many talented students and their families,” said Samuelsson. “Working in hospitality can be incredibly challenging and can seem never-ending, but C-CAP provides a roadmap for these young talents, guiding them along the way. I’m truly humbled for this opportunity to make C-CAP my philanthropic focus and to help transform lives through the culinary arts.”

C-CAP is also excited to announce that board member Jeffrey B. Samuels (another longtime board member and Partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP) is joining Tim Zagat (Co-Founder of Zagat) as Co-Vice Chairman.

C-CAP is grateful to have so many talented and committed individuals invested in our work.


Stay tuned!

The Legacy Lives On In Los Angeles! How you can help a culinary student and honor a great culinarian’s impact

Friday, September 25th, 2015

“You will always be remembered for the inspiration you brought not only to me, but the entirety of LA. Your dedication to helping aspiring chefs. Your patience when it came to educating us. You have shaped my life to be better and more enjoyable.”

   —C-CAP LA alumna

Mitzie Collage

There are those special people in our lives that tip the balance: who help us live up to our potential, who push us to do more, who believe in us no matter what. For over two decades, Mitzie Cutler has been that person to countless culinary students throughout Los Angeles as the C-CAP LA Program Director.

Mitzie retired as Program Director at the end of this past spring, and her impact lives on through the many alumni whose education and careers she shaped. And I know you’ll agree that Mitzie’s tireless work is something to celebrate! On October 20th, we’ll be holding a fantastic event at the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles to raise money for the newly established “Mitzie Cutler Scholarship Fund”—and we hope you’ll join us!

From 6pm to 9pm on October 20th, you will be treated to the culinary creations of our host, Executive Chef Jason McClain of the Jonathan Club, while indulging in the edible expressions of gratitude from alumni whose lives and careers Mitzie has shaped: Raymond Alvarez, Executive Chef of Toca Madera; Anthony Greco, Pastry Chef at Lukshon & Father’s Office; Chefs Wesdin Hernandez & Robert Valdovinos of Fresh & Ready Foods; and Dustin J. Trani, Executive Chef of Doma. C-CAP alum and master mixologist Devon Espinosa of The Church Key has also designed a signature cocktail for the evening: “The Mitzie”!

“We are finding people very receptive to helping us with this event,” says C-CAP LA’s new Program Director Lisa Fontanesi. “Lorri Wressell, C-CAP LA’s Career Advisor and Event Planner, has been reaching out to our alumni with great results. Chef McClain of the Jonathan Club was so receptive when we mentioned this idea of setting up a scholarship fund and throwing a party in honor of Mitzie. It feels so good for us all to be honoring Mitzie because she has put so much of herself into C-CAP.”

Each year, Mitzie has devoted much of her time and energy to soliciting and awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships for C-CAP students. We asked Mitzie herself what it meant to her to have a scholarship created in her name, knowing the impact those scholarships have: “I am excited and honored. I only hope it can go on and on.”

So do we.

You can honor Mitzie’s work and support the futures of C-CAP students by purchasing tickets to this wonderful event here or by making a donation to the Mizie Cutler Scholarship Fund here. Mark your calendars, tell your friends, and prepare for a wonderful evening!

Stay tuned!

Beaucoup Bocuse (and we couldn’t be more grateful!)

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Yvan Lemoine has quite a few titles after his name: chef, mixologist, cookbook author, mentor, C-CAP alum, and now world traveler! Currently Chef de Cuisine at Tao Group’s Bodega Negra, Yvan recently competed for and won the C-CAP Daniel Boulud Scholarship to Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France, funded by Ment’Or. (For more about this exciting competition, read here.) Yvan is the sixth C-CAP alum to be awarded this amazing experience, following in the footsteps of alums Franz Corrales, Sylva Senat, Swainson Brown, Cesar Gutierrez, and James Daversa. Now back from an extraordinary experience in France, C-CAP sat down with Yvan to ask him a few questions about what he learned and what he’s eager to share with his colleagues and mentees.

Yvan Lemoine

Tell us a little bit about your time at the Institut Paul Bocuse. How did you spend your days?

Going to the Institut Bocuse in Lyon, France was a dream long lost, come true. I would ride my bike to and from school every day like a kid. Summertime is a lovely time to be bike riding through the forests and cobblestone streets of Lyon. The school itself is part romantic chateau and part modern school. I arrived at school every day at 7:30am. Once you arrive, there is an espresso bar where everyone meets and chats about life, the seasons, and, of course, food. Days at the Institut are filled with stories of chefs and restaurants and recipes once made for kings and queens. We planted and tended to the gardens surrounding the school and as the summer rolled on we saw the fruits of our labor and were able to incorporate them into our dishes. After school, we spent our time going to beautiful restaurants, patisseries, and boulangeries that reflected the history of Lyon as the culinary capital of France.


What was the most surprising thing you learned during your time in France?

It’s never too late to start all over again. School is way more fun when you’re an adult and actually love what you do.

Yvan collage 2

What new skill or recipe are you most eager to try out in your cooking either at Bodega Negra or at home? 

Aligot! [A mashed potato and cheese dish.]


How has the experience of studying in France changed you?

After studying and working in France, I realize how big the world really is. We get too carried away with the meaningless minutia of our lives. There are incredible adventures and places to be discovered, tasted, and savored.

Yvan 3

You mentor many C-CAP students and alums. How will what you learned help you teach and guide them?

In the States, we tend to value longevity of work as one of the most important characteristic of any cook that walks through our door. But the truth is, you are only the sum of your experiences. You must listen and mentor cooks so that they may become better cooks and grow whether that benefits you in the end or not. So as Mark Twain once said “In the end of your life you’ll regret more what you didn’t do than what you did, so cast away from the safe harbor catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover. ”


What is the most delicious meal you ate while in France? 

Maison Bras [in Laguiole]. It was magical.


We have no doubt that Yvan will put his new knowledge and perspective to good use, enriching the lives of those around him, as have the recipients before him. In the meantime, for more on Yvan’s story and the way that C-CAP transforms lives watch our 25th Anniversary video here.


Au revoir! Stay tuned!

C-CAP and Stanford Come to the Same Conclusion

Friday, September 11th, 2015

This just in! According to a brand new research paper coming out of Stanford University, summer jobs can be the key to future success:

“Holding a summer job is a rite of passage in American adolescence, a first rung towards adulthood and self-sufficiency. Summer youth employment has the potential to benefit high school students’ educational outcomes and employment trajectories, especially for low-income youth.”

Stanford, we couldn’t agree more!

In addition to the wonderful programs C-CAP runs during the school year, summer job training and internship programs have become one of the core opportunities C-CAP provides. This summer, over 160 students from C-CAP programs in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Philadelphia have had the opportunity to hone their kitchen skills, practice their soft skills, then put both to use in a professional kitchen. Here’s a little insight on each of our remarkable job training programs this summer:

New York

Our job training program in New York has been steadily growing. This year, we broke records, running multiple job training sessions! Thanks to our partners at ICC, ICE, George Westinghouse High School, and Ms. Laura Molite at Long Island City High School, 101 students and alums were trained and 97 were referred to summer internships! Internships took place at a range of top notch partnering restaurants, commissaries, and corporate dining facilities including American Cut, Butterfly Bakery, Café Boulud, Compass Group, Dos Caminos, Major Food Group Commissary, Momofuku, Perry St., PRINT, Red Rooster, The Breslin, The Cecil, Zengo, and many more!

Los Angeles

In June, 18 students completed job training at West Adams High School and were referred to internships with C-CAP supporting chefs at Universal Studios, The Arthur J, Connie and Teds, Four Seasons Los Angeles Beverly Hills, Jonathan Beach Club, Porto’s Café and Bakery Burbank. At Toca Madera, our C-CAP intern was mentored by C-CAP alum and Executive Chef Raymond Alvarez!

Jon Training 1


27 C-CAP Chicago students took advantage of the amazing restaurant scene in the Windy City this summer, working at restaurants like Frontera Grill, Xoco, Little Goat, FleetWood, Saigon Sisters, Cyrano’s Farm Kitchen, and Cyrano’s on the River Walk! This October, C-CAP will be involved in an exciting new partnership to provide more job training and internship opportunities to talented young cooks from Chicago Public Schools. Expect to hear more in the coming months!

Washington D.C.

Meanwhile, in D.C., job training really hits The Spot—Deli, that is! Just one year ago, C-CAP D.C. Program Coordinator Yvette Williams and Culinary Coordinator Chef Troy Williams opened The Spot Deli on H Street. Not only can you get great food here, C-CAP students get great job training for internships! The Spot Deli even has C-CAP alumni working the line and managing the floor. C-CAP students went on to internships at fabulous restaurants such as Brasserie Beck, Fiola, doi moi, Casa Luca, and Toro Toro. Job Training in D.C. was established with the help and support of Mark Kuller, brilliant lawyer, renowned restaurateur, and amazing friend of C-CAP, who passed away last year. On October 5th, C-CAP will be honoring his life and legacy, and the ongoing contributions of his executive chef Haidar Karoum, at our D.C. Benefit. Buy a ticket and raise a glass to the man who impacted the lives of so many young culinarians!


Philadelphia job training is on a roll! 15 students trained at the Free Library of Philadelphia this June and went on to complete internships at restaurants such as Federal Donuts, Reading Terminal Market, Garces Events, Will, Pumpkin, R2L, Tria, Modo Mio, Street Food Philly, and the Philadelphia Cricket Club. But they just can’t get enough! Job training will be returning in the fall for the first time to give another round of students access to this important experience.

Job Training 2

Why Job Training Matters

Every year, lives are transformed as students make their first foothold in the industry. Every year, we hear wonderful stories about how internships are shaping careers. This 2014 intern recently shared with us her own success story:

“[When I started], I was working as a scooper at Ample Hills Creamery in Brooklyn. Because of my experience in back of house operations, from internships and work-for-hire events I did through C-CAP, they asked if I would be interested in being a full time production cook, which I enthusiastically accepted. Since then, I have worked my way up to being the nighttime kitchen manager and was awarded “Employee of the Month” for June 2015!

I wanted to take the time to thank you for your guidance and the opportunities, which improved my professional skills and provided much needed insight into the inner workings of the industry.”

We could not be more proud of our job training alums as they attain the success they so rightly deserve. As the Stanford study celebrates, we may provide that “first rung towards adulthood and self-sufficiency”—but our alums do the rest with their hard work and perseverance!

Congratulations to all our current interns—we can’t wait to hear where this experience leads you next.

Stay tuned!


© Copyright 2015 C-CAP. All rights reserved.